Waste Management post-strike recycling pickup: Mixed messages, explained

August 7, 2012 at 1:29 pm | In Utilities, Waste Management strike, West Seattle news | 46 Comments

Just got some information from Seattle Public Utilities that explains the mixed messages received by Monday and Tuesday pickup customers – with, according to web messages as well as WSB readers’ robocall reports, the city saying “put out all your carts” while Waste Management said “just put out the carts we’d normally pick up on this date.” In response to our inquiry, SPU spokesperson Susan Stoltzfus explains, “Yes – SPU does want you to put out all three carts because we have exercised a part of the Waste Management contract that specifies that we can request that they pick up recycling during a non-recycling week if they missed the collection the week before. We are counting any missed non-recycling week recycling collections in our inspections that lead to the fine assessments.” She adds, “We are counting any missed collections in our inspections that lead to the fine assessments. … While we hope that Waste Management will collect recycling today, if they do not, then we will be counting any missed collections in our inspections that lead to the fine assessments.” And she stresses that you should have EVERYTHING out, because “free unlimited extra curbside collection of garbage and yard waste extends through tomorrow, Wednesday, Aug. 8.” Bottom line seems to be, if you didn’t get recycling picked up yesterday or today (or previous days post-strike), even if it was not your “regular” day, DO report the missed collections – the SPU website explains how.

46 Comments

  1. Ok. So I received the robo call to put everything out and they never picked up recycling yesterday. I reported the missed collection on SPU site. They replied that it will be picked up next Monday. I find that unacceptable. They should effort to pick up this week.

    Comment by k — 1:45 pm August 7, 2012 #

  2. Really??? So I get to be a pawn in this dispute between SPU and Waste Management?

    The coordination and communication should be their job and not me shuttling my garbage, recyling and yard waste back and forth and reporting it if they don’t pick up.

    Comment by Terri — 1:51 pm August 7, 2012 #

  3. so far only the recycle remains to be picked up today at our house in arbor heights

    Comment by JimClark — 1:54 pm August 7, 2012 #

  4. Actually the missed collections form doesn’t really work to report no recycling pickup yesterday. Sinc yesterday wasn’t a scheduled recycling day, it only allows me to say Garbage or Food/Yard was missed. There are dozens of overflowing blue cans on the streets here in Belvidere ready and waiting!

    Comment by Overflowing — 1:56 pm August 7, 2012 #

  5. Just got a robocall from SPU saying recyclables will not be collected today but asking that carts stay out until 6:00 PM tomorrow so that they can tally them for the missed collections fine of WM. What happens next week when I put out five week’s worth of recyclables? Am I getting billed for overage then?

    Comment by TW — 2:05 pm August 7, 2012 #

  6. Anyone know if the dump is still taking for free? I was going to help out an elderly neighbor who had something dumped on her land and needs it hauled off. Hoping to do it for free.

    Comment by WSMama3 — 2:07 pm August 7, 2012 #

  7. WSM – that was only supposed to continue through Sunday. Except for recycling, which is always free.

    Comment by WSB — 2:08 pm August 7, 2012 #

  8. I am so confused! I just thought I’d say that – but National Neighborhood Night Out tonight, how lovely (not) to be surrounded by three+ weeks of overflowing recycling stuff on our streets.

    Comment by bestbets — 2:26 pm August 7, 2012 #

  9. Wsm…. Call spu… To Report illegal dumping…

    Comment by S — 2:31 pm August 7, 2012 #

  10. That’s annoying. Half of my neighbors had recycle out this morning but this is our off week. I checked WM, SPU and WSB and concluded today was not a regular pickup so I wouldn’t put out my overflowing bin. Now I’m at work and see that my bin should be out even though it’s an off week to be counted. I haven’t gotten any robocalls from SPU or WM because my pick-ups are coordinated by Impact Property Management in High Point. The HP HOA said no pickup because obviously they don’t want bins out because it’s against the CC&Rs. This is so disorganized.

    Many thanks to WSB for getting to the bottom of the confusion. I wish all the other parties involved were as thorough.

