As the economy slows down, so does the amount of trash being thrown out by consumers, which is good and bad.
It's good news because less space is being used at the Miramar Landfill. But it also means the city is collecting less money in disposal fees.
Last month, haulers brought in 66,000 tons of trash to the landfill, but that's a 12 percent decline from the same time the year before.
Blame it on the economy.
Consumers have been cutting back on eating out, leading to a reduction in food waste, which typically uses up more landfill space than any other category of trash. Disposal rates at Miramar are on track to be the lowest in 15 years. That won't help the city as leaders deal with budget issues. Citywide trash pick up fees are among ideas being considered.
Another option? Cutting services to make up for the reduction in landfill usage fees, called tipping fees.
Of course people are recycling more, which also has an effect on the landfill. In 2008, California had the highest recycling rate in the nation, according to the state's waste management board.