Council panel moves to block Sanders trash pickup cutoff

City News Service

A San Diego City Council committee voted Wednesday to have the City Attorney’s Office draft measures aimed at overturning Mayor Jerry Sanders’ decision to end free garbage pickup for about 14,000 homes on private roads.

The mayor wants to end trash pickup agreements with 102 homeowner associations and property managers that limit the city’s liability for accidents on private roads. The move is part of Sanders’ efforts to close a budget gap for the coming fiscal year projected at $56.7 million.

But the council’s Natural Resource and Culture Committee voted to oppose the effort.

Canceling the trash pickup agreements would take effect July 1 and save the city more than $1.2 million in fiscal 2011-12, according to the mayor’s office. Homeowner groups would then have to contract with private trash haulers.

Under the People’s Ordinance, adopted in 1919 and amended in a public vote in 1986, residents confirmed their right to free garbage collection.

City Councilman Carl DeMaio, also a committee member, called the mayor’s plan “a troubling proposal” and reminded those at the council meeting that the service is not free, but part of “core services” paid for with tax dollars.

Other committee members expressed concern that the mayor’s action could trigger lawsuits, and that paying about $20 per month for trash pickup would hurt low-income residents and seniors.

Mike McDade of the San Diego County Disposal Association said the trash haulers in his group are competitive and would probably offer discounts people living on private roads just to land the contract.

Anne Krueger said residents in her Paradise Hills complex have been hurt by the poor economy and many are late on their homeowner’s association fees every month.

“Dozens of homes in our association are in foreclosure,” Krueger said.

San Diego is one of three cities in California — El Monte and Newport Beach are the others — that picks up trash without charge.

The same four council members agreed to hand up to the full City Council a recommendation to end trash pickup for about 4,600 businesses. That has been projected to save the city’s general fund about $380,000.

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Posted by Staff on Mar 2, 2011. Filed under News, Region. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

2 Comments for “Council panel moves to block Sanders trash pickup cutoff”

  1. Trashman

    The free trash pickup is more of a community health issue. If people are required to pay, then they will hold trash for months to breed bacteria and fungus, then take the trash to the dump once every 2 or 3 months. People might also illegally dump trash in the freeways, other people's properties, lakes, etc. to save that money. Free trash pickup (or tax-payer paid trash pickup) exists for the health of the community. The community will quickly turn into third world and smell stinky if trash pickup is not free and trash is not regularly picked up.

  2. P_F

    There is no 'free' trash pick up, its included in our HOA fees. I happen to live on
    a public street that is part of an HOA that also includes private streets. If the HOA
    has an assessment added for third party trash pick up, then we will pay the city
    for trash pick up (even though its not provided) and pay the higher HOA assessment
    as well. If Jerry Sanders wants to close the budget gap how about if his neighborhood
    does not receive city trash pick up. He most likely lives in the part of town that can
    certainly afford to pay for their own third party trash pick up. The city pension plan
    which Sanders is a beneficiary of, is driving San Diego into the ground. How about
    closing the gap by reaching into the ridiculously outrageous city pension plan.

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