Strike threatens garbage, yard waste pick-up this week; city may assess fines

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Waste Management containers lined up for Tour de Terrace last week.

Story and photo by Doug Petrowski

As the strike by Teamsters Local 117 recycle and yard waste drivers against Waste Management continues, cancellation of curbside pick-up of garbage, recycling and yard waste for Mountlake Terrace residents is threatened for this Wednesday. (The garbage truck drivers, Teamster Local 174, are choosing not to cross the picket lines of the recycle and yard waste drivers.)

While Waste Management has reportedly brought in drivers and management staff from other states to drive collection trucks in the region, it is yet to be seen if these drivers will be getting to Mountlake Terrace on Wednesday. Some South Snohomish County communities that usually receive residential curbside service on Tuesday, including all or parts of Lynnwood, Bothell, Mill Creek and Snohomish, will not see any collection trucks.

Waste Management has been posting on its website each day a listing of the communities that will not receive residential curbside service on that day. Mountlake Terrace residents are advised to visit www.wmnorthwest.com for updates on the potential service disruption on Wednesday. Or you can call Waste Management’s Customer Service Department at 800-592-9995 during regular business hours (7 a.m. -5 p.m. Monday-Friday).

If the strike persists and Waste Management is unable to make Wednesday’s regular pick-up of garbage and yard waste, plus the recycling that was missed at some addresses last week, the City of Mountlake Terrace may penalize the company financially up to $1,500. The city contracts with Waste Management to collect garbage, recycling and yard waste at all addresses within the city limits. “There are provisions (in the contract) for ‘performance fees’ that Mountlake Terrace can assess against Waste Management for missed collections after more than a week of non-collection,” said Scott Hugill, Mountlake Terrace Assistant City Manager.

“These fees amount to at least $500 per week per route, for a total fee of at least $1,500 per week when the three services (garbage, recycling and yard waste) are not collected,” Hugill explained.

The fee amounts are flexible, depending upon the efforts that Waste Management makes to complete curbside pickups, Hugill added.

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