“The City has added a second trash pickup in the 2100 block of Avenida de la Playa, and they are keeping the cans clean and using liners so they’re not so grotty,” said Janie Emerson, chair of the La Jolla Shores Association, a City advisory group. “But the city still has not moved two trash cans that have been causing the problem, including one that’s too close to a storm drain, and it’s been what, five weeks now, and they still haven’t done it.”
Added Emerson, “The basic attitude (denial of responsibility) that created the problem hasn’t changed. Certainly, the City has had time to finish the job. But now they’re telling us they have to study it again. How long does it take to move a couple of cans, one of which needs to be moved 12 to 14 inches further away from the storm drain, half an hour?”
Emerson pointed out Mayor Kevin Faulconer has put extra money in this year’s City budget “to keep canyons and trash cans clean so we don’t have any health issues.”
In reply to resident’s complaints about ongoing problems with excessive trash and poorly attended, trashed-out containers in the Shores, Emerson and mayor’s aide Anthony George walked the La Jolla neighborhood ’s business strip along Avenida de la Playa recently to assess the situation.
There’s also been a turf war of sorts over whose responsibility it is to police the troublesome trash cans: the City’s, or small businesses including pizza, yogurt, ice cream and surf shops along the Shores commercial strip?
Further complicating the problem with standard trash cans overflowing in the Shores is that high-tech, solar-powered recycling Big Belly Trash compactors in the community, including at Kellogg Park, no longer have a contract for waste disposal with the City. Emerson said that’s been an issue. “They compact at least four times, if not more, the amount of trash that goes into regular trash cans,” she said.
Another problem with Shores trash pickup, noted Emerson, is that there are overlapping City departments doing pickups, with different departments servicing different trash cans in different sections of La Jolla Shores.
“It appears you have three different budgets running trash collection in the Shores, and each one of them is doing it with a truck and a single person,” said Emerson asking, “Wouldn’t it make sense to do a single truck with two people to cover this 1 1/2- to 2-square-mile area?”
Emerson said Faulconer told her he would have his staff work on the logistical problem of City trash pickup in the Shores.