Del Mar community faced with trash cans repeatedly damaged by city workers

DEL MAR (KUSI) — Some people in the Del Mar community have found damaged trash cans, toppled over in their neighborhood week after week.

“Over the years, the trash cans have just become broken,” said Britt Rubenstein.

“I started taking them out and I noticed it was broken a lot,” said Lily Rubenstein. “I’m like, ‘Mom why is it broke?’

The Rubenstein’s trash can doesn’t look functional any longer. The duct tape is barely holding the trash can together. They only had it for about four months before it started falling apart.

“I’ll have to replace that again,” said Britt.

So what mysteriously happened to the trash cans in the neighborhood?

Well, one day Lily fired up her drone, unaware of what she would find strolling through her neighborhood.

She recorded video of a trash truck doing his job. The truck picked up the trash cans, but that’s not all. The collection vehicle didn’t stop and didn’t put the cans back where they were found.

“They violently pick them up and throw them up and they come hurling back down and get slammed on the cement,” Britt said. “It’s plastic. There’s only so much that it’s going to withhold.”

“Reckless. It looked like he really didn’t care,” Lily said. “They were literally falling over, dropping in the middle of the driveway. He was leaving before the mechanism was finished putting the cans down.”

Lily posted the video on a social media site and nearly 50 neighbors weighed in. According to their posts, they all felt the same way.

“It’s all people complaining about how their trash cans broke,” Lily said. “It’s people who had to buy three or four replacements. It gets expensive. Who wants to spend that much money on a trash can?”

The people in the neighborhood said they are fed up, especially because they are the ones paying for these. It costs $100 for one trash can.

According to the Rubensteins, the City told them it’s their responsibility to replace the damaged cans.

“It literally makes no sense that we’re responsible for it when they’re destroying it,” Lily said.

This is their fourth trash can, which adds up to a total of $400.

“To a lot of communities out there, $90 a month can be the difference between having enough money to pay for rent or not,” Lily said.

KUSI Reporter Dani Ruberti spoke to the City of San Diego and they responded quickly.

The ESD Collection Services Division Deputy Director sent KUSI a statement that read,

“The City of San Diego Environmental Services Department takes reports of alleged container damage and issues of safety very seriously.  In fact, our priority is safety first, second and always.  Sanitation drivers are trained on proper collection techniques both in terms of using the arm on the truck to lift and dump the container contents as well as proper placement of the container following service.

We greatly appreciate residents bringing this to our attention and we are addressing this matter to ensure drivers remain diligent and responsible for the safety and the treatment/care of refuse containers.  The City’s Collection Services Safety Program emphasizes both safe operations and respect for equipment, including the inventory of containers in service.”

Categories: Local San Diego News