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Trash piles up in San Diego County while sanitation worker strike continues

Republic Services is making some progress with trash collection schedules throughout San Diego County, but some pickups are still delayed.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — While the sanitation worker strike continues over union contract negotiations, Republic Services has brought in a team of Blue Crew relief drivers, which is their national response team of drivers and mechanics from around the country.  

According to Republic Services, they’re making some progress with trash collection schedules throughout San Diego County, but some pickups are still delayed. 

“It was pretty gross to say the least,” said University Heights resident, Daniel Wong.  

He noticed trash piling up in and around dumpsters and trash cans in his alleyway for several weeks until it was picked up Thursday morning. 

“Overflowing trash, just piled way higher than it should be,” said Wong. “It was piled up next to it, in front of it, on the side of it.” 

Trash pickups were still delayed Thursday in other parts of San Diego serviced by Republic. 

“It's just bags stacked around the outside of the can, and the cans are overflowing with the lids up,” said Normal Heights resident, Brian Weibel. “It’s a mess. The longer this goes, the worse it’s going to get.” 

“The biggest concern for our residents and businesses who aren’t getting their trash collected is health and safety,” said Jose Ysea, spokesperson for the City of San Diego.   

He wants to make sure people know that San Diego’s Environmental Services Department only handles trash pickups for single-family homes. 

Most apartment buildings and businesses use private trash collection services like Republic or EDCO. 

Republic Services encourages any customers with urgent trash issues to contact their main customer service line at 619-421-9400 or email CustomerServiceSD@RepublicServices.com to arrange emergency pickups. 

During rainy weather, it’s especially important to keep trash contained. 

“Overflowing trash can clog our storm drains and create backups,” said Ysea. “It can flow out into our bays and oceans and create problems.” 

WATCH RELATED: Residents find other ways to dump their trash as sanitation strike continues (December 2021)

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