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CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8 | cbs8.com

A side effect of the COVID-19 pandemic | More trash at landfill

"For the period March to October we have seen an increase of 11% from the same time last year," Hasan Yousef said.

SAN DIEGO β€” One of the many side effects of this COVID pandemic is taking place at San Diego's landfill and the increase of volume coming in.

Hasan Yousef, Assistant Director, Environmental Services Department for the City of San Diego explains how they have been dealing with the increase. 

"For the period March to October we have seen an increase of 11% from the same time last year," Hasan said.

Hasan attributes the increase in waste at the Miramar landfill directly to the stay-at-home orders issued by the state because of the pandemic. The amount of recyclables has also increased to the point where collections were falling behind. 

"People are staying at home and shopping, there are a lot of gift boxes being thrown in the blue bins," he said. "We're going to be there the very first thing the following morning to pick it up. We are keeping up with all of these increases even with the impact from COVID that impacted all of our lives."

To reduce volume into the landfill Yousef says it can be as simple as what you make for your family to eat.

"Cook what you need to eat in a day or 2 so you don't end up thrown more stuff out," he said.

Keeping more organic material out of the landfill will help to reduce the methane gas in the atmosphere. 

Another way to limit what goes into the landfill is to know more about what can go in the blue recycle bins.

"Separate the trash from the recyclables and avoid having that trash going into the landfill," Hasan said. "We can probably recycle 90% of the trash. All the boxes, plastics, bottles -that go in the blue bin. Only throw in the trash what can't be recyclable."

All your garden trimming should go in the green bins if you have them.

If you find you are overfilling your blue bin, there is some good news.

"Request a new container, it's free of charge. There's a delivery fee if it's delivered but if you pick it up, it's free of charge," Hasan recommended.