    Comment by Trickycoolj — 2:36 pm August 7, 2012 #

  11. The latest email I received.

    “NO P/U THIS WEEK, WILL BE PICKED UP MONDAY 13TH AUGUST. Please leave your recycling cart out until 6pm on the day following your collection day. This will allow our Inspectors to record your missed recycling p/u and assess fines to Waste Management.”

    Comment by k — 2:39 pm August 7, 2012 #

  12. this is bullsh!!!!!!! l have the recycle full full and we have to wait couple more days come on!!!!!

    Comment by sue — 2:47 pm August 7, 2012 #

  13. Our neighbors get punished because recycling has not been picked up in almost four weeks? In an effort to be good neighbors, we’ve hoarded our recycling so to not be guilty of littering the ‘hood; and we are supposed to contact Seattle Public Utilities so they can continue this so-petty-it’s-pathetic dispute with Waste “Management”? And, our bills wills will not reflect the missed pick-ups? Come Monday Waste Management is going to need an entire truck to pick up all the recycling that’s been hoarded in our garage for the last few months. We could take multiple truck loads of recycling to the transfer station but under the circumstances it will be more pointed to do a deep clean and get rid of all the recyclables Monday.

    Comment by margaritaville — 2:54 pm August 7, 2012 #

  14. The recycling hasn’t been picked up at the businesses in our complex either. I contacted the City last week but their reply was that I needed to contact WM directly, which I have done and am waiting for a response. Some of the recycled food boxes from the restaurant next door are getting smelly and they haven’t gotten a response from WM either.

    Today the City dropped off a new recycling bin for us, so that gives us an extra bin to full up until WM collects.

    Comment by WD — 3:02 pm August 7, 2012 #

  15. What a mess! I moved into my home 2 weeks before the strike & have TONS of recycling piled up from all the packing paper etc… not to mention all the regular recycling that piles up each week anyway. I already took 9 bags to the transfer station last week & hoped that Waste Management would take care of the rest for me today… No such luck…

    Comment by EJ — 3:03 pm August 7, 2012 #

  16. I dont thing the drivers deserved the pay raise….with people out of work, like me….they shouldnt have got that. And then they can’t even pick up our recycling !!!!

    Comment by Darren — 3:28 pm August 7, 2012 #

  17. just saw a recycle truck in arbor heights.

    Comment by aimymichelle — 3:44 pm August 7, 2012 #

  18. I’m surprised by people positioning this as a dispute between the city and WM, and saying we the consumers are in the middle. The fact is, WM has a contract to provide us with a service. They have failed to deliver the agreed upon service so the city intends to fine them. The city will do that on our behalf. So leaving bins out so they can be counted does not seem an unreasonable request. Sure, it’s a pain and yes all those blue containers and cardboard boxes along our streets are unattractive. And I hope recycling doesn’t get loose and litter our streets, sidewalks, parks, and yards. But people should chill a bit.

    Comment by rw — 4:03 pm August 7, 2012 #

  19. Guess it depends on who you talk to. I called SPU about my missed recycle bin collection (for Monday), and was told it would be picked up today or tomorrow!

    Comment by JH — 4:40 pm August 7, 2012 #

  20. WSMama3 – for your neighbor who had something illegally dumped on her property, SPU told me there is a number to call for an illegal dumping: (206) 684-7587.

    See http://www.seattle.gov/util/Services/Garbage/KeepSeattleClean/ReportIllegalDumping/

    Comment by Curiouser — 4:44 pm August 7, 2012 #

  21. Totally agree with RW – and the recycling is the least of my worries. At least it doesn’t smell! I still have 2 weeks of garbage and yard waste here and haven’t seen one truck on my street. Keeping my fingers crossed.

    Comment by Kate — 4:51 pm August 7, 2012 #

  22. My usual pick up is Wednesday. Just received a robo call saying leave all carts out with any and all extra stuff too.

    If (any) is not picked up by Wednesday at 5:00, report the WEDNESDAY missing collection ONLINE only on Wednesday evening. 

    THEN…leave everything out till Thursday night…

    BUT…call (not report online?) Thursday AM if everything is still out at 7:00 AM.

    At least I think that is what the message said.

