Winter storms in Western Washington create unsafe, icy, and sometime impassable road conditions that significantly impact Waste Management’s ability to safely provide collection service. Waste Management’s highest priority is safety. Safety is the highest priority for Waste Management’s drivers and in the communities they serve. Garbage collection is ranked annually as one of the top five most dangerous occupations in the United States. When Waste Management’s drivers are sent out for collection, operational decision makers consider the size of the collection vehicles (averaging over 50,000 lbs), the conditions of the residential streets our drivers spend most of their time on, the stop and start nature of servicing residential streets, the strenuous physical labor, and the proximity to oncoming traffic. These factors create high risk even when the roads are clear, and even more so when the roads are covered in snow and ice.
The wmnorthwest.com/weatherboard contains the most up-to-date service announcements. The City and Waste Management also send out customer notifications via phone and use a variety of social media platforms, website, press releases and media advisories, if applicable.
Our goal is to notify residents the night before if it clear that service must be delayed but that’s not always possible. If the Waste Management operations team is going to evaluate road conditions in the morning, the notification cannot be performed the evening before but will be made available as soon as possible the next day.
In the event of a missed collection due to unsafe weather and road conditions, Waste Management will attempt to service multifamily properties as soon as it is safe for trucks to safely access the containers.