chula vista garbage
A Republic Services truck stops in the street while union members picket the entrance to the Chula Vista location on Jan. 15, 2022. / Photo by Joe Orellana

San Diego can breathe easier.

Because there’s less garbage wafting in our face.

The city of Chula Vista and parts of the city of San Diego have been afflicted by a lack of sanitation services, fueled by a labor dispute between workers of Teamsters Local 542 and their employer, Republic Services.

As you’ve likely noticed, trash has been piling up everywhere. Now, after a month of Teamster workers holding the line and bargaining for better wages and better work, an agreement is in hand.

But as Voice of San Diego editor Jesse Marx explained in this week’s podcast, the agreement falls short of what the workers asked for. Ultimately, they had to fold to their employer before getting all they sought.

Marx joined VOSD Podcast hosts Scott Lewis, Andrew Keatts and Andrea Lopez-Villafaña to explain how the negotiations went down and how this fits in a larger trend within pandemic-era American work.

Popo Politics

San Diego county’s top cop, Sheriff Bill Gore, announced this week he’s retiring early.

Now, the County Board of Supervisors has to appoint an interim as three contenders are fighting for the job in this year’s election. And there’s a ton of questions about what this news means.

According to Lewis, Keatts and Lopez-Villafaña, there’s been a crafty yet unchecked practice at the county: big-wig elected officials duck out early and appoint their preferred successor. Then, that successor runs as an incumbent to a breezy victory.

But not this time, says Board of Supervisors Chair Nathan Fletcher.

On the pod, we talk about where things stand now and how this news might shake up what’s likely to be the biggest race of the local 2022 election.

Listen Now

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Nate John is the digital manager at Voice of San Diego. He oversees Voice's website, newsletters, podcasts and product team. You can reach him at

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