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Residents find other ways to dump their trash as sanitation strike continues

More than 250 workers from Republic Services are still on the picket line.

SAN DIEGO — The sanitation strike continued this week in Chula Vista and parts of San Diego. Some residents have been dumping trash themselves at local landfills and now apartment complexes are also finding alternative ways to get rid of their trash.

On Tuesday, the trash bin areas at a large apartment complex in Serra Mesa off Ruffin Road were overflowing with garbage but management hired an outside company, landscapers Emma Landcare, to remove the trash Wednesday. It took the workers hours to remove trash that began overflowing last week. More than 250 workers from Republic Services are still on the picket line.

“It’s not that anybody can go in, get on a truck and go pick up trash. It doesn’t work that way. We have people that have been working there for almost 40 years. You know, very well experienced people and that serve the community as proud as the first day that they started working there,” said Jaime Vasquez, Local 542 Secretary-Treasurer.  

Republic Services released a statement notifying its customers that, this week, they can take their trash directly to local landfills in Otay and Sycamore. Christmas tree disposal is also allowed, and residents must have a Republic Services invoice if they want to dump their trash for free.

“They are upset but when we talk to them, they always tell us that 'hey we wish you good luck and we wish you get what you guys are entitled to.' So, we are getting a lot of support. And yes, there are a few who don’t agree with what we’re doing but I think that’s a minority,” Vasquez said. 

Landfill operating hours are every day from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Otay and Sycamore. The landfills will close at 3 p.m. on Friday, New Year’s Eve.

San Diego’s City-operated landfill in Miramar is also open Monday thru Saturday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“Our members know that they’re not going to get paid while they’re out. So, it’s one of the most important decisions that they’ve ever made," said Vasquez. 

He said Republic did make a financial offer to the strikers and they’ve submitted a counteroffer, but it hasn’t been accepted yet. The two parties plan to get back to negotiations Thursday morning at 8 a.m.

The City of San Diego encourages residents and businesses to contact Republic Services to address the trash pileup.

"Residents and businesses in the City of San Diego affected by private trash hauler Republic Services’ labor dispute are being advised to contact the company directly to request collection service. Republic has set up an email account specifically to address individual pick-up requests by customers whose trash is piling up during the worker strike at CustomerServiceSD@RepublicServices.com."

WATCH RELATED: Chula Vista residents speak about sanitation strike as trash piles up 

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