As the walkout by Waste Management‘s recycling/yard-waste/garbage truck drivers starts its second week, the city says it’s taking action – “possible fines” for WM, plus a request for tweets about missed pickups, and extended hours at transfer stations. Here’s the full city news release:
At a City Hall news conference this morning Mayor Mike McGinn announced that city inspectors will begin assessing possible fines to be imposed on Waste Management for non-collection of garbage, recycling, and food and yard waste, with funds to be returned to the public in the form of bill adjustments. The fines could reach as high as $1.25 million per day.
“This service disruption is creating a hardship for residents and businesses, and we expect Waste Management to fulfill their contract,” McGinn said. “We will be looking for every missed collection by Waste Management and with the public’s help we will hold them accountable. I urge both sides to return to the table to reach a mutually acceptable solution.”
With Waste Management’s one week grace period over, Seattle Public Utilities inspectors will begin fanning out across Seattle looking for missed collections and assessing possible penalty fees. Wednesday customers have been asked to keep any uncollected carts out until Thursday, August 2. Any uncollected carts will be recorded for fines — up to $1.25 million a day — to be issued to Waste Management.
The public can report missed collections through the following ways.
· Clicking on a link on Seattle Public Utilities website at www.seattle.gov/util
· Via personal twitter accounts: making sure to include the block where they live (a specific address is not necessary), the hash tag #theymissedme, and a picture of their carts.
In addition to reporting missed collections, the public can get rid of uncollected garbage at the city’s transfer stations. Single-family residents in Waste Management’s service areas may drop off up to six bags of garbage and yard waste for free at the South and North transfer stations. Both stations are open seven days a week. The north station operates 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and the south station’s hours have been extended until 9 p.m. for the duration of the strike.
Customers should bring appropriate identification — for example, a driver’s license or a utility bill — to demonstrate they are City of Seattle residents.
Recycling drop-off is always free.
SPU is also similarly asking Thursday customers to put garbage, yard waste and recycling out before 7 a.m. tomorrow morning. Carts should be left out until 6 p.m. Friday night, August 3, for possible collection and recording for fines.
Mayor McGinn also directed SPU to return any collected penalties to its customers, in the form of adjustments to their solid waste bills. Details of that arrangement are being developed by SPU.
The Mayor emphasized that the city’s top priority is safeguarding public health and safety, and he urged the company and the union to get back to the bargaining table immediately to get their differences resolved and the garbage picked up.
SPU operates two transfer stations:
· The North Recycling and Disposal Station is located at 1350 North 34th Street in the Fremont/Wallingford area.
· The South Recycling and Disposal Station is located at 8105 5th Avenue South in the South Park area.
Customers can also check to see if there are lines with SPU’s station web cams (here’s the South Park view).
WM says it’s providing residential service for GARBAGE ONLY today in Seattle, per its web page. If there are any more updates today, we’ll add them to this story; you can always find the newest update linked atop the BIG STORIES list on the WSB sidebar.