FOLLOWUP: What to do if you’ve missed two garbage/recycling collection days, and other answers

As promised, we asked Seattle Public Utilities today if Monday and Tuesday residential solid-waste customers who’ve missed two weeks of pickups should just give up until next week. We also asked if Waste Management will be working Saturday to catch up. Here are the responses from SPU spokesperson Shanna Christie:

Monday and Tuesday customers who have been missed twice, should bring their carts in and set out triple volumes next week. These customers also have the option to bring waste to SPU transfer stations for no charge, if they prefer.

Waste Management will be working Saturday to service Friday customers on a one day delay, but this will not impact Mon and Tue West Seattle customers.

We apologize to any customers not serviced this week and appreciate their patience. This service recovery is a significant lift for everyone involved and drivers and operations crews are working long hours with challenging double and holiday volumes.

SPU has subsequently launched an FAQ page which includes info like this and more. Among other things, they are still not planning on any kind of credit for those who’ve missed two weeks, although the city did that in similar post-snow circumstances in 2019.

25 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: What to do if you've missed two garbage/recycling collection days, and other answers"

  • momosmom January 6, 2022 (3:47 pm)

    Lets just say there are a lot of customers who do not have the means to take their trash to the transfer station but there is a person who does, can that person take more than one customers trash to the transfer station without being questioned on having so much trash?

  • carole January 6, 2022 (4:31 pm)

    Our building’s dumpster is overflowing (normal pickup is Monday).  Obviously we have no way to take it to a transfer station or move it anywhere.  Ditto our paper/can recycle bins (normal pickup Tuesday). Our food waste was at least picked up Tuesday. We are less than a mile north of the Junction and this morning I saw more than one truck picking up waste in the alley just west of California.  Unfortunate they couldn’t drive up the alley 5 minutes north to service commercial accounts. Our neighbor building’s dumpsters are also overflowing. Our alley has been drivable since Tuesday.  Residents are holding trash and recycling in the already limited space of their modest sized units. Are we expected to be back on schedule NEXT week, or are we going for more than 3 weeks between pickups?

  • dwg January 6, 2022 (4:53 pm)

    Highland Park resident here (near 15th/Henderson) on a Weds pickup schedule. No pickup yesterday or today for our block yet. 

  • Mj January 6, 2022 (4:56 pm)

    And what about providing a credit for customer’s missed for a second week?

    • WSB January 6, 2022 (5:11 pm)

      That’s in the story.

  • Helga January 6, 2022 (6:05 pm)

    Yes when speaking with WM yesterday about Monday’s missed pickups ( but yard waste got picked up).  i was told they didn’t have enough drivers for trash and recycling.  Apparently yard waste was more important to pick up than two weeks of trash?

    • K January 7, 2022 (7:23 am)

      Not just yard waste, food waste. There shouldn’t be any food scraps in your landfill can, and your landfill-bound trash can be can be bagged much easier—so this makes a lot of sense. 

    • alki_2008 January 7, 2022 (6:47 pm)

      Yes, because Yard Waste includes food waste, which will rot and become a health hazard in regards to vermin. There shouldn’t be anything in the garbage that would rot, since all food waste should be going into the Yard Waste.

  • Oh ya January 6, 2022 (6:15 pm)

    I went to the website for Gartner missed collecting yesterday on my normal day, filed a complaint,  and they picked it up today.  Also told them about recycling and said by tomorrow.Have any of you tried the city instead of complaining on here.  It works better when the city knows, instead of guessing if they know or not. Suck it up people

    • Really January 6, 2022 (6:55 pm)

      Not exactly sure what/where Gartner is, but the City of Seattle is well aware of missed collections as reported in the WSB article. Thanks for the very helpful suggestion, though. 

    • Auntie January 6, 2022 (9:09 pm)

      what is Gartner?

      • Oh ya January 6, 2022 (10:29 pm)

        Garbage, not gartner.

  • Yma January 6, 2022 (7:39 pm)

    Gee that extra big box of recycling/mostly cardboard set out & now completely soaked is going to be so easy to being inside (not)

    • alki_2008 January 7, 2022 (6:49 pm)

      Well, if your Yard Waste bin was emptied, then you could move it from the blue bin to the green one. Wet cardboard can go into compost.

  • Flo B January 6, 2022 (8:48 pm)

    Another concern should be with the overflow of garbage rats are shure to follow.

  • trickycoolj January 6, 2022 (9:25 pm)

    SHA skipped High Point again today was regular pickup day. 

  • Tracey January 7, 2022 (7:28 am)

    I can’t think of another situation in which you could be charged for services that were not supplied.  Picking up 3 weeks worth of garbage at once is not the same service level as picking up one week at a time.  The labor cost, gas, wear and tear on vehicles must all be a part of our fees.   My garbage can is never full and I easily fit 2 weeks in my can.  I would happily have a service reduction to garbage collection every other week but would expect it would cost me less.  I suspect Waste Management’s employees were paid even though they didn’t work as part of their contract.  I imagine that is why we are getting charged?

    • Lagartija Nick January 7, 2022 (8:56 am)

      Just off the top of my head (I’m sure there are others) 1. PSE charges a monthly maintenance fee whether you use their gas or not. 2. Health clubs charge a monthly fee whether you use their services or not. 3. Auto insurance charges you whether you use their product or not. 4. Health insurance charges you whether you use their services or not. You said it yourself: maintenance of the waste management fleet costs money and paying the salaries of these essential workers costs money. Should Waste Management stop fleet maintenance and paying their employees because of a weather event? I think not. These snow events generally only happen once per year and some years not at all, it’s all about perspective.

      • Thomas A Wood January 7, 2022 (4:17 pm)

        I highly doubt Waste management paid the drivers for not working.They are hourly workers.Businesses generally don’t pay if you don’t work.Salaried employees probably got paid.

    • K January 7, 2022 (11:56 am)

      About the voluntary reduction in services: I’m also someone who doesn’t need to have their landfill can picked up weekly, but I see why it’s not an option to reduce the services any smaller than the small box and weekly pickups–they are making weekly routes anyhow. It would be a real logistics pain with a checkerboard of services per block. The can sizes and pricing is currently the only logical way to address this, unfortunately. Recycling is picked up every other week for all consumers and the only choice is an enormous can (ugh), so that’s why it’s offered as such. It’s also a free-to-consumer service, and I believe it has a different contract structure with the city.

  • Tracey January 7, 2022 (11:40 am)

    With the exception of auto insurance, none of these are mandatory services.    Insurance is an unfair comparison.  You can never put out a year’s worth of garbage without extra fees but you can sure use your auto or health insurance if you are in a wreck or have a serious illness.   PSE has pipes running to your house, of course those need maintenance but WM did not have trucks coming to my house.   Plenty of essential workers don’t get paid if they don’t work especially if they aren’t unionized.  If you don’t use your gym membership, cancel it or don’t sign up in the first place.  You can’t opt out of garbage collection in the City of Seattle.  

    • Lagartija Nick January 7, 2022 (12:26 pm)

      Auto and health insurance deny claims all the time. WM absolutely has to perform maintenance on their fleet even if they aren’t using them. And it’s pretty darn pathetic you think garbage collectors shouldn’t be paid if it snows. Be best.

  • el jefe January 7, 2022 (11:57 am)

    burn it

  • James January 11, 2022 (9:07 pm)

    Another week and still no recycling pickup.  Garbage and yard waste was picked up so there was at least that 

  • kjb January 12, 2022 (6:50 am)

    Has anyone heard when we will get recycle pick up?  Monday is a Holiday, so how will that further effect things?

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