Republic Services says no garbage service Wednesday, points to out-of-state labor dispute

Photo courtesy Republic Services

Republic Services, which provides garbage pickup and recycling services for customers in parts of Edmonds and Lynnwood, said it is unable to provide those services Wednesday, Jan. 12, “due to a temporary work stoppage led by union members from out of state.

“We will collect double your regular material at no charge on your next regular service collection day,” Republic said in a message posted on its website. “We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your understanding.”

Seattle’s KOMO TV reported Wednesday that Republic sanitation employees have been on strike in San Diego since Dec. 17, and their picket line has been extended to four facilities in Seattle, Bellevue, Lynnwood and Kent.

According to the KOMO report, there are more than 300 employees at the facilities refusing to cross the picket line.

  1. What does this issue have to do with the fact that we haven’t service in more than two weeks; Could you pick you my gabage please?

  2. We live in the Seaview area of Edmonds. In my neighborhood, Republic Services now has skipped 3 consecutive weekly (Wednesdays) trash pick-ups, which means 1 month will soon elapse since their last pick-up.

    I understand the first miss; Edmonds was under a layer of snow that made driving treacherous. On Republic’s website, the company said back then exactly what you quote above, “We will collect double your regular material at no charge on your next regular service collection day.” That pick-up day came and went with no pick-up so I called the company – several times over the succeeding few days. “I have escalated your request; it should be done today,” one Republic representative told me last Wednesday afternoon.

    Trash pick-up was not done last Wednesday, nor last Thursday, nor last Friday, nor this past Monday, all days I was promised it would be done. The missed pick-ups for my neighborhood had been “escalated.” then “exception(ed)” – but nothing happened. Meanwhile, I told my neighbors to leave our trash curbside, as Republic said repeatedly they would be by… For 3+ weeks now. Through snow, rain, and wind, our trash has sat curbside waiting to be hauled away; we scurried after blowing trash to keep our street clean. Other local neighborhoods endure this problem, I am sure, although I find it fascinating that four Washington communities are caught up in a strike in… California. Republic is nationwide. Hmm.

    The time has come for Edmonds authorities to re-think its contract with Republic Services. If we all pay our monthly bill on time but Republic refuses to come week after week after week, why should we keep paying?

  3. And again today. Is there truth to the statement that Edmonds is not allowed to find a replacement provider for Republic Services’ coverage area for seven years, citing state law?

    1. Perhaps it’s time to consider in sourcing trash sites and pick up. Get rid of these cash greedy large companies and hire garbage/recycling under city or county employment with the same benefits and commensurate salaries. The benefit is that state/county/city employees rarely will strike and often have clauses to that effect in their contracts. Out of state issues will not affect local service. Large companies have large overhead and less control of individual sites, and frankly don’t care.

  4. I agree with David Gordon….we still have Recycling all over the parking lot..3 weeks now…up by Swedish.

  5. Republic has always provided spotty service. It is a mystery why the City continues the contract with them. Sure gets a lot less press than those streateries. Meanwhile the other Edmonds has a sanitation problem, and nothing is being done and the City officials seem to be, as always, ignoring it. Imagine if this was happening in that precious bowl area. The outrage, the horror, the press. Up here, crickets ( and in this case rats) again.

    1. Well, better get the street sweepers ready for all the garbage and recycling all over the ground ‍♂️. I can do what I can but the coyotes, raccoons, birds and rats won’t care.

      I support the workers striking for better conditions, so I hope it is resolved quickly.

      1. What is worse is we still have to pay the bill for no service. I have never heard if that with other companies. I haven’t had my recycle picked up since before Christmas.
        At least credit us the money for no service.

  6. Republic Service is the worse. Even before this union issue and the latest snow fall they’ve tried to drag their feet to pick up your trash that you’re paying them a service to do.. They’ve used the simplest inconvenience as a reason that they couldn’t pick up your trash. From too much snow to the trash cans not being the right location or the wrong type of trash. You name it. One thing they do with consistency and deft efficiency is take your monthly dues. They are hard a$$es because they know you have no alternative.

    1. There is a Snohomish County Transfer station located at: 21311 61st Pl W, Mountlake Terrace, WA 98043. Staff is always very friendly and it is reasonably priced. They take trash and yard waste.

  7. Republic is a $10B company with nearly $1B profits. They can pay a reasonable rate and figure out how to pick up trash during snow and strike.

  8. I strongly agree with all of the previous comments. We are one of six residences located a private access lane. We now have more than a dozen overflowing trash and recycling receptacles sitting at the downhill bottom of our access lane on Olympic Ave. Now we have to scrounge up additional makeshift containers for a fourth week to add even more garbage etc. to this already gross can collection.
    At this point I think we have no choice but to demand that the Edmonds mayor and council act to fire Republic ASAP and add all of the city to Sound Disposal’s existing Edmonds service area. Our neighbors on the west side of Olympic Ave. are already served by them and they never seem to have any of the problems we encounter all too often with Republic. It seems crazy to me anyway that we have two refuse disposals companies operating in our modest size community. I vote to go with the local guys (and gals) who actually care about our city.

