by Courtesy.

The city of Chula Vista rose to a Public Health Emergency this Thursday due to the accumulated garbage after more than a month with irregularities in collection services.

The City of Chula Vista can waive its contract with Republic Services and independently make its own decisions to resolve the situation under the emergency declaration proposed by Councilmember Jill Galvez. 

Councilmember Galvez said the situation is clearly an emergency because residents have found pests and vermin in the accumulated garbage. The accumulated waste has also attracted large flocks of crows. 

Galvez said that crews of city workers are going to take charge of removing the garbage, and they are going to prioritize apartment and multi-family units that, for the most part, have garbage that has accumulated since the holidays.

“It is absolutely unacceptable," Galvez said.

The Public Health Emergency went into effect Wednesday night and will be tentatively set until Feb.18.

City employees who monitor parks and crews of Public Works will initially participate. 

The city is going to pay its crews with a million-dollar bonus from the contract with Republic Services. The employees will collect all the garbage thrown around the containers and the company will be responsible for picking it up. 

The council decided to declare the state of emergency behind closed doors after last Tuesday's hearing at City Hall. The council will ratify the decision next Tuesday. 

Over the weekend, Mayor Mary Casillas Salas said Republic had promised to regularize garbage collection on Jan. 10, but as of Thursday, the company had not fulfilled its commitment in various areas of the city.

Many residents have asked for days off from their jobs to personally transport the waste to the city dump managed by Republic Services in their own vehicles, where they are met with increasingly long lines at the entrance.

The emergency declaration was made by Chula Vista City Manager Maria Kachadoorian, who also mentioned the garbage that has exceeded the containers in public parks in the city.

Kachadoorian said the office has received hundreds of phone calls and emails mentioning garbage piling up in their residences since Dec. 20.

About 250 workers at Arizona-based Republic Services went on strike in December demanding better working conditions. The company reported profits of 972 million dollars on the stock market in the first three quarters of 2021 alone, as confirmed in an inquiry by Chula Vista Today.

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