UPDATED: Winter Waste Collection Delays
Posted on 02/15/2019

1:30 p.m. Feb. 15 | AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM WASTE MANAGEMENT

“Due to inclement weather service delays, we will provide courtesy garbage and recycle service on Saturday, Feb. 16 for all Newcastle residential customers. Please place garbage and recycle carts at the curb for service by 7 a.m tomorrow. A reasonable amount of material will be collected at no additional charge. We will also service on your next regularly scheduled service day. From all of us at Waste Management, thank you for your patience!”

6 a.m. Feb. 12 UPDATE | 
Morning, Newcastle. Due to persistent unsafe conditions, Waste Management has canceled collection service in Newcastle on Tuesday. On residents' next regularly scheduled service day, they may place up to three times their normal service levels at no extra charge. WM is still providing a garbage drop-off location for residents at Lake Boren Park today. This will be available from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Only household garbage will be accepted.  

5:30 p.m. Feb. 11 UPDATE | AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM WASTE MANAGEMENT

Waste Management is providing a drop-off location for your household garbage, due to the recent winter weather service delays. The drop-off location will be available Tuesday, Feb. 12 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Lake Boren Park. Drop-off material is limited to household garbage. WM will accept up to twice as much material as you normally put in your cart. If you choose to NOT use the drop-off location, you may set out up to three times your usual amount of material on your next regular collection day, at no additional charge.

Waste Management will attempt to provide service on Tuesday. However, due to the weather and safety issues, they may not be able to service all residents. We'll update you as soon as we hear about any cancellations. Tuesday customers are also welcome to take advantage of the drop-off location on Tuesday. For more information, please go to wmnorthwest.com.

8:30 p.m. Feb. 10 UPDATE | 
We just received word that Waste Management is canceling all service (everywhere, not just Newcastle) on Monday, Feb. 11. The snow and frigid temperatures continue to cause hazardous road conditions for both WM drivers and our community. When safe, please bring in your collection bins from the curb. This will also delay new cart delivery as part of the new services that begin in March (for more information on the new WM services, go to newcastlewa.gov/solidwaste).

ABOUT WINTER WEATHER COLLECTION DELAYS

This week’s winter weather forced Waste Management to suspend collection services in Newcastle on Monday, Feb. 4 and 11, and Tuesday, Feb. 5 and 12. While interrupted service creates great inconvenience for residents, the snow and frigid temperatures caused hazardous road conditions for both WM drivers and our community.

The WM operations teams inspected road conditions between 3-5 a.m. each morning before making the decision to cancel service for the day. They made the decision to cancel service for Monday, Feb. 11, on Saturday evening. "We are very sorry for the interrupted service, but keeping the community and our drivers safe is our highest priority," Waste Management said.

Customers will be serviced on their next regular collection day. When service is resumed, WM will collect a triple load at no additional charge. In the meantime, please remove your containers from the street. The city and Waste Management understand the frustration and we sincerely apologize for the inconvenience. WM has some tips on their website for managing extra garbage/recycling/yard waste here. You can learn more about their severe weather policy here.

We've put together a list of answers to some frequently asked questions concerning waste collection delays. Click the arrows on the red boxes for additional details.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is Waste Management's Severe Weather Policy?

If a waste collection day is missed due to severe weather, customers will be serviced on their next regular collection day. When service is resumed, WM will collect double (or triple, as was the case with consecutive missed collections) the load at no additional cost. 

From Waste Management's website:

• If weather conditions prevent collection of garbage or recycling, please remove the containers from the street.

• There is no limit on the amount of clean recyclables accepted for collection.

• Every Other Week Recycling & Yard Waste Collected Two (2) weeks after Missed Collection: If recycling or yard waste is regularly collected every other week, the uncollected material will be collected on the next regular collection day for that container (two weeks from the missed collection), unless residents are otherwise notified by telephone or on this site.

When does Waste Management make the determination to cancel service?

Waste Management usually makes the call to cancel service for the day after sending out operations crews to assess conditions in our community early in the morning. As soon as we hear from them, we post the news on our website and social media accounts. We encourage you to check here first, as we have the means to update our website a little quicker than Waste Management. WM posts cancellation information at wmnorthwest.com/weatherboard.html.

Why doesn't Waste Management just re-schedule pick up to the next day or a makeup day?

Some bigger cities like Seattle are able to have missed pickups done on the next day. That is because a Seattle-sized city has a much larger fleet of vehicles that are entirely dedicated to that jurisdiction. The trucks Waste Management uses for Newcastle are scheduled to be used for pickup in other cities on the days they are not here. That means if they were to move a missed pickup to the next day in Newcastle, the trucks would not be available to pick up at all in that other city. Mandating next-day pickup in the contract means paying for extra trucks and drivers that Newcastle doesn’t need the majority of the time and that would result in significantly higher rates for customers.

How does the collection delay policy compare to other jurisdictions?

Newcastle is in the same boat as the vast majority of other jurisdictions when it comes to solid waste contracts that delay pickup, whether they contract with Republic, Waste Management or Recology. Bellevue (Republic), Issaquah (Recology), Sammamish (Republic), Kirkland (Waste Management) and Redmond (Waste Management) are just a few of our neighbors who similarly delay service to the next regularly scheduled collection day during severe weather events.

Why don't I get a rebate for missed service?

The reason customers don't receive a rebate on missed service is that Waste Management collects a double (or triple in this particular case) load on the next week’s pickup. They are still picking up (and disposing of) the same amount of garbage. Again, this is almost universal in all garbage contracts, not just Newcastle.

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