Screenshot from City of Kent Facebook Page

Screenshot from City of Kent Facebook Page

Trash piles up in King County neighborhoods after agency postpones service for weeks

Collection company initially cited weather as the reason, but now a strike interferes.

As trash bags stack up on curbs across King County, residents all over the region are complaining that their garbage has not been picked up for several weeks.

Several cities including Kent, Bellevue and Renton have issued notices on Jan. 12 that trash pickups would be delayed for another week by the contracted garbage collection agency Republic Services due to “a temporary work stoppage led by union members from out of state.” This publication has reached out to Republic seeking comment.

Renton resident Chad Perry said his family has not had their trash picked up since Dec. 16, 2021, and with a family of four, trash bags are starting to pile up in his garage.

When he called a customer service representative with Republic Services, Perry said he was told that drivers in the region are not working to “honor” the striking drivers in San Diego, where the labor strike against the company began.

Perry called the situation unacceptable and a potential health hazard as trash collects in his neighborhood and home.

“So because of San Diego’s strike, the people of our area get the shaft?” Perry asked rhetorically. “[That] leaves a really bad taste in our mouths.”

Ben Wood lives in the Renton Highlands and said he has not had his trash collected since before Christmas. When he contacted Republic Services, he was initially told that inclement weather was the reason why collection was postponed.

When the next collection day came a week later, weather was cited again as the reason why garbage would not be collected, despite visibly clear streets traveled by other kinds of services like Amazon and USPS deliveries.

When Wood called Republic Services to ask if there would be any sort of refund or compensation for the lack of service, he was told that weather conditions were written into the service contract as a forgivable reason to postpone service.

Jenny Zhou lives in Bellevue’s Lakemont neighborhood where residents have not had their trash collected for three weeks. She said Republic Services did not notify their customers of the strike until Jan. 12, even though it is unclear how long the regional strikes had truly been impacting the company’s ability to provide service.

Zhou said she wishes the company had been more transparent, and said people would have understood the situation better if the company had disclosed it sooner.

“Tell us the real reason,” she said. “Because we really don’t know what is going to happen.”

Zhou her neighbors are starting to feel entitled to a refund for services they did not receive. She said some of them had requested refunds, but had not been guaranteed they would receive one.

Republic Services issued statements on the cancellation of the garbage collection to cities in the region and maintained that “affected customers can put out all household waste accumulated since their last pickup at no extra charge on their next regular service collection day.”


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@valleyrecord.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.valleyrecord.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in News

File photo
Non-profit sponsors study on how the pandemic impacted arts and culture in Puget Sound

The study helped identify challenges faced by residents and cultural organizations in Washington

Photo of Boalch Avenue in North Bend, part of the Meadowbrook neighborhood. Courtesy of the City of North Bend
Six-month delay possible for Meadowbrook sewer project

The Meadowbrook Utility Local Improvement District (ULID) could face potential delays, as… Continue reading

File photo
WA lawmakers propose making companies responsible for recycling improvements

SB 5697 would compel industries to report data, invest in infrastructure, meet standards.

Governor Jay Inslee. Sound Publishing file photo
Inslee: Officials’ lies about election results should be crime

Governor wants lawmakers to pass legislation making it a gross misdemeanor.

Proposal for the new River Run Apartments in North Bend. Courtesy Photo
North Bend approves clearing for new apartments, affordable housing

North Bend has issued a clearing and grading permit for the new… Continue reading

Sarah Perry, King County Council
King County Councilmember Sarah Perry shares her priorities for Eastside

New District 3 King County Councilmember Sarah Perry has outlined behavioral health,… Continue reading

Screenshot
Issaquah and Bellevue police chase ends with stolen car in river

The two suspects have been arrested and are awaiting charges with King County.

File photo
County auditor finds agencies fall short on emergency services

The auditor’s office recommends clarifying responsibilities and accountability for effective planning.

Most Read