CHULA VISTA, Calif. – Trash service has resumed now that a Republic Services sanitation workers’ strike has come to an end. But at least for customers in the South Bay, the mess is far from over.
On Tuesday night, Chula Vista City Council members called on Republic to credit customers for skipped service.
“It’s not over yet,” Chula Vista Mayor Mary Casillas Salas said. “It definitely is not over. Certainly, our customers don’t think that it’s over and I have to let you know that in all of this chaos that was created blame can’t be put on the strike. The blame has to be put on Republic.”
Republic gave an update to the council and said the goal is to get back to normal operations within about two weeks. As work resumed Tuesday, drivers ran all routes on the commercial side. On the residential side of things, trash now is being picked up but green waste collection will start next week.
There are typically 66 routes in Chula Vista, which were cut down to 40 or less during the strike.
The city also voted unanimously to ratify the local emergency caused by the tense month of negotiations and will keep city teams in place throughout the week, putting in the extra work to help alleviate the trash pileup.
As of Tuesday, the city reports workers have cleared more than 146,000 pounds of waste.
Republic Services said drivers will be working through Saturday, putting in the overtime as well.
“We’re committed to cleaning up the city after this unforeseeable unplanned event,” said Darrell Reno, director of operations for Republic Services. “We apologize for it happening and we’re very disappointed.”
As to the issue of crediting the customers, Republic Services said since customers were impacted differently, they don’t have an answer or a plan just yet. They are promising to give city leaders an update.