Republic Services customers in Kent could see account credits

City continues to negotiate with company after strike settlement in California ends work stoppage

The settlement of a garbage strike against Republic Services in San Diego led to the return of regular service in Kent.

But city of Kent officials continue to negotiate with the company for credit to customers’ accounts.

Kent Mayor Dana Ralph reported the update at the Jan. 18 City Council meeting. Arizona-based Republic Services contracts with the city to provide garbage, recycling and yard waste services.

Ralph said city staff continues to negotiate with the company for compensation to Kent customers. Some residents didn’t receive service for three or more weeks after snow, flooding and the work stoppage halted pickups.

“Instead of compensating the city, we are asking them to credit customers’ accounts for trash not picked up,” Ralph said.

Ralph said they are asking Republic Services for another drop-off trash event, similar to two previous events at the accesso ShoWare Center parking lot.

“We also are working with them on customer service,’ Ralph said. “Robocalls went out too late. We want to see improved responses.”

The mayor remained confident in Republic Services.

“I believe they will do the right thing,” she said.

Local garbage, recycling and yard waste union drivers honored picket lines Jan. 12-14 in Kent to support the strike in California. Republic Services and the local teamsters union in California reached a settlement Jan. 17 after a month-long strike.

Republic Services in Kent posted the following message on its website about services:

“Effective Wednesday, Jan. 19, yard waste collection is suspended this week, through Jan. 21 so that Republic Services can use yard waste route drivers to collect material from our community members who have not had their garbage and recycle collected due to the snowstorm and the temporary work stoppage.

“All garbage and recycling will be collected from all customers this week. Please set out your garbage and recycle carts out at the curb on your normal collection day and leave them there until collected. We will resume normal collection next week as per your collection schedule.”

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