  9. Diane T. I completely understand your annoyance re: lack of trash and recycling pick up. We are experiencing the same thing here in the “precious” bowl. Adding to the mess and inconvenience of storing garbage near our home is the hazard of hauling overstuffed bins up and down a steep driveway. And yes, we have rats also.
    We have an unfortunate shared experience re: garbage. What we don’t share is the inclination of turning on our neighbors because of where we live.
    Please endeavor to keep your comments germane to the problem at hand and resist the urge to create another one.

    1. Hi, Sandy. I agree with the tone of your comment, but it is important to note that the bowl is served by Sound Disposal, which is currently in-service, rather than Republic Services, which is not. This is a peculiar arrangement, and it is not a shared experience at this time. It likely is guiding the sentiment you are responding to, in addition to the general helplessness that Republic Services “customers” feel right now. If you have information on how cities can adjust these waste-management relationships, and how we can impact those, please do share that.

      1. We need to figure something out…. It is just a matter of time (maybe already passed) when this becomes a public health issue.

  10. On 1/12 (Wednesday) I called the City of Edmonds about this problem, and was told that the city has no contract with Republic Services. Rather, they have a certificate allowing them exclusive right to serve Edmonds by the Washington Utility and Transportation Commission ( When I called the UTC and pointed them to Republic’s Service Alert attributing their lack of service to “temporary work stoppage led by union members from out of state” I was told that a “sympathy strike” is not permitted. Then, when I asked what were Republic’s responsibilities in exchange for being granted that certificate, the person I spoke to got all huffy, thinking that I was asking if there was some sort of payoff, a quid pro quo. (Is anyone surprised that the idea of accountability is foreign to government?) Once we got past that point, I was allowed to file a complaint against Republic. All of us can, and should, complain to the UTC:

    Why are we not getting a refund from Republic for the days that were missed (other than the one legitimate snow day)?

    1. Thank you, Bob, and good luck. Rabanco/Republic Services has had only a handful of UTC complaints, and none so far in 2022 (and very few in 2021) have been ruled in the consumer’s favor.

      By the way, no pickup today (1/14), either.

    2. Bob, the City of Edmonds Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP) indicates the following:

      As stated in Part D: Contractors and Vendors of Section III – Organization and Responsibilities, the City of Edmonds has existing franchise agreements for municipal waste collection with Sound Disposal and Republic Services of Lynnwood (formerly Allied Waste Services). It is expected that in a large scale debris- generating event, the City of Edmonds resources will be overwhelmed and the City will need to contract for additional debris services. Prior to contracting for additional resources, the City of Edmonds has consulted with Sound Disposal and Republic Services to determine what gaps exist.

      The CEMP contains an Appendix G Pre-Qualified Contracts (Hauler Agreements).

      According to our CEMP, the City of Edmonds has a contract with Republic Services.

      Is the City of Edmonds examining its franchise agreement with Republic Services to determine what remedies are available in the contract?

      At a certain point in time, should the City of Edmonds request a pre-qualified hauler, such as Rubatino Refuse Removal Inc., help with the situation?

  11. I guess I’m up to quadruple on the yard waste. Maybe I should just use the transfer station and bill it back to Republic

  12. Folks, the info above from Ken Reidy is excellent as always. Ken’s research and knowledge has and is a great benefit to Edmonds. In these uncertain times we have a number of folks who are making major contributions to our community. Each year we select the “person of the year” and it is always someone very deserving of the honor. This year with our challenges the number of folks who are making our community great with thier work on food banks and any other great programs the list will be long and all will be deserving. It would be nice to recognize many of the folks who will be nominated for the traditional community service work they are doing.

    This year has been filled with other major challenges that require us to step back and assess how we want to govern ourselves. Not only for what we are doing today but what we may face in better ways to govern ourselves going forward Ken Reidy’s contribution is remarkable. Hopefully Ken can be considered for his work for Edmonds.

  13. I appreciate Ken’s informative comment. In fact, it is quite a bit different from the information I received when I called the City of Edmonds and was told that the city has nothing to do with Republic Services. I sure wish we had more people like Ken running the city and dealing accurately with the public, the people whose taxes support Edmonds’ operations.

  14. UPDATE

    Yesterday (Wednesday) Republic Services dutifully hauled away ALL of our neighborhood’s trash collected curbside – regular, recyclable, and compostable. I also saw their trucks in a few other neighborhoods while I was out and about so I will guess Republic finally made good on its word: to haul away all trash, no questions asked.

    I feel sad, though, for the individual trash haulers; one person had to drive the truck, dump the trash – and repeatedly get out of the truck to pick up all the single items not inside a trash can. How cumbersome, how slow. How unfair? Republic should have paid for teams. And yet they went about their business, no complaints I witnessed, hauling away *4* weeks of accumulated trash.

    Someone somewhere finally nudged Republic Services into doing the right thing. I have no idea who that is but I note the sole city official who read this thread and commented, Vivian Olson, seemed to grasp immediately the enormity of the situation with its consequent health risks, etc. And on the very next regularly scheduled trash pick-up date all was [briefly] right with the world. Thank you, Vivian.

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