Limited options for MLT customers caught in middle of Waste Management strike

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By Doug Petrowski

The current strike by Teamsters Local 117 recycle and yard waste drivers has affected Mountlake Terrace in various ways, as some residents had their garbage picked up but not their recycling on Wednesday, while others had a pickup of recycling but not their garbage.

While the strike against Waste Management is being conducted by just the recycle and yard waste drivers, Teamsters Local 174 garbage truck drivers are honoring the picket lines and not going to work. The work stoppage began at approximately 10 a.m. on Wednesday, after some pickups in Mountlake Terrace had been completed.

Mountlake Terrace resident Marianne Matheson had her recycling picked up by Waste Management on Wednesday morning, but not her garbage.

“I usually see the truck coming as I am heading to work,” Matheson said, “but not this time.”

“Between the recycling and the garbage, I would have rather they had picked up the garbage,” Matheson added.

Parts of the southeast corner of Mountlake Terrace saw their garbage picked up early Wednesday morning, but the work stoppage occurred before recycling was collected.

For Mountlake Terrace residents not wanting to wait until next Wednesday for a garbage pickup, the Southwest Recycling and Transfer Station, 21311-61st Pl. W., is an option, but only on Friday, July 27. Beginning Saturday, the garbage collection area of the station is closing for three weeks so that repairs can be completed to their tipping floor. The station’s recycling area will remain open regular hours, Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

The closure of the garbage collection area of the station had been scheduled well in advance of the Waste Management work stoppage.

Waste Management is advising customers that whatever wasn’t collected in the curbside pick-ups this week will be collected next week at no additional charge.

If the strike is not resolved, Waste Management reports that they will implement contingency plans to resume service, beginning with “accounts affecting public health and the environment, such as hospitals, day care centers and nursing homes.”

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