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Trash piles up in Chula Vista as rainy weather reaches San Diego County

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Posted at 5:13 PM, Dec 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-23 21:38:20-05

SAN DIEGO, CA (KGTV)— As rain moves into San Diego County Thursday, there could be a potential mess on residential streets where trash has not yet been picked up.

In Chula Vista, some homes had trash, recycling, and yard waste bins filling up Thursday, as sanitation workers remained on strike and did not empty the containers on the days of regular service.

The homes are served by Republic Services, where more than 200 employees have been on strike since last week. Teamsters Local 542 say they are trying to negotiate better wages, working conditions, and benefits with the company but haven’t reached an agreement as of Thursday.

A union spokesperson says negotiations between Teamsters Local 542 broke off without an offer to present to employees. The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services have been made aware.

They added that the strike would continue into Friday and Christmas Day until a fair offer is obtained.

“I hope the workers get what they want,” said Chula Vista resident JT Weary. His trash was picked up on Tuesday, but his recycling bin is still full.

“It’s just my one recyclable; I can handle it, take it to the dump myself if I need to. I support the workers,” said Weary.

The City of Chula Vista announced that single-family residents would continue to have their black trash bins picked up on their usual day of service, but not the recycling or yard waste bins.

“They came and picked up on the other side the black ones, which is the trash, so they picked up those on Tuesday, but not our side of the street,” said Resident Heidi Castillo.

Castillo pointed out that half of the street had their trash bins empty, while the other half did not.

The City of Chula Vista told residents and businesses that they could take their trash, recyclables, and yard waste to the Otay Landfill on Maxwell Rd free of charge.

Republic Services tells ABC 10News that other customers dealing with this can also use the Sycamore Landfill free of charge, and
“Customers will be asked to present their Republic account invoice at the landfill for free disposal.”

However, some residents, like Castillo, tell us they would rather wait to have it picked up and hope the employees on strike get what they want.

“It’s fine with me. I can wait until Tuesday, I don’t have much in there, but a lot of people do,” she said.

“I’m paying for trash service, and they’re supposed to come and pick it up, and I’m not going to take the trash down there, even the recyclables if they want to pick it up fine. If not, that’s okay until they get their things squared away.”

Republic Services sent ABC 10News the following statement:

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.

Republic Services has made themselves available for mediation, which will take place on Christmas Eve.