"Obnoxious" trash truck litters cozy neighborhood

Posted at 5:55 PM, Feb 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-09 20:55:30-05

KGTV (SAN DIEGO) - Stunned neighbors in Mission Hills woke up Wednesday morning to a trash truck "going rogue," leaving a trail of cracked recycling bins and trash.

The unusual sight piled up near Fort Stockton Drive and Pine Street, home to a bevy of well-kept houses, some historic.  Early Wednesday, Tami Ratliffe looked out her kitchen window and saw the arm on a city trash truck reaching for her recycling bin.

"When it clamped down on the can, it exploded the can with glass, cardboard and other recyclables flying out," said Ratliffe.

Ratliffe says it left a large crack in the back of the bin. She and other neighbors describe a line of damaged bins and recyclables along four blocks of Pine Street.

Near the end of that street, Lilia Valeeva says she saw the trash truck violently shake another bin, spilling glass into the yard and driveway.  She says the driver came out, picked up a few items before driving off.  An hour later, Don Jackson - the owner of that home - would pull into the driveway, before discovering a shard of glass in the rear tire of his Tesla.

There was no serious damage, but plenty of concerns.  10news brought those complaints to the city. Hours later, residents got a response.
"The gentleman from Environmental Services called and apologized, and said he would take care of any broken bin," said Jackson.

A city spokesperson tells 10news the driver, a newer one, is being retrained.  Neighbors tell us at least five bins were damaged.  A city spokesperson didn't reveal exactly what went wrong, but says it doesn't appear any equipment malfunctioned.