Back to work: Waste Management strike over


by KING 5 News

Posted on August 2, 2012 at 5:54 AM

Updated Thursday, Aug 2 at 5:06 PM

Union recycling drivers for Waste Management on Thursday overwhelmingly approved a new contract, ending the eight-day strike that has led to garbage piling up on curbsides and in dumpsters across the region.

The members of Teamsters Local 117 voted 109 to 14 to approve the new six-year deal, which includes more money in pay and compensation.

"This deal recognizes Seattle-area recycle and yard waste drivers for the tremendous job they do in performing difficult, dangerous work that protects the public health and the environment," said Tracey  Thompson, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 117. 

While the negotiations affected recycling drivers, garbage collectors for Waste Management also walked the picket lines in solidarity. When a tentative agreement was reached Wednesday night, garbage haulers got back to work.

Although the strike is over, the City of Seattle says city inspectors are looking for trash, recycling and yard and food waste that weren't collected yesterday. Fines will still be assessed for anything missed Wednesday. There will be no fines for items missed Thursday.

Money from fines will go to customers through adjustments on their bills.

Seattle residential customers can put out extra items that were previously missed on their next regular collection day through Wednesday.

Seattle residents can still drop off up to six bags of garbage or yard waste at the city's transfer stations for free through Sunday. Yard waste should not be in plastic bags. Recycling drop off is always free.

Allied Waste customers and the King County Transfer Stations were not affected by the strike. Areas in Seattle served by CleanScapes are also not affected.

Negotiation updates are also posted on the Teamsters Local 117 website,

Get the complete garbage and recycling pick-up schedule on the Waste Management website or call the customer service center at 1-800-592-9995.