The strike is entering its fourth week — today is Day 22 — and there’s no end in sight.

The city made a public offer Friday; there was a subsequent counter-offer from the union Friday night. Its details are unknown. City spokesperson Cheryn Thoun said yesterday talks were continuing. A union source agreed talks were ongoing, but said no substantive issues were dealt with.

While the city and union continue the standoff, small businesses like restaurants, cafes and variety stores say they are paying a high price.

Some have hired private contractors who charge anywhere between $130 and $220 a week — three times more what they paid the city — while others are taking garbage bags to dumping sites themselves.

“When I have to dump my garbage, I close the store for a couple of hours,” said Prakash Pawa, who piles his van with bags of garbage every two days and goes to a dump site. He pays a commercial price and he or his employees waits in a lineup.

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