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Seattle Trash Collection Strike

The drivers sure knew when to strike and causing the most problems for “us people who are working, paying taxes to pay their wages” didn’t they? We are told to put table scraps in our yard waste bin and it would be picked up weekly. It already stinks pretty bad by then. Containers are full so now the raccoons and possums can really have a field day with the bags. If it were in the winter it wouldn’t be quite so bad and there would not be much yard waste but right now with weather in the 70’s and 80’s its actually cruel. We are told to put it out on our regular day and if it’s not picked up bring it back in and put it out the next week on our pick up day. Well I don’t think so. What if you are elderly or handicapped in some way. All the above is bad enough but it gets worse.

No one is ever going to say a garbage man’s job is easy or clean. But no one makes him stay on the job. If he does not like the conditions or pay, I am sure there are at least 10 men who can do the job as good as him and would do it at half the price. Greed of the public workers is bound to backfire one of these days. If we had anyone representing “we the people” none of these obscene contracts would be signed. They would not let the union run the city. Of course the unions take a big chunk of the workers pay check to elect Mayors, executives, City council members etc to see to it the City hires Union help. Union help is no better than non union help, they just are able to demand more. The Union top dogs make a lot of money and take union funds to buy the elections to get leaders who demand Union help. It makes no sense and soon will be so top heavy it will not work anymore. This strike might wake up a few. We are not allowed NOT TO SUBSCRIBE to your service and haul our own.

These numbers are from the Seattle Times story, so I feel safe in repeating them. It said drivers were offered $98,000 wage and benefit package which included a 4% raise in the second year til the contract expired in 6 years. We are talking big money here. That’s way more than school teachers make and twice as much as “we the people” make working in private jobs. The city cannot keep raising taxes to meet the unions demands. The tail is wagging the dog it seems. It appears the big dispute is that the recycle drivers make $9.00 an hour less than the garbage drivers. Drive the same sized truck, same route, same hours but stuff they pick up is not as heavy. Geez you don’t need a rocket scientist to know that really isn’t fair but you don’t have to give everyone a fat raise with taxpayers money. My first thought would be to tell the Union that we can’t afford their workers. Hire non union, for about half price and rotate the drivers. One week you drive a recycle truck, the next week a garbage truck. That’s the only fair and sensible thing to do but the Mayor, City, and County will have to have meeting after meeting, probably appoint a fact finding group and on and on. Our so called leaders are too busy trying to build an arena most of us don’t want, and a tunnel that most don’t want but they can’t seem to keep our garbage picked up on time. Think we better clean out City Hall and start over with a different crew and hire all new waste management drivers. Remember when President Regan fired all the controllers and never let them back? The sun still came up and the World is still turning. Put the word out you need truck drivers and there would be a traffic jam to sign up. This is just my opinion and as far as I know we are still entitled to that. LLL

UPDATE 7/29/12 – I emailed the Mayor waiting for a reply:

Now is your chance to show the people of Seattle you are “their mayor” not in the pocket of the union. Time to tell the Waste Management to “take their job and shove it”. President Regan did that when the controllers got out of hand when he was president. Don’t let the city bargain for a contract that pays garbage men $98,000 a year. Are you completely nuts? With all the pensions and perks and crap, what are you leaders thinking. I know this single handedly is not your problem but even you have to know thats way out of line. Sure its hard dirty work, and if they wont work for about half that tell them to go home. Don’t hire them back. College degree people don’t make half that. You are being bossed by the unions that demand obscene wages.

Think of the sea wall you could build with the money saved, but guess you are too busy trying to get a tunnel (you promised you would not allow) and now an arena that we need like a hole in the head. I am really dissapointed in you. I voted for you but would not again. And no I can’t ride a bike to shop. I am almost 89, and a gallon of milk in one hand, a jug of kitty litter in the other would be just a bit much. Plus the South Park bridge is closed, the Airport way bridge is closed and the city could even think of a contract like Waste Management wants. Put out a call for truck drivers and you would have a line a mile long for half the price.

Thank you for listening.

Having lived in Seattle (Georgetown) for over 80 years, Lilly has a passion for the area. A true Seattleite, Lilly has the history & experience to discuss any topic. Being retired, she enjoys visiting with her many grand children, gardening, and writing.


  1. I cancelled mine a few months ago. Told them I’m moving. I hear you have to have it by law but whatever if they want to track me down and give me a ticket go for it. I just load it up in the truck and drop it off sat for a small fee at the dump. Just got tired of getting ripped off for everything.

  2. Good story. You know that they are making bank too. if you figure each garbage man is bringing home 29 bucks an hour you just know the company is really bringing home the bacon.

    Here is food for thought.
    The King County dump charges 20 bucks for 340lbs of garbage. We can assume that waste management gets a HUGE discount on that. How many pounds do you use?

    King county does charge for yard waste services, however, it’s free in Pierce County… Yet they still charge you handsomely for that service.

    It just seems like everything is one big ripoff. It doesn’t matter what it is. Internet, phones, health, school, gas, banks, just doesn’t matter you name it and behind the scenes it’s filled with greed everything single thing.

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