Republic Services Begins Reimbursing Chula Vista for Garbage Strike Costs

Republic Services began reimbursing Chula Vista for costs incurred by the city during a month-long strike, city officials said last week.

The waste hauler paid the city $16,600 for direct third-party costs, city attorney Glen Googins said at a city council meeting on Tuesday.

Republic services and the city reached an agreement on June 13, six months after sanitation workers went on strike in December to protest stalled contract talks.

After several closed city council meetings, the first public announcement of the deal came at a June 14 council meeting, where city manager Maria Kachadoorian provided brief details on the contract.

Chula Vista spent about $107,000 on equipment and for its own staff and third parties, such as nonprofits Alpha Project and McAlister Institute, to pick up trash due to the work stoppage, according to a bill from repayment. As part of the settlement, Republic was to pay the city $16,600 for direct third-party costs. The waste hauler is also required to provide the city with no less than $90,000 in services, such as waste collection on various types of municipal properties, projects or events, and studies to determine how to reduce waste on the municipal properties.

Googins said the waste hauler has also started providing services that “would be offset by this credit ($90,000) that we have.” Last week the company helped the town with a homeless encampment clean-up project and next week it is expected to undertake an effort to remove tires from the bottom of the Otay Valley River.

Chula Vista still assesses $1 million in customer credits that Republic said it completed, Googins added. A July 12 memo the company sent to the city showed $806,000 went to residential customers, $227,000 to commercial and $1,600 to industrial. Customers only receive a 46% discount, according to the agreement.

The city attorney also publicly responded to a letter his office received from an attorney on behalf of resident Russ Hall, alleging the city violated disclosure laws by falsely “reporting” the settlement.

“Based on the actions taken by City Council and the investigation we conducted into the allegations made, my office has concluded that no violation of the Brown Law has occurred and that no further action with respect thereto has occurred. was needed,” Googins said.

At the meeting, attorney John Moot spoke on Hall’s behalf. He said the resident called on council to hire an outside firm to independently audit the city’s management of the settlement.

Council members said they understand the community’s frustration at not receiving full refunds. A majority said they thought the settlement was a better option than pursuing legal action against Republic Services over its franchise agreement.

City council in March voted 3-1 in a closed meeting where they delegated authority to Kachadoorian to reach a settlement with terms agreed to by council behind closed doors. Galvez voted “no” and Padilla was out. Last week, Padilla said he would also have voted in opposition.