City of San Diego brings new, free bins and rolling dumpsters to most flood-impacted streets

One Beta Street resident tells NBC 7 the new bins are nice — but the recovery bills keep coming

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A group of workers from the City of San Diego’s Environmental Services Department went door-to-door in the Southcrest neighborhood on Saturday, connecting residents with resources and giving them new trash, compost and recycling bins.

“We understand that some containers may have blown down or floated down the streets because of the storm and so we want to make it as easy and fast as possible to replace those broken or missing containers,” Andrea Deleon, the interim deputy director of the department’s waste reduction division, told NBC 7.

Deleon was part of a team that met with people on Beta Street. They would ask if people needed any trash services or collection and offer to give them new, no-cost bins.

"[They] could be up to $95,” she said. “$70 for the container itself, but $25 in addition if you want to have it delivered to your home.”

A large truck with dozens of bins followed the teams as they canvassed the area. If one was requested, they would offload it, attach the wheels, take down the resident’s information, write the address on the new bins, then drop them off wherever the owner wanted.

“I’ve seen how, how tough this can be for someone who takes a lot of pride in their neighborhood and their community,” Deleon said. “And they’re devastated.”

Due to the damage at many of the homes, some residents weren’t there when the personnel visited, so they left flyers attached to doors. Part of the reason why they chose a weekend was in hopes of catching more residents who might otherwise be at work or school, according to Jose Ysea, a public information officer with the city.

The City of San Diego also placed large rolling bins or dumpsters along select streets to make construction and demolition debris removal more simple. They are for items like drywall, insulation and furniture, but cannot handle what’s considered “household hazardous waste” like appliances, electronics and treated wood. 

“We’re making our services available as fast as we can and we’re listening to the community,” Deleon said.

NBC 7 spoke with some of the residents in Southcrest who were receiving the bins and information from workers in both English and Spanish. One of them, Julietta Del Rio who has lived in that area for almost 40 years, said the help with trash is good — but it's not enough.

“It helps, but the family no need this now,” Del Rio said. “You know, the bank no stop the payments, no cars, no house, no nothing.”

She explained that it is a low-income neighborhood where rebuilding the homes will not come easily. She also shared that she has been approached by realtors several times.

“I’m feeling mad. I sometimes cry,” she said, while holding back tears. “I live in San Diego for years and I cannot believe that I, in my life, am doing this in San Diego.”

She was one of dozens of people on Beta Street cleaning, hauling and pushing forward despite nearly a month of uncertainty.

“Day by day,” she said.

For more information on the city’s debris assistance program or any other flood-related recovery, click here.

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