    Darn Messy all around if you ask me.

    Comment by westseattledood — 4:53 pm August 7, 2012 #

  23. rw is right–chill out, folks! Heaven help you if a REAL crisis ever befalls the region.

    Comment by thegodshavegonecrazy — 5:19 pm August 7, 2012 #

  24. It has been fun to see the light anarchy here in abor hieghts. I would say that half of the trash can that are out there are backwards. But still no pick on anything in my part of arbor hieghts.

    Comment by boy — 5:21 pm August 7, 2012 #

  25. shouldn’t Wednesday people be caught up- they went around Saturday for a special pick-up. or at least they were supposed to…

    Comment by sam-c — 5:22 pm August 7, 2012 #

  26. The Waste Management professional drivers picked up all three in my neck of the woods.

    Perhaps some of the complainers do not remember the sloppiness that existed before Waste Management got the contract in West Seattle a few years ago…

    There was more garbage left in the alley after “supposed pick-up”, than in the trucks, a few years ago.

    The Waste Management drivers “rock”!

    Congratulations, recycle and yard waste drivers on your pay increase. Much deserved!

    Comment by West Seattleite — 5:39 pm August 7, 2012 #

  27. they bought down a tree yesterday

    Comment by mr.why — 5:43 pm August 7, 2012 #

  28. Sent in notice. Last night to SPU that my recycling had not been picked up in over two weeks. They replied via email that it would be picked up today. It was not picked up so I reported it again. Time to switch to CleanScapes. How do we petition dumping WM?

    Comment by mike — 6:51 pm August 7, 2012 #

  29. Because I’m sure everyone has been wondering, yard waste and garbage both picked up by 7 pm. Will head off to True Value tomorrow to pick up some of those jumbo paper yard waste bags. Perfect for the extra recycling.

    I never did get my mail delivery today however . . .

    Comment by Kate — 8:35 pm August 7, 2012 #

  30. Our trash driver told me that “they (the drivers)are paying the price” today with all the extra stuff they had to pick up.
    .
    But here is the frosting on the cake… he told me they are getting OVERTIME pay for the extra hours they are having to put in!

    Comment by kevin — 9:43 pm August 7, 2012 #

  31. I reported our recycling not getting picked up to the city (it’s been 3 weeks now) and they said it will not be picked up until next week. We will not be charged for the extra, but we need to put it in paper bags and mark it as recycling. A months worth of recycling is a crazy amount for us, but there’s no point getting upset about it.

    Comment by Ms. E — 9:49 pm August 7, 2012 #

  32. It’s time for it folks… the “I saw a recycle truck; being driven by a coyote; with a helicopter hovering over it… in OUR NEIGHBORHOOD!!!”. (Hahahaha, sorry! Hahaha!!). Seriously though, It’ll all be picked up soon folks, and their jobs are essential, not as easy as some think and deserving of a respectable wage. Stop idolizing/praising the over-indulged multi millions paid pro athletes, and be complaining about our essential utility/healthcare/waste disposal/transit/fire-EMT/law enforcement workers. All dangerous jobs that we would be in a world of hurt without.. and a micro fraction of salary paid compared to your pro sports ‘heroes’. I LOVE pro sports but, respect and credit is due in another ‘arena’. Thankyou waste/recycle disposal workers!

    Comment by KD — 12:02 am August 8, 2012 #

  33. What is the city going to do to actually penalize wasted management $1 million a day? Recycling was supposed to be picked up on Monday and it is not acceptable for Waste Mgmt to still have recycling sitting around.

    Comment by mz — 6:40 am August 8, 2012 #

  34. I used the missed pick up form on the SPL site and got a definitive reply that they will not be picking up this week but will as per usual next week. They did want the containers at the curb until 6:00 yesterday so they could be counted by their inspectors.

