WM to credit customers for last summer’s trash strike

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Trash piling up during last summer’s strike.

By Doug Petrowski

Property owners in Mountlake Terrace will be receiving a credit on their garbage and recycling accounts following approval of a settlement agreement between the City of Mountlake Terrace and Waste Management. The agreement was approved by the Mountlake Terrace City Council Monday night.

Single-family residents and small commercial and multi-family accounts serviced by carts will be receiving a $10 credit on their Waste Management accounts on either their January or February statements, said Curt Brees, Mountlake Terrace Director of Public Works. Businesses and multi-family property owners that utilize dumpster service from Waste Management will be seeing a $50 credit on their January statements

With the settlement, the City of Mountlake Terrace has agreed to drop any possible litigation against Waste Management stemming from missed pick-ups of garbage and recycling last summer. Many residents and property owners in Mountlake Terrace did not have curbside and dumpster pick-up service on July 25 and Aug. 1 due to a strike by Waste Management recycling truck drivers and support of the work stoppage by WM garbage truck drivers.

“The total estimated value of the settlement is $57,620,” said Brees, who led the city’s effort to obtain financial credit on Waste Management accounts for residents and property and business owners. Waste Management also agreed to pay $25,000 into the city’s Senior Discount and Solid Waste Exemption Program, a fund that assists seniors and low-income residents with their utility bills.

Waste Management recycling and yard waste drivers from Teamsters Local 117 went on strike in late July; the company’s garbage truck drivers from Local 174 honored the strike and refused to work. The work stoppage disrupted pickups for eight days in Mountlake Terrace and throughout the Puget Sound area. Now Waste Management is settling disputes with numerous city and county agencies affected by the work stoppage.

Obtaining credits for Waste Management customers in Mountlake Terrace is the same deal worked out between the company and the City of Seattle in September, said Mountlake Terrace City Manager John Caulfield, although he noted the contribution to the city’s utility assistance fund is unique to Mountlake Terrace.

“At the end of the day we are very pleased with this agreement,” Caulfield added.

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