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Overflowing trash leads to public health emergency in Chula Vista

trash em 5.jpg
Alexandra Rangel / KPBS
Rene Dominguez points at the trash pile up at the apartment complex he works at near East Orange Avenue in Chula Vista on Jan. 12, 2022.

A public health emergency has been declared in Chula Vista with no end in sight of the Republic Services trash hauler's strike.

The work stoppage has led to an overflow of garbage around the south bay community that the trash hauler hasn’t been able to keep up with.

Trash cans filled to the brim can be seen in almost every neighborhood in Chula Vista.


It’s been nearly a month of trash piling up and residents call it a health hazard.

“The infestation of all that trash just piled up in one place, we're talking maggots, animals coming around and just the air being polluted in this little space," Resident Tito Mays said.

RELATED: All options on table as Chula Vista looks to end Republic Services trash strike

He lives in an apartment complex near East Orange Avenue and he and his neighbors are taking a proactive approach.

They are getting tired of seeing their kids play outside right next to an overflowing dump.


“We’re gonna try and put our money together. I'm gonna call my buddies and we’ll try to haul it out to the landfill,” Mays said.

The building next door is also dealing with the same issues.

Rene Dominguez is paying an outside company to haul trash to the landfill.

“It’s become a health problem for everybody," he said.

This is why Chula Vista city council member Jill Galvez said a public health emergency has been declared by the city manager.

Overflowing trash leads to Public Health Emergency in Chula Vista

She issued a twitter statement on Wednesday saying the city would be invoking the self help clause of their contract with Republic Services.

She said city workers have started to pick up overflowing trash at multi-family housing complexes and a plan for vector control will be put in place.

The declaration is expected to be ratified at Tuesday’s city council meeting.

Nearly 250 Sanitation workers at Republic Services are still on strike. They say they’re not going back to work until they get a contract they think is fair.