SAN DIEGO, Calif. (KGTV)- Sanitation workers with Republic Services remained on strike Thursday as negotiations continued.
The City of San Diego is now asking residents and businesses dealing with trash piling up to contact the company directly to request a pick-up.
The company has set up an email account to address collection requests by customers impacted by the strike; that address is CustomerServiceSD@RepublicServices.com.
Republic Services also tells ABC 10News, “For those with an urgent issue, we encourage customers to contact Republic Services directly at 619-421-9400. We are operating on our regular residential trash collection schedule in Chula Vista with the help of our Blue Crew relief drivers and continue to make progress with servicing our customers.”
The City of San Diego said its Environmental Services Department had been inundated with phone calls from residents asking for their trash to be picked up.
“Residents that live in apartment complexes, condos, and have businesses that don’t get serviced by the City of San Diego, but they’re not aware of that, so they call us,” said Jose Ysea, a spokesperson for the city. “They can contact them directly to get trash picked up, and we really encourage them to do that.”
Ysea said the city worries about the trash overflow creating a public health concern. "You leave trash out it starts to rot, at night we have animals that come in and tear it apart," he said. "The other issue is all these rain events we've been having the trash gets into the storm drains."
More than 250 sanitation workers authorized a strike nearly two weeks ago. They’re asking for better wages and have not reached an agreement with the company.
“We’re all here for the same reason; we’re here for a better contract,” said Ricardo Gonzalez, a worker on the picket line in Kearny Mesa Thursday. San Diego isn’t cheap; we all have family, we all have bills to pay, and everything is increasing, so why can’t they increase our pay as well?”
Republic Services told ABC 10News they did not have anyone available for an interview Thursday but sent the following statement. “
Republic Services is encouraged that negotiations with the union resumed today. We continue to make progress with trash collection for our customers with the help of our Blue Crew relief drivers. We remain committed to bargaining in good faith in an effort to reach a fair agreement.”