WEST SEATTLE SNOW AFTERMATH: New city plan for missed trash/recycling/etc. pickups

(WSB photo: Waste Management truck southwest of Morgan Junction late Wednesday afternoon)

5:54 PM: The city has announced new plans for residents who have missed trash, recycling, and yard waste because of the storm. Here’s the full announcement:

Following the historic series of winter storms that hit the Seattle region over the past 11 days, Mayor Jenny A. Durkan and Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) announced they will provide a $10 billing credit to residential customers who had two or more missed garbage collections due to inclement weather. The credit will be issued within two regular billing cycles for impacted customers, which are primarily customers with Monday service. In addition, any customers who have experienced delays in solid waste collection can put out additional bags of garbage, recycling or yard waste free of charge.

“Our foremost goal as a City is to deliver on essential services like garbage, water and power. Our City departments have been working around the clock during this historic weather event clearing our streets, repairing power lines and bringing our most vulnerable neighbors inside,” said Mayor Jenny Durkan. “We thank Seattle residents for their patience in this time, which is why we are providing a credit to our customers for their missed service.”

The series of winter storms that the Seattle region caused an 11-day stretch of weather has adjusted and delayed the collection of garbage, recycling, and compost for 150,000 residential households and 6,000 multi-family accounts. At every safe weather opportunity, drivers collected waste from as many customers as possible, including critical locations like hospitals, multi-family buildings and high-volume commercial customers.

“We thank our customers for their understanding during the unprecedented weather we have experienced over the past several weeks. We are committed to catching up completely on our collections as soon as possible and anticipate we will be back on a normal schedule next week,” said General Manager Mami Hara. “I especially want to thank our crews who have been navigating difficult roads and standing by for any windows of clear weather to collect our residents’ solid waste.”

The improved weather through the weekend will allow additional pickups to service customers who have been significantly delayed in solid waste pickup. Crews are prioritizing pickup for as many Monday customers as possible by deploying additional resources. Monday, Thursday, and Friday customers who have not received service are asked to put their bins and bags out to the curb beginning Friday, February 15 for pickup Friday or Saturday. Seattle Department of Transportation has also deployed their crews to assist SPU contractors by plowing streets where they encounter difficulties. Seattle Parks and Seattle Housing Authority will also assist Seattle Public Utilities as they work to resume normal pickups.

While Seattle Public Utilities will be working to pick up residential garbage, Seattle Public Utilities will also provide garbage drop-off sites on Saturday from 10 am-3 pm in the following four locations at no charge:

West Seattle Stadium-35th Ave SW & SW Snoqualmie St.
[not in West Seattle but FYI]
Lower Woodland – 50th and Whitman
Magnuson – 65th street lot, Parking Lot E
Interbay – 17th Ave. W. And W. Barrett Street

8:30 PM: The online version of this announcement ends with two more paragraphs – reaffirming a free period at the transfer stations through this weekend, and offering contact info if you are due a credit and don’t get it.

9:31 PM: As noted below in comments, we’ll seek some clarifications tomorrow. Pending that, we’ve already received one from SPU spokesperson Sabrina Register: “I want to stress that the pickup tomorrow is for garbage only, not recycling or compost. Extra crews will work hard tomorrow to get missed Monday customers but they may not be able to get all of them due to the number missed and/or continued challenging road conditions on certain streets.”

ADDED FRIDAY MORNING: Another SPU note about what’s happening today and tomorrow:

“I want to clarify that crews will be picking up garbage only, for Monday customers.

Thursday customers, who will be picked up today because of the one-day delay, should also set out their recycling and food/yard waste and crews will make every effort to pick up all solid waste from these customers.

Friday customers will get picked up tomorrow (Saturday). They should also set out garbage, recycling and food and yard waste and crews will make every effort to pick up all solid waste for Friday customers on Saturday.