    Comment by JG — 7:01 am August 8, 2012 #

  35. Recycling drop off is always free at the transfer station.

    Comment by resident3 — 10:16 am August 8, 2012 #

  36. Mongo only pawn… in game of life.

    Comment by Mongo — 11:02 am August 8, 2012 #

  37. Are there any neighborhood clean ups scheduled in the near future? I’m thinking of just doing one in our alley anyways. :)

    Comment by bsmomma — 1:19 pm August 8, 2012 #

  38. I’m leaving mine out until it is picked up – whenever that is. It’s too heavy to haul back up hill. Will just keep adding more. :(

    Comment by Curiouser — 4:10 pm August 8, 2012 #

  39. I just reported mine not being picked up for the second time. Pickup was supposed to have been Monday. This time I got a Robo message saying it wasn’t going to be picked up until the 13th. Should be fun, I already have an overflowing can, tons of cardboard and two extra bags already!

    Comment by Joel — 4:20 pm August 8, 2012 #

  40. KD, I don’t pay pro sports players for a service at my house. I do pay a bill to have my garbage, yard waste and recycling picked up on time. If I failed to show up to work and failed to do my job on time, I’d be shown the door. The great thing is there’s another company people can go work for with a CDL. So really, I have no sympathy. Don’t like what you make driving 10 yards at a time and attaching a can to a hydraulic arm? Fine, go apply to be a pump truck driver and have more responsibility ensuring you don’t blow a machine up with cement flowing wrong or screw up a multi million dollar construction project. THAT is a job that should pay well with a CDL.

    Comment by Mike — 10:22 pm August 8, 2012 #

  41. We live over on 16th SW and SW Orchard, and all 3 of our cans have been picked up regularly since the strike began. I guess they like us?? :)

    Comment by momof2 — 11:28 pm August 8, 2012 #

  42. Mike; you were NOT getting the point of my message. You are still mocking people that have a physically hard job that most people think is easy, but would not be able to endure themselves, and don’t realize how essential to the public certain services are. By most peoples anger,(your odd job description???), at not having service picked up SHOWS how NEEDED they are but respect is not given to what they should earn. When a strike happens and people are affected, it’s all ‘talk’ and no ‘do’, typically proving uneducated public rambling off anger. Showing how affected = they are worth more than complaining/disrespect dissenters that still don’t get it. Equal pay for equal work. ‘Go down the road to find another job’ isn’t the answer. You try a week in their shoes and report back then.. Hmmmmmm?

    Comment by KD — 8:53 am August 10, 2012 #

  43. How very nice that we had a catchup on Saturday – EXCEPT that I was not informed of that and by the time I heard the truck, it had passed me by. Waste Management whould be fined!!!!

    Comment by Ken H — 10:20 am August 11, 2012 #

  44. I don’t know if anyone was “informed” – but the city announced it Thursday, and we published word of it immediately, with reminders yesterday and today. We are a Tuesday house and did not receive robocalls or any other form of notice as homeowners, otherwise – TR

    Comment by WSB — 11:23 am August 11, 2012 #

  45. Settling for nothing less than $98,000 a year per driver to haul clean recycling is just flat out greed. I find your negotiating tactics spineless and pathetic. Using hostage tactics and making demands without compromise is just not ethical. This isn’t a game you can just call “strike” in once a year and get a $20,000 raise every time. It will backfire.

    Living pretty high on th hog for garbage men guys.

    Demanding a PHD salary for a GED level job in this economy is finincial suicide. It won’t last long. It simply can’t. The numbers don’t add up.

    Schooldrivers don’t make 1/2 that. Metro drivers less, semi truck drivers barely break even. Commercial Airline pilots don’t even make a 100K a year.
    Local 117 needs a reality check not a paycheck.

    Comment by Sarge — 4:32 pm August 14, 2012 #

  46. Coming from Vancouver, where we have had our fair share of garbage strikes, I can empathise… but pay raise for drivers or not, curbside collection is costing our cities too much. 75% of all household garbage in the US is manufactured products and packaging. In an era of ever-shrinking landfills, not to mention municipal budgets, we need more effective strategies to reduce waste generation. What if manufacturers were given the responsibility of collection and disposal of post-consumption goods? 25 states already have an “Extended Producer Responsibility” law in place. The World Future Council discusses the idea at http://power-to-the-people.net/2012/08/extending-producer-responsibility/

    Comment by Fiona W — 6:07 am August 27, 2012 #

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