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La Jollans plead for more trash-pick up at Scripps Park

Following La Jolla Shores’ success at getting the City of San Diego to increase its trash pick-up services in the tourist-laden part of town, Scripps Park-users are seeking the same treatment. Lamenting the overflowing dumpsters at the restroom facility at La Jolla Cove, residents have been working with the City to increase trash pick-up at the busy, bustling park.

The refuse is stored in corralled dumpsters.

In an e-mail to the City and the La Jolla Light, Judy Adams Halter, who is also spearheading the project to demolish the restroom facility and construct a new one, wrote: “Scripps Park has trash pick-up only four days a week. This a public health issue that needs to be addressed. Scripps Park and La Jolla Cove easily experience 10 million visitors a year. We need to have daily pick- up — and on holiday weekends, possibly two times a day.” She told the Light she has seen rats in the area as a result of the excessive trash.

“The City has an opportunity to solve a real, current problem, right now,” she said. “The fact that this occurs at Scripps Park is kind of crazy. It’s a beautiful landmark and to not have it taken care of feels disrespectful. It’s a gift to our citizens and our City, and it provides a lot of revenue and tourism dollars ... the lack of care seems shortsighted.

“There are a lot of people who take pride in this park.”

Not the least of whom is Adams Halter, who has been behind the new restroom facility project since 2014. The new “pavilion,” as it will be known, will have a larger space for dumpsters to be stored, but Adams Halter said she continues to be “concerned about the garbage (being) picked up on a timely basis.”

She added that once the pavilion opens in 2020: “We will need to ensure different mechanisms and funding to allow for more garbage pick-ups to avoid scenarios like this.”

In the meantime, Adams Halter said she reached out to the offices of District 1 City Council Member Barbara Bry and the departments of Park & Recreation and Environmental Services, and the response was that the dumpsters are emptied four days a week by 9 a.m.

Vincent Paniagua, Shoreline Parks Grounds Maintenance Manager, wrote to Adams Halter: “We are working with Environmental Services and the contractor to resolve this issue of trash dumpsters being emptied. … Environmental Services has been documenting all of our complaints with pictures of all our shoreline park areas picked up late or not at all.

“It is a huge issue for us, as well.”

Although her efforts started in late July, Adams Halter said her spirits were boosted when she saw the similar scenario being resolved in La Jolla Shores. In mid-July, members of the La Jolla Shores Association expressed concern over trash cans overflowing along busy Avenida de la Playa on a regular basis.

By the end of July, City staff added more trash cans to the area, replaced some of the well-used ones, and increased trash pick-up to twice a day, every day, during peak times.

However, a key difference in these two situations is that the receptacles in La Jolla Shores are City-managed trash cans and the receptacles in Scripps Park are trash cans and dumpsters, the latter of which the City contracted Republic Waste Services to empty.

Inquiries into whether there were possibilities to increase pick-up frequency, were not answered by the Light’s press deadline.

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