The city of Chula Vista is set to declare a public health emergency next week as a garbage collection workers strike leaves trash piles around the city. Meanwhile, residents are still being billed for trash pickup.
"They treat us like trash," said Steve Monroe, who said he hasn't had his trash picked up in a while. "They don't care. I'll help my neighbors out, you know. The ones next door and across the street, we look out for each other."
But, Monroe said, he's not sure why he should pay for trash pickup that never happened because of the ongoing labor dispute at Republic Services.
"I'm not going to pay for it," Monroe said. "They owe us two or three weeks for not picking the trash up."
Monroe isn't the only one who feels that way. NBC 7 spoke with several other residents who also said they didn't think they should have to pay their bills, feelings are echoed by some on the Chula Vista City Council.
"I've asked the city manager, and I made a statement to Republic that I would like to see a full month credit to families, and businesses small and large, schools and school districts: everyone," Councilwoman Jill Galvez said.
Galvez said that, since pests are a concern, city staff have been collecting trash from some parts of the city.
"Another issue folks are bringing up are pests," Galvez said. "With so much trash, overflowing trash cans and dumpsters, it's a problem that residents say will only get worse with each day."
NBC 7 reached out to Republic Services. A company representative said it is doing everything it can to help people affected by the labor dispute:
"Republic Services understands our customers’ concerns, and we are continuing to consider the issue of customer credits. We also continue to add relief crews to help support customers and collect accumulated waste."