City of Kent meets with Republic Services over lack of garbage service

Discussions during work stoppage include more drop-off events; possible bill credits

City of Kent Public Works Department and Republic Services staff met Friday, Jan. 14 to discuss steps the company can take to help with trash and recycling pickup until the work stoppage ends.

The discussion included the following items, according to the Public Works Department:

• An expectation for Republic to secure self-haul drop-off locations on the East Hill, West Hill and in the Valley as soon as possible and on as many dates as possible until service is fully caught up.

• Authorization for Republic to collect for more hours per day, up to 10 p.m. for up to two weeks.

• Authorization for Republic to modify what materials are collected each day.

• Negotiation of bill credits to customers.

• Additional customer service improvements including ample notice of self-haul drop-off times and locations.

Drivers haven’t crossed picket lines in Kent and at other locations since Jan. 12 to honor striking garbage workers against Republic Services in San Diego.

“We understand your frustration and are working diligently to rectify the situation,” according to the Public Works statement. “It is our expectation that customers who have paid for trash, recycling and yard waste collection services receive that service in a timely manner.

“Solid waste collection is an essential public service that our residents and businesses depend on, and we are committed to addressing the ongoing public health and safety concern that comes as result of the gap in service.”

Several hundred Kent residents were able to utilize the temporary drop-off Friday, Jan. 14 at the accesso ShoWare Center, according to Public Works. The city and Republic expect to announce additional drop-off events.

City officials said there is no fee for blue bin recycling at all King County Transfer Station locations and a small fee for garbage disposal. The nearest station to Kent is Bow Lake, 18800 Orillia Road S. You can see the list of accepted items and check the line at KingCounty.gov/Bow-Lake to avoid wait times.

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