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Chula Vista city crews start clearing overflowing trash, residents wait their turn

Posted at 5:42 PM, Jan 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-14 20:42:19-05

CHULA VISTA, Calif. (KGTV)- The City of Chula Vista has started sending out its own staff and contractors from the Work for Hope program to pick up overflowing trash around the city.

The crews are grabbing excess trash near dumpsters and hauling it to the Otay Landfill. They will continue their work into the weekend.

This comes as sanitation workers with Republic Services remain on strike for the fourth week.

Residents and management at the Woodlawn Gardens apartments in Chula Vista are still dealing with mountains of trash overflowing from three dumpsters.

They say it has been neglected for several weeks, although other nearby locations have been serviced more frequently.

“It’s causing a big mess; the other day, I heard there were skunks out here by the dumpster, and I know there’s some raccoons. I saw them early this morning, so it’s disgusting,” said resident Robert Lewis who said the complex usually is very clean.

A Republic Services truck drove through the area Friday, passing by the overflowing trash, but did not stop.

The apartment manager said she has reached out to the city for help or guidance and is waiting to hear back.

Republic Services and Teamsters local 542, the union representing the sanitation workers, have not set a date for the next time they plan to negotiate.

A special public Chula Vista City Council meeting was scheduled for 4 p.m. Friday to vote on ratifying a local emergency declaration by the city manager. The meeting was delayed due to technical issues with the live stream.

As for the City of San Diego, Mayor Todd Gloria plans to take action if the situation isn’t resolved soon. He sent the following statement Friday afternoon:

With no resolution after weeks of negotiation between Republic Services and its striking workers, my office has given the company until Monday before escalating action to compel the trash hauler to meet their obligations under their franchise agreement. The situation as it stands is unacceptable and a public health and safety threat. I have supported and encouraged compromise. My next steps are fining the company, pursuing their performance bond and asking the City Council for authorization to seek an injunction to force compliance with terms of the agreement, which include weekly pickup and recycling of green and solid waste. Further options are suspension and termination of the franchise.