In 1919, City of San Diego (City) voters approved a citizens’ initiative known as the People’s Ordinance, which required the City to collect all “refuse,” now generally referred to as “solid waste,” generated within City limits, and to impose a fee to cover the cost of providing collection, transportation, and disposal of solid waste, which it never did. City voters later amended the People’s Ordinance to prohibit the City from charging a fee to properties that received solid waste management services from the City.
Today, the People’s Ordinance requires the City to collect, transport, and dispose of solid waste from certain residential properties at least once each week and prohibits the City from charging a fee for these services. Solid waste includes trash, recyclables, organic waste, and other waste. The People’s Ordinance also prohibits the City from collecting nonresidential waste, which includes commercial and industrial waste, except under limited circumstances, and generally prohibits the City from entering private property to provide solid waste management services except in a public emergency.
Under existing law, eligible residential properties receive City-provided services funded by the City’s General and Recycling Funds, whereas properties not eligible for City-provided solid waste management services must arrange and pay for the cost of their own services.
If adopted, this measure would amend the language in the People’s Ordinance to clarify eligibility and authorize the City to charge a fee for City-provided solid waste management services to eligible single family residential properties and multi-family residential properties with up to four residences on a single lot.
This measure would allow the City Council to establish a fee for City-provided solid waste management services at a future date. Before the City could adopt a fee, the City would be required to conduct a study to determine the City’s cost to provide the services. Under state law, the fee charged by the City could not exceed the City’s cost to provide the services and would be adopted at a public meeting. Any proposed fee would be subject to the majority protest procedures under the California Constitution and would require City Council approval, through the same procedures used for sewer or water rate increases. The fee could include extra related services or materials such as replacement containers.
The measure would clarify that the City may provide solid waste management services, to City facilities, parks, beaches, and City-managed property, using City employees or hired contractors.
The measure would allow the City to enter private property to assist residents with solid waste management services under the Americans with Disabilities Act and would delete outdated language regarding hold harmless agreements and disposal fees. This measure was proposed by members of the City Council, who voted to place it on the ballot.
Source: City Attorney's Impartial Analysis of Measure B