Dumpsters near Civic Center have become eyesore

Mauricio Julian Cuellar Jr., Alice Echo-News Journal

Due to the closure of the Alice Landfill last week, the City of San Diego was unable to dispose of their trash.

The city also disposes of much of the county household trash, which has piled up over the last few weeks behind the San Diego Civic Center.

For homeowners on East Collins, the sight has become a large eyesore and for resident Linda Trevino, a health hazard.

"I put up with this trash every morning. I've lived here for 30 years. I pay my taxes and I have to live with these dumpsters sitting in front of my house," Trevino said. "I'm giving the city two weeks, then I'm getting a lawyer to deal with this."

Trevino said she's called the city numerous times since February to complain about the three dumpsters situated behind the civic center, which is across the street from her home. She said ever since the city gave permission to the county to set trash out there, the dumpsters have been overflowing with trash scattered across the street and onto her property.

"There are bags there on the ground, and the trash blows over her on my property and I have to pick up other people's trash with my hands. My house looks like a crack house. Every time I open a window or open my door, the smell comes in. I can't even eat because the smell makes me nauseous," Trevino said. "I even get anxiety attacks now because of this."

Trevino's neighbor down the street, Ramon Saenz said that the trash problem affects the entire neighborhood, and he has no idea why people would continue dumping at that location.

"You'd think that if they see it full, they'd stop putting it there, but people just keep coming and piling it on," Saenz said.

San Diego Mayor Alonzo Lopez said that the city had been keeping up with trash disposal, until the heavy rains a few weeks ago, which closed the Alice and Robstown Landfills. He said that conditions were so wet there that trucks could get stuck at the landfills, so they decided to close the landfills until they dry out.

"Right now we're trying to catch up on everything. Our trucks couldn't get into the landfill because of the rain, and when we were almost caught up, the rain came again last week. I know we've had complaints, but if our trucks are full, there's nothing we can do about it," Lopez said.

The Alice Landfill opened once again earlier this week, and Lopez said that service will resume and that the trash will be removed as soon as possible.