Eastside News

Garbage service resumes for Republic Services customers

Garbage and recycling piled up across the Puget Sound region last week after labor talks thousands of miles away in broke down in Boston.

Garbage went uncollected in ten local cities, most of them on the Eastside. About 500,000 customers were affected.

But trash pickup for customers of Republic Services has resumed, according to the company.

KIRO 7 checked the Republic services website and called their customer service line early Monday and the company said, "regular service is expected to resume the week of Oct. 7."  But the company did not say which day it would resume.

Republic's website was updated later Monday morning saying the temporary work interruption ended on Saturday, all operations "are business as usual," and customers should have their carts at the curb on their scheduled day.

The company also said customers whose trash was not picked up on Thursday or Friday will be serviced on their next scheduled collection day.  The double amount of trash will be picked up at no extra charge.

Republic cited "unforeseen circumstances" for the lack of service and there was no mention of the strike.

Local Republic workers were not striking for their own wages and benefits, but to support striking workers in Marshfield, Massachusetts.  Monday is day 40 of that strike.

Teamsters Local 25 members from Massachusetts even traveled to Washington state to picket with a message.

"Because Bill Gates is a 32 percent stockholder in our company, and we figured bringing light to his state and towns maybe he'll try to step in to mediate or do something to get them back to the table," said Teamsters member Bernie Egan-Mullen.

Though the Teamsters Local 25 picketers have left Washington, they said they expect to be back in the Puget Sound area, as well as locations in California, soon as the strike in Massachusetts continues.