Strike continues, waste keeps piling up

As evidenced by overflowing barrels in neighborhoods throughout the city of Auburn, Teamsters Local 117, which represents recycle and yard waste drivers, is still on strike.

Teamsters 174, which represents garbage truck drivers, continues to honor the picket lines affecting garbage, yard waste and recycling pick up in Auburn and throughout King County. While Teamsters Local 174 has a working contract in place with Waste Management, City officials insist that as one of the City's contracted waste haulers, it should honor that contract.

The City's contract with Waste Management lists consequences for failing to provide the obligated garbage and recycling services. City officials say they intend to pursue legal enforcement action at any time the services are not being provided as required under the Waste Management-City contract.

To best  measure performance or the lack thereof, the City is setting up a telephone hotline and a website address to which residents of the City can communicate complaints about WM service deficiencies.

Residents should report missed pickups either via the City hot line (253) 931-3060, or via a form available on the City web site, ( Residents must list their name, address, date of regularly scheduled pickup, and type of service, i.e. garbage, recycling, composting.

Over the weekend, experienced WM substitute drivers have been deployed in cities throughout the Puget Sound Region. Per Waste Management's contingency plan, the second group of experienced WM substitute drivers arrived on Saturday and Sunday and began working on Monday, July 30. Additional substitute drivers are on the way. Waste Management is beginning to hire replacement drivers, although it has not been made clear if those extra drivers will establish a contingency plan for Auburn.

Until the labor dispute is resolved, Waste Management customers in Auburn may put out twice the regular amount of garbage and yard waste on their next regularly scheduled collection day, at no additional charge. Commercial customers will be collected as soon as conditions allow, with priority to critical customers such as hospitals, nursing homes, and grocery stores.

Below are some tips for extra material storage and set out

•Extra garbage

Place next to garbage container in:

Securely tied plastic bags labeled "Garbage" or

32-gal can with handle and lid (65 lb limit) labeled "Garbage"

•Extra recycling

Place next to recycling cart in:

Plastic recycling bins or

Cardboard boxes (2x2x2 ft. limit) labeled "Recycling"

No recycling in plastic bags


Extra yard trimmings (No food scraps or plastic)

Place next to yard cart in:

Heavy paper yard bags (available at hardware stores) or

Reusable polywoven yard bags (available at hardware stores) or

32-gal cans with handles & lids (65 lb limit) labeled "Yard" or

Bundles tied with sisal twine (4'x2' limit)

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