Trash bins in University Heights
Trash bins are out for pick up in an alley of the University Heights neighborhood. (Zoë Meyers/inewsource)

San Diegans voted last month to allow the city to charge for trash collection services that many property owners and residents have been enjoying for free.

Measure B, which passed by a narrow percentage-point margin according to certified results released Thursday, does not actually impose a specific fee on the city’s waste customers. City leaders will have to adopt a fee and decide how much to charge customers later. The city has not charged a fee for trash collection services in more than 100 years.

inewsource ad

But customers have a while to wait until they see any bills for trash pickup. The city must first enact a fee, which will take time while the city does a cost analysis. City leaders say it could be a couple years, if not more, before the city is charging for trash service.

San Diego is just one of three municipalities in California with a population of at least 7,000 that hasn’t charged residents a fee specifically for trash pickup. When a new fee takes effect, it will be the first time in more than 100 years the city has charged for trash pickup. 

Council President Sean Elo-Rivera, who pushed the ballot measure with Councilmember Joe LaCava, said that the passage of Measure B is a win for the city. 

“I hope that this will encourage folks to try things before they just assume that they’re impossible,” Elo-Rivera told inewsource on a media call.

“It’s not as if people had run Measure Bs for the past two decades, and they’d been landslide losses every time: No one had tried. We weren’t surprised by the result. We believed in the voter’s ability to see this for what it is.”

Read the full article on

Get investigative reporting in your inbox. Sign up for inewsource’s newsletters.