40 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE SNOW AFTERMATH: New city plan for missed trash/recycling/etc. pickups"

  • ACG February 14, 2019 (6:31 pm)

    What about Tuesday customers that were skipped last week and this week?  Do we have any priority to get our garbage picked up along with the Monday customers?  We’ve been without services as long as they have, but aren’t mentioned. 

    • 31st Ave February 14, 2019 (7:34 pm)

      +1.  We are Tuesday too.  Our fan has been patiently waiting for pickup.  Westwood neighborhood.

    • EG February 14, 2019 (7:40 pm)

      Agreed, what do Tuesdays do???

      • rpo February 14, 2019 (9:12 pm)

        You are covered by this if you missed two weekly pick ups. It isn’t specific for pick up days. 

  • Erika Borges February 14, 2019 (6:51 pm)

    Ok, I can’t get a straight answer on this. If your trash is normally picked up in alley way not curb do you leave it there . We may get up super early to make sure path is clear but we don’t really have a “curb” . Anyone know because SPU was really unhelpful in their response.

  • ARPigeonPoint February 14, 2019 (6:56 pm)

    Sigh. We were Wednesday customers who put our bins out today as instructed. Our street, along with many others in Pigeon Point, were skipped. Putting garbage full of cat waste in my car is super appealing. The city says they will pick up “next week.” Our recycling week was this week. Does this mean two more weeks with full recycling bins?

  • LJJ February 14, 2019 (7:04 pm)

    Hats off to our Waste Managment workers who were wrestling massive bins today through thick slush and compacted snow, over and over again. I have so much respect for the work that they do! 

  • rob February 14, 2019 (7:23 pm)

     what no election resuslts

    • WSB February 14, 2019 (7:37 pm)

      This story has nothing to do with the (current) election.
      But since you ask:
      We reported the results on Tuesday and given that they weren’t even close we are not planning updates unless there’s a change or some other followup. (Someone asked, for example, about the timetable for the Alki Elem. rebuild, which we’ll be checking on.)

      You can check daily at:


      Seattle Schools Prop 1 now has 68 percent yes, Prop 2 (BEX V) has 71 percent yes.

  • Theresa - Highland Park February 14, 2019 (7:27 pm)

    What about folks that are usually on Wednesday? We put ours out a day later (today), but it wasn’t picked up. The roads are still really bad, so I get why they didn’t service our street. When will it get picked up? Are we getting a credit too? 

  • junctioneer February 14, 2019 (7:29 pm)

    Lots of unhappy people, but seems like a giant mess, and that they’re doing pretty well with it. I wonder what hat they are pulling the $10 out of though–it’s gotta come from somewhere.

  • Elisabeth February 14, 2019 (7:42 pm)

    At the beginning of all this weather, I parked my car on the flat end of 40th, east of California. Thursday morning I was shoveling the massive snow built up around it so I could get the car out. A waste management worked parked his truck behind my car, took my shovel and started mightily clearing the snow away. He told me to try to get out, which ways to turn the wheel, shoveled some more and then pushed my car out of the mire. I am so grateful to him! He may not have been able to collect everybody’s trash (including mine) but he did accomplish something. Thank you, waste management guy!

  • Utility payer February 14, 2019 (7:56 pm)

    Is this for trash collection only? No recycling pick up until Monday?

    • E February 14, 2019 (8:14 pm)

      I have the same question: my trash is fine, but the recycling is out of control after 3.5 weeks.

  • ForgotSignInName February 14, 2019 (8:16 pm)

    Clarifying: missed Monday WS folks should put garbage, recycle, and compost out tomorrow Friday 2/15 for possible pick-up and leave out through Saturday (or Monday 2/18)?   And MAJOR Kudos to WS Blog for their unparalleled reporting, patience, and community service.  

