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Sanitation strike continues in San Diego as the garbage piles high

San Diego sanitation workers entered their 18th day of striking against Republic Services on Tuesday; negotiations are set to resume Wednesday

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — You may have noticed it in your neighborhood, overflowing cans and dumpsters after weeks of no trash pickup around San Diego. CBS 8's audience has shared pictures around the city of what it looks like when the garbage piles up.

Lead by Teamsters Local 542, more than 250 sanitation workers from Republic Services have been on strike for 18 days. Their demands- better wages, safer working conditions, and new and improved trash trucks.

On the picket lines Tuesday outside of a Republic facility, sanitation worker Laderer Hampton expressed his frustration with the company and the lack of respect he feels he and his coworkers are getting.

"Some of us work six days a week to make the money that we want to make," said Hampton "It's a very dangerous job. I've inhaled some type of mold fungus where I had to be in the hospital for eight days." 

While negotiations between the teamsters and Republic Services were on hold for the holiday season- the two parties were back at the negotiating table Tuesday. The union representative who spoke to CBS 8 said that talks can be intense and can go on for days. The rep said they have already scheduled a time to sit down with Republic and federal union negotiators Wednesday.

In a statement to CBS 8, Republic Services wrote: 

"Republic Services is operating on our regular trash collection schedule this week in Chula Vista with the help of our Blue Crew relief drivers, and we continue to make progress with servicing our customers. All accumulated trash will be collected. We remain committed to bargaining in good faith for a contract that is fair for all."

 In the meantime, garbage will continue to pile up around the city. While Hampton and other Republic employees strike for a better deal.

"I just hope Republic comes up with a solution so we can end this," says Hampton "so that we can go back to work and do what we do best and serve the community and clean up all the trash that's out there."

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

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