Efforts to reverse Sanders' plan for paid trash collection begin - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Efforts to reverse Sanders' plan for paid trash collection begins

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Opponents of Mayor Jerry Sanders' plan to end free trash collection to about 14,000 homes on private roads, in an effort to save money, will try to reverse the action Monday.

The city requires what are called "hold harmless" agreements to limit the liability of garbage haulers who enter private property to collect refuse, and Sanders has notified the affected residents that he is revoking more than 100 of the contracts as of July 1, when the new fiscal year starts.

The mayor's office estimates a savings of $880,000 to the cash-strapped general fund.

"That's money that obviously could go to public safety, libraries and recreations," Tony Young, the City Council president, said last week.

The move created a firestorm of opposition from council members and affected residents, who will have to pay for someone to collect their trash. David Alvarez, Carl DeMaio, Sherri Lightner and Lori Zapf voted to attempt an over-ride at a March meeting of the Natural Resources and Culture Committee.

DeMaio, spearheading the opposition, said residents already pay for municipal refuse collection via taxes and fees.

About 58 percent of San Diego's households enjoy free trash collection. More than 200,000 -- mostly apartments and condominiums -- have to pay for such service. Their total includes about 30,000 residences on private streets built after 1986, according to Young.

The city's Independent Budget Analyst, which officials rely upon for council on possible financial consequences of their decisions, came out in favor of the mayor's plan.

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