  • WSB February 14, 2019 (8:28 pm)

    Tomorrow morning, whatever unanswered questions have been posted here, I’ll take to the SPU media-relations person. I’d sent her several questions earlier today – including whether anyone would get a credit – and she indicated that a forthcoming news release would provide answers. Notably, the news release (which I agree, raises some new questions) came from the mayor’s office communication team, not SPU, which has yet to update its At Your Service site (I’ve been checking). The mayoral news release is now on the city website with the addition of two paragraphs at the end, reaffirming the free days at the transfer stations and also noting what to do if you’ve had two pickups missed but don’t see a credit.

    • ACG February 14, 2019 (9:01 pm)

      Thank you, TR!!  We do appreciate you getting the info on this and so many more things that affect our lives in West Seattle. Everyday you go above and beyond. We are so lucky to have you!

  • cass February 14, 2019 (8:42 pm)

    They just keep saying Monday pick-up, but it’s clear from these comments and from everyone I’ve talked to, it’s way more than just Monday pick-up. It’s Tuesday and Wednesday as well, at a minimum.

  • Rory Denovan February 14, 2019 (8:58 pm)

    Bottom line- If you have extra garbage because you were missed you have 3 options:1) Take it to the West Seattle Stadium on Saturday 10-3  (no charge)2) Take it to the transfer station (no charge)3) Wait until your next collection day and put out extra garbage by your can (no charge)Seems like a good deal to me!

  • Denise February 14, 2019 (9:13 pm)

    Can someone just tell me if my garbage et all will be pick up anytime soon?   We are a Tuesday pick up

  • SLJ February 14, 2019 (9:24 pm)

    Thanks to the city and waste management for doing the best they can in this weather.  There was no way a garbage truck could have made it to our street before Wednesday.  It eventually will all get picked up, so the $10 credit is a bonus.

  • WSB February 14, 2019 (9:31 pm)

    Update – a little clarification from SPU’s spokesperson Sabrina Register: “I want to stress that the pickup tomorrow is for garbage only, not recycling or compost. Extra crews will work hard tomorrow to get missed Monday customers but they may not be able to get all of them due to the number missed and/or continued challenging road conditions on certain streets.” Adding above, too.

  • Karen February 14, 2019 (9:39 pm)

    I can’t just leave my garbage can out and hope it gets picked up.  Animals get into it! And yes, I’ve tried putting rocks, cement, etc on top of the container.

    • Paget February 16, 2019 (4:01 am)

      For us, it’s random people rummaging through our recycle and garbage more than it is wildlife. I find that very invasive and unnerving. I think I would rather deal with a few raccoons! 

  • Kris February 14, 2019 (10:22 pm)

    My garbage pick up date is Monday but we have a down wire on our street and the street is blocked off at one end. Will they still try to pick up the garbage or do we have to wait till the electric company fixes the wire?

  • GATEWOOD February 15, 2019 (4:30 am)

    A verbose and confusing press release. I still have no idea when my Tuesday RECYCLING will be picked up; that’s the issue not the trash.

  • J February 15, 2019 (5:03 am)

    Every neighborhood in Seattle has at least one blog covering their news and community life but none of them can compare to the West Seattle Blog.  I don’t know how you do it but the West Seattle Blog is a stand alone example of how to do a community blog right.   Thank you guys for your hard work!

    • WSB February 15, 2019 (5:31 am)

      Thanks for the kind words. For the record, while there are many microneighborhood social-media groups/boards – on membership-required platforms run by huge out-of-town companies – Seattle has only a handful of truly locally owned-and-operated blog-format community-news sites actually *covering the news* on the open web, besides WSB. Capitol Hill Seattle and My Ballard, in particular, both also have been in operation since 2007. There was a time around the turn of the decade when there were many more, but for reasons as varied as their operators’ interests and backgrounds, they didn’t last. – TR

  • Jason Street February 15, 2019 (6:07 am)

    Why not put that $10 towards weekend pay and get this mess taken care of? What do we do about masty neighbors who kept piling their garbage on/around open bins and it’s now spilling over into our parking spots?

