Mr. Mayor: Hire a Trash Czar

by on June 7, 2021 · 21 comments

in Ocean Beach, San Diego

More on Mayor’s “Get It Done” App.

By Colleen O’Connor

At the beginning of April, the OB Rag posted several photos of trashy streets where I strongly suggested that the Mayor hire a Trash Czar.

Those featured spots were cleaned up within days.  An admirable result.  It hasn’t lasted.

As even Governor Newsom has argued, “California has become too damn dirty.”  And that includes the City of San Diego.

See: the new sample photos below taken this week.

Multiple ugly piles of refuse and garbage exist, and are multiplying, especially in the downtown area. The clean-up efforts are minimal and sporadic at best.

No City clean-up crews in sight. No street sweepers or chemical power-washing machines deployed as happened during the last hepatitis outbreak.

Any concerns about COVID-19?  Another Hepatitis flareup?  Contamination, parasites, and/or illnesses from defecation?  Evidently not.

Even with boatloads of money coming from Sacramento and Washington, D.C., some San Diego politicians focus on the expansion of a money-losing Convention Center.  Perhaps, it is because they never walk their own neighborhoods and see what their constituents see.  “Too damn dirty.”

In the midst of a pandemic and super-spreading variants, surely Mayor Gloria can “get it done” as his app is titled.  Even if his constituents can’t use an iPhone or iPad to send texts and photos.

Or, just hire a Trash Czar.






{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Sadie June 7, 2021 at 11:44 am

Trash IS everywhere, so are weeds. This has nothing to do with the pandemic. What happened to “I Love a Clean San Diego”? On trash day there is trash that must not have made it into the trash truck, that’s blowing all over roads & freeways. It gets caught in the weeds that haven’t been pulled in awhile. City dump fees are so expensive that people appear to be just dumping things on our streets. This should be an easy one, Mr Mayor. Fix it!!


Sam June 7, 2021 at 1:19 pm

I doubt this trash is from dumping, looks more like leftovers from whoever slept there the night before. When is this state going to get its s#!t together and house these people. It is an absolute disgrace. A 76 billion dollar budget surplus and people are still living on the streets.


BobbyB June 8, 2021 at 8:47 am

One of the additional issues is that the trash truck drivers have rules about not getting out of their trucks. Doesn’t apply to all the trucks/drivers, of course, but they won’t even get out to slightly move a can that is out for pickup. Their Union’s rules prevent this commonsense task. Until that gets changed, all that loose trash will continue to float around.


Frank Gormlie June 8, 2021 at 9:03 am

Bullpucky is called. It’s true that trash truck drivers don’t get out of their vehicles, but that’s company rules, not union, you ol’ basher. Many trash truck drivers don’t have a union.


BobbyB June 8, 2021 at 9:16 am

Cow patties in return. I was referring to the City drivers because that is who the article was aiming at with the Get It Done references, you ole so-and-so. I even stated that this doesn’t apply to all trucks/drivers in my comment. For private companies, it wouldn’t be nearly as difficult to change their rules. Seems like it isn’t asking a lot to collect that loose trash from pickups that Sadie mentioned and that I was replying to.


Frank Gormlie June 8, 2021 at 9:30 am

The city contracts out some trash service. What city drivers were you referring to?


BobbyB June 8, 2021 at 10:27 am

The City handles a lot of San Diego trash pickups. The trucks are all over the place. They don’t handle all pickups, of course. Private companies contract with various organizations directly. The whole People’s Ordinance piece about not charging for trash pickups is always in contention, so who knows what the future holds in this arena. Doesn’t seem sustainable.


Frank Gormlie June 8, 2021 at 10:53 am

Okay, but it’s still a stretch to think trash truck drivers will get out of their vehicles to pick up individual piles of garbage. That would throw their tight schedule way off, angering consumers down the road, violating policies, etc.


Sam June 8, 2021 at 10:57 am

Not to mention the drivers are hired to be drivers not street sweepers!


BobbyB June 8, 2021 at 12:16 pm

I mean, most of those trucks have brooms and shovels tacked right on the side. Or maybe we can create more jobs by going old school and have a second person riding on the back for this purpose?

As someone who lives with trash collections happening in an alleyway, the amount of trash that flies out of the containers (with City trucks) can go all over. It collects in the nooks & crannies back there, making it a generally gross place to be in. We have private companies come through for buildings with dumpsters and I’ve seen those guys sweep ‘n scoop loose bits to add to the load. Not always, but it happens.

I’m not holding my breath that this will come to pass, mind you. Just seems like it makes sense as they’re there to collect said trash anyway. Why not finish the job while they’re at it? I think the impact to their schedules could be mitigated to a point where their customers would be fine with it. I know I wouldn’t mind it taking longer if I knew the alley was going to be free from that extra debris caused by these collections.


Sam June 8, 2021 at 12:33 pm

I have a better idea. Send out law enforcement to hold people accountable for leaving trash on the sidewalk. You can’t pay the ticket you have two choices, jail or a one way flight to Miami.

Sadie June 8, 2021 at 12:13 pm

Maybe the trucks need to be calibrated occasionally? Maybe they could run a course at the dump to see if they are emptying accurately. I don’t doubt that they are in a hurry.


Frank Gormlie June 8, 2021 at 2:04 pm

The problems are not with the trucks, the drivers or scheduled trash pick-ups. Until recently, the freeways looked like trash dumps. For a year no one picked up trash along the major roadways. Many people stopped driving, there were less DUIs, and there were less people working off their punishment. The effects of the pandemic.


Gravitas June 7, 2021 at 6:37 pm

Perhaps, Mayor Gloria can walk his neighborhood and downtown and see the trash for himself!


unwashedWalmartThong June 7, 2021 at 9:59 pm

What the hell is a Trash Czar?


Chris June 8, 2021 at 10:02 am

An emperor of trash? I think in this context it’s referring to hiring someone to oversee and ultimately alleviate the issue of piling trash everywhere.


unWashedWalmartThong June 8, 2021 at 12:11 pm

Back in the olden days there was a concerted effort to eliminate litter everywhere. There were
public service announcements on radio & television, & there were newly-placed trash cans scattered across the country. One of the messages was very clear: Don’t Be A Litterbug.
After several years, the trash along highways, in cities & neighborhoods had been reduced
considerably or dissipated. We don’t need a Trash Czar; we need a sales campaign to illustrate
our own responsibility for our own trash.
Don’t Be A Litterbug is an excellent message; you know, it’s catchy, sort of like Foxbark’s
Stop The Steal, but with substance & a concrete goal based on reality.


Sam June 8, 2021 at 12:37 pm

That is a start Walmart Thong, but the real problem is trash blowing around from homeless encampments. With a $76,000,000,000 budget surplus in the state last year there is no reason we can’t house the people who are wreaking havoc on our streets.


Sadie June 8, 2021 at 5:47 pm

Agree. Unfortunately representatives think the solution is for us to densify, because we know letting in billions more people in CA will solve all of our problems, like trash. The homeless will be able to afford to live in my other lot or one of my 9 homes on my lot.


triggerfinger June 9, 2021 at 4:36 pm

San Diego… formerly known as America’s Finest City.

Now America’s moderately tolerable city.


Douglas Blackwood June 14, 2021 at 7:14 pm

While that is being done: have the Czar appoint a: Sultan of Sewers!


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