In January, San Diego is supposed to start collecting food waste from residents to make good on a state mandate it’s already blown past. But unlike all the other cities in the state, San Diego can’t charge everyone who lives here the cost of doing so. That could change, though, if city voters in November approve Measure B, which would alter the century-old People’s Ordinance preventing San Diego from charging all single-family homeowners for any kind of waste pick up.

Passage of Measure B won’t mean the city automatically starts charging for waste collection to all the homes who’ve been exempt from such fees, but it would give the City Council power to do so in the future. The city would also first have to study how much to charge for waste collection, which could take a few years. Council President Sean Elo-Rivera, who led the charge to put Measure B on the ballot, said the looming cost of waste removal – required by the passage of SB 1383 in 2016 – is part of the decision to take on the century-old law.

“For me, SB 1383 is an added reason to do it now,” Elo-Rivera told Voice of San Diego. “The People’s Ordinance, as written, ties the city’s hands in a really unique way compared to any other city. It doesn’t put us in a better position to reach (climate) goals, provide equitable service and be agile and adaptable to whatever changes might come in the future.”

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Author: MacKenzie Elmer, Voice of San Diego
Image: Joe Orellana, Voice of San Diego