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Customers able to utilize landfills for free amid sanitation worker strike

Republic Services says Otay, Sycamore landfills available
Posted at 6:09 AM, Dec 23, 2021

CHULA VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) - There's something happening in Chula Vista and other parts of San Diego County — it's not just Christmas spirit.

"The trash situation has been a bit difficult,” said Chula Vista resident Linda Vasquez.

Keith Durr, who also lives in Chula Vista, said, "There was a delay last week."

"At this point, it's manageable. However, as the holidays come, it's going to obviously build-up,” Chris Castro, another Chula Vista resident, said.

Roughly 250 sanitation employees are on strike, wanting better working conditions and wages from their company, Republic Services.

The company, which does trash pickup for those in Chula Vista and other parts of the county, said starting Thursday, until further notice, their customers in those areas are able take their trash to the Otay Landfill (1700 Maxwell Road, Chula Vista) and Sycamore Landfill (8514 Mast Boulevard, Santee) free of charge.

Something that doesn't sit too well folks in Chula Vista.

"It's disappointing. We are paying for these services,” Vasquez said. "Not everybody has the capability of doing that. So that's a concern. It's the holidays; that's like the last thing you want to have on your list of things to do."

"Yeah, no good. No good,” Durr said.

ABC 10News reached out to Republic Services about the new option due to some services being delayed with the strike. The company sent the following statement:

“Beginning Thursday, December 23, and until further notice, free trash and recycling disposal for self-hauling is available at Otay and Sycamore Landfills for Republic residential service customers in the City of Chula Vista and in the unincorporated areas of San Diego County. Customers will be asked to present their Republic account invoice at the landfill for free disposal. We apologize for this inconvenience and will continue to work hard to restore normal services as soon as possible.”

The company added: “Republic Services is encouraged that negotiations have resumed with the union representing our San Diego employees and we hope to make progress toward a competitive contract that is fair for all. We respect the rights of our employees to engage in the collective bargaining process and continue to negotiate in good faith to achieve fair and competitive labor contracts.”

That's what people hope happens sooner rather than later.

"Absolutely, you don't want to have any kind of distraction,” Castro said.

"I don't know what's on the plate as far as to come to an agreement. But, I think they really need to work together to come to a consensus,” Vasquez said.