An audit suggest that the city needs to do more to boost recycling efforts. About a quarter of recyclable trash is recycled.

The ballot measure that would take a step toward repealing “The People’s Ordinance” trash collection model in the city of San Diego remained in limbo Tuesday, with updated returns showing the result too close to call.

Opponents of the measure were leading by 1,030 votes out of more than 374,000 counted. The county Registrar of Voters estimated Tuesday that there were still 80,000 ballots to be counted.

Measure B’s passage would allow the City Council to adopt a monthly fee for single-family homes and multi-family complexes with up to four residences on a single lot. The measure would not impose a specific fee on its own. Such a fee would require a study to determine the city’s costs to provide the services, as well as City Council approval.

Supporters say the measure would end a system that allowed a benefit for certain residents, while those living in apartments or condos have to pay for private haulers. According to the ballot argument in support of the measure, its passage would “fix this broken and unfair system so San Diego can start delivering better services for all of us, like bulky item pickup and free replacement of broken trash bins.”

Opponents say homeowners already pay for trash pickup through property taxes and thus would be charged twice for the same service if Measure B passes.

“San Diegans already have one of the highest cost of living burdens in the nation and we should not be adding to the existing burdens of working families with this costly garbage tax,” opponents said in their ballot argument.

–City News Service



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Ellen Bullock