  • T Rex February 15, 2019 (7:11 am)

    I go through this every time we get ANY snow, I just pile my garbage up in the back of my pickup that has a cover and then pile it up when the weather clears up or take it to the dump.  My house is at the end of a dead end road  one of the last places to melt anytime we have snow. I have had a plan every time we have gotten snow in the last 22 years living in this home.  For those of you who can get out of your driveways in your car or SUV, simply take your stuff to the dump or now the stadium and stop complaining. This storm was more than likely a once in a lifetime event, the city is doing the best they can. We cannot depend on our government for everything, take some responsibility. And take care of your neighbors who can’t do it themselves. If you have kids have them go door to door and help. Heck, they may even gt some spending money out of it. If I could not do it myself and some youngster came by and offered to help, I would slip him $20 bucks just for being a nice kid. It really is not the end of the world. 

    • Anne February 15, 2019 (8:22 am)

      A voice of reason & perspective- thanks!!I especially take to heart your advice on the importance of having a plan in place- be it for a snow event, power outage, earthquake , other emergency. These last 2 weeks have highlighted the limitations of state & local services – who I feel have really tried their best-  but we have to step up & do all WE can to be prepared. Buy a snow shovel & ice melt, how about an extra garbage can to hold the overflow. From reading all the comments recently sidewalks not being shoveled & extra garbage are at the top of the complaint list- they should be the easiest of things to be prepared for. Totally agree it would be great for folks who can’t shovel snow- to have a resource they can access- for help. Maybe it could be a topic for the next neighborhood “ night out “ or block watch meeting. If your neighborhood doesn’t get together -this could be the perfect reason to start doing so. ‘Knowing your neighbors could be the first place to reach out if help is needed.

  • Tracey February 15, 2019 (8:30 am)

    I am heading to the Stadium tomorrow and want to offer my neighbours some help.  Any word on limits per vehicle?  I read about the 420lb limit at the transfer station.  Same limit apply at the Stadium?  Just don’t want to offer if I’m going to get assessed a fee.  I’ve only got a Honda Fit.

  • WSB Reader February 15, 2019 (9:22 am)

    They picked up our trash out of the bin, but none of the excess trash they were supposed to pick up due to the missed snow day pickups. (48th Ave SW in Admiral). 

  • Goddess Andraste February 15, 2019 (9:47 am)

    Our recycling was picked up yesterday in Highland Park (we’re normally Wednesday), but garbage is still out there. Our can still isn’t even full, so I’m content to wait. Honestly, I’m super impressed with Seattle Public Utilities (and SDOT, who are rock stars). USPS, not so much.

  • WSB February 15, 2019 (3:37 pm)

    We will publish another separate update a bit later this afternoon (tonight) but in the meantime, here’s the Tuesday-confusion answer we got: “Tuesday customers whose recycling was not picked up last week should set out their recycling cart this coming Tuesday, Feb. 19th. Crews will attempt to pick up all recycling that was not picked up from Tuesday customers last week.”

    • Snow is over February 21, 2019 (6:38 am)

      It’s the 21st and no one on my street has had their recycling picked up. It’s been a month. That’s a long time for the amount of snow that we had. Disappointed that waste management isn’t up for speed yet. 

  • LG February 15, 2019 (4:42 pm)

    Can’t wait for our trash to get picked up. Apartment garbage is overflowing. Haven’t heard trucks in our neighborhood and we are on week 2 of nothing. Saw trucks in other areas of West Seattle the past number of days. Thank goodness it’s cold out, or it would STINK! 

  • Lisa February 15, 2019 (9:03 pm)

    Ahhhhh!—I’m so confused (I’m a Tuesday alley person who had one week missed). 

  • NW Mama February 15, 2019 (9:25 pm)

    Monday trash was picked up today.   Unfortunately my overflowed recycling was also tossed into the garbage truck.  Disheartening to see at least a week’s worth of recycling go in the garbage.  Oh well. 

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