County leaders tell state to hold Waste Management accountable for strike-related problems

Just in from King County:

King County Executive Dow Constantine and King County Councilmember Kathy Lambert today urged the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (WUTC) to conduct a thorough investigation into missed garbage, yard waste and recycling pickups in the unincorporated areas during a recent strike by haulers who work for Waste Management of Washington, Inc.

“I’m glad that Waste Management and its drivers were able to reach agreement, but we received many complaints from residents about missed pickups,” said Executive Constantine. “I urge the WUTC to conduct a thorough investigation and to use its regulatory authority to ensure that residents and businesses whose collections were disrupted are made whole.”

In separate letters to the WUTC – the governmental entity with legal authority over solid waste collection in unincorporated areas – Executive Constantine and Councilmember Lambert noted that Waste Management is entrusted with the vital public service of garbage, yard waste and recycling collection, and that thousands of residents, including those in unincorporated areas, were left without garbage and recycling pickup.

“It is important for customers in the unincorporated area to understand that King County doesn’t control waste collection services, because the State of Washington has the regulatory authority,” said Councilmember Kathy Lambert, who represents northeast King County areas served by Waste Management.

“We need to work very closely with the state Utilities and Transportation Commission to make sure our unincorporated area citizens have the same protections as those in cities, and that the same accountability measures can be applied to waste haulers. It also is important for those affected by service disruptions to get better information, and they need it right away,” added Lambert.

Drivers represented by Teamsters Local 117 who collect recyclables and food and yard waste, and who are employed by Waste Management, went on strike for eight days beginning July 25. Drivers represented by Teamsters Local 174 who collect garbage honored the picket lines and garbage also went uncollected.

Customers of Waste Management will be able to comment to state regulators at a public meeting Thursday on the impacts of the company’s recent labor dispute on solid waste and recycling collection services.

The WUTC will hear a presentation from the company regarding its strike response strategy at 4 p.m. and will take comments from customers at 5 p.m. on Aug. 9, in the Woodinville City Council Chambers, 17301 133rd Avenue NE, in Woodinville.

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7 Responses to “County leaders tell state to hold Waste Management accountable for strike-related problems”

  1. Kathi Hutsell Says:

    Thursday, Aug 2nd, I put out my very full recycling bin – for pick up by Waste Management. Waste Management didn’t pick it up that day. I called and was told that because the strike had just ended, I would have to wait another week. By this time the recycling bin was spilling out onto the sidewalk because it was so full. So I dragged it all back in to my garage. last night I put it back out again for pick up today. And again it was not picked up. I called WM once more and was told that I was misinformed the last time and that I would have to wait yet another week. I told them I could not wait another week as it was spilling out all over. The gal said there were no drivers available and there was nothing she could do. Then I asked for a credit since it would be an entire month that I did not have pick up. She said there was no way to do that since the cost was included in my regular garbage pick up. I am really angry about this, and it isn’t fair. Is there anything else I can do about it?

  2. Have you called the county executive’s office? If they took the step of making the statement that led to this news release, I would suspect their staff would have some advice, or at least be interested in taking your comment…

  3. Kathi,

    With a recycling bin as full as yours, it would be a mess for the county to clean up, if all a sudden, a strong gust of wind blew the container over out there on the curb awaiting pickup, spreading recyclables around your neighborhood. Rodents might like it though!
    If that is too drastic for you, visit Waste Management in person, if you don’t get anywhere with the county exec’s. first.

  4. Show WM how you feel by putting your cans out backwards.


    Here is an example of how Politicians spin things to their advantage, remember, vote out and in the King County Councilperson up to the highest elected officials.

    A History Lesson on Your Social Security Card
    1934 – 1980

    With the elections just a little over 3 months away you’ll soon be hearing some Democrats running for political office, warning how the Republicans want to take away the old people’s Social Security.

    Just in case some of you young whippersnappers (& some older ones) didn’t know this it’s easy to check out, if you don’t believe it. Be sure and show it to your family and friends. They need a little history lesson on what’s what and it doesn’t matter whether you are Democrat or Republican.
    Facts are Facts:

    Social Security Cards, issued in 1934, and up until the 1980s expressly stated the number and that card were not to be used for identification purposes. Since nearly everyone in the United States now has a number, it became convenient to use it anyway and the message, NOT FOR IDENTIFICATION, was removed.

    When Franklin Roosevelt, a Democrat, introduced the Social Security (FICA) Program. He promised:

    1.) That participation in the Program would be completely voluntary,

    No Longer Voluntary

    2.) That the participants would only have to pay 1% of the first $1,400 of their annual Incomes into the Program,

    Now 7.65% on the first $90,000

    3.) That the money the participants elected to put into the Program would be deductible from their income for tax purposes each year,

    No longer tax deductible

    4.) That the money the participants put into the independent ‘Trust Fund’ rather than into the general operating fund, and therefore, would only be used to fund the Social Security Retirement Program, and no other Government program.

    Under Johnson, another Democrat, the money was moved to The General Fund and Spent

    5.) That the annuity payments to the retirees would never be taxed as income.

    Under Clinton & Gore, Democrats, Up to 85% of your Social Security can be Taxed
    Since many of us have paid into FICA for years and are now receiving a Social Security check every month — and then finding that we are getting taxed on 85% of the money we paid to the Federal government to ‘put away’ for us — you may be interested in the following:

    Q: Which Political Party took Social Security from the independent ‘Trust Fund’ and put it into the general fund so that Congress could spend it?

    A: It was Lyndon Johnson and the Democratically controlled House and Senate.

    Q: Which Political Party eliminated the income tax deduction for Social Security (FICA) withholding?

    A: The Democrat Party.

    Q: Which Political Party started taxing Social Security annuities?

    A: The Democrat Party, with Al Gore casting the ‘tie-breaking’ deciding vote as President of the Senate, while he was Vice President of the US

    Q: Which Political Party decided to start giving annuity payments to immigrants?


    A: That’s right!

    Jimmy Carter and the Democrat Party.

    Immigrants moved into this country, and at age 65, began to receive Social Security payments! The Democrat Party gave these payments to them, even though they never paid a dime into it!

    Then, after violating the original contract (FICA), the Democrats turn around and tell you that the Republicans want to take your Social Security away!

    And the worst part about it is uninformed citizens believe it!

    If enough people receive this, maybe a seed of awareness will be planted and maybe changes will evolve. Maybe not, some Democrats are awfully sure of what isn’t so.

  6. Internet myths, debunked by the Social Security Administration itself. Sorry.

  7. Twocentsworth Says:

    Waste Management is governed by the Teamsters. King County Employees are governed by the Teamsters (that’s why you and me are paying for their health benefits, one of the highest in the nation). King County Council APPROVES and BURDENS us to pay for these Health benefits. King County Council is in the same bed with Unions. PLEASE vote out the King County Council members who corrupt our values and vote in those who will advocate for the working person.