News Blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf Neighborhood


Second week of policed garbage pickup

January 6th, 2015 by Mike

Update from Seattle Public Utilities:

At 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 7, 600 lucky Seattle residents who pledge to recycle and compost will receive a Collector’s Edition Seattle Mariners Kitchen Caddy at the following locations:

Lake City Neighborhood Service Center at 12525 28th Avenue Northeast, Seattle, WA 98125

– See more at:


As Maple Leaf enters its second week of trash checking, we’re interested in hearing about neighbors’ experiences.

After our first post on the new trash enforcement, one commenter noted:

I am conscientious when it comes to putting the proper items in the trash, as are all the neighbors on my block. Lo and behold, every trash bin on the block was red tagged today. The Trash Police did not specify what exactly was placed in the trash in error. So we get to move forward not knowing what was improperly tossed, and fines are the next step.

This did not seem to be the case on many blocks (we looked).

But this week KUOW has a story featuring Maple Leaf trash: “Seattle’s scarlet letter for sloppy trash sorters.”

The public radio station talked with Rodney Watkins, a lead driver for CleanScapes.

As Watkins made the rounds in Maple Leaf recently, he appeared disheartened to find an entire red velvet cake in someone’s trash bin. Any house with more than 10 percent food in their garbage earned a bright red tag notifying them of the infraction.

“Right now I’m tagging probably every fifth can,” Watkins said. “I don’t know if that’s just the holidays, or the fact that I’m actually paying a lot more attention.”

Right now the tags are just a warning, but fines will apply beginning in July. For single households, $1 – but apartments, condos and commercial buildings could be fined $50.

More information from Seattle Public Utilities is here. KUOW says Seattle is the first city in the country to fine people for not properly sorting their garbage.

→ 20 CommentsTags: , , ,

Should Seattle pick up neighborhood garbage only every other week?

December 7th, 2013 by Mike

The Seattle City Council this week discussed a plan to pick up our garbage only every other week – similar to the way recycling is picked up.

That means possibly smelly trash cans sitting outside your house for a fortnight, instead of disappearing every (at Maple Leaf Life South) Thursday. Seattle Public Utilities ran a pilot program last year in several neighborhoods, including Wedgwood.

There’s a good piece at from earlier this week:

Over 60 percent of the pilot’s participants were satisfied with their service, but lower-income and minority customers and households with diapers were more inclined to say that the less frequent pick ups stink. Increases in bad odors and rodent sightings were among the reasons customers said they were dissatisfied.

The service cuts would save SPU about $5 to $6 million annually and, according to SPU officials, reduce garbage truck traffic and incentivize recycling and composting. Garbage collection bills should go down for most customers if the council approves the new collection regimen, but households that need to upsize their trashcans to hold two weeks of waste would pay more.

Reaction has been mixed. The Crosscut piece picked up perhaps a dozen-and-a-half comments.

But when the West Seattle Blog ran a piece at the end of November, they got 72 comments, some with praise but others along this line: “RATS our city will be filthy and infested with RATS if this goes through!”

A full City Council vote will likely take place in February, with any change in service set for 2015.

What do you think? Should the city change to every other week garbage pickup, and possibly save us money?

→ 44 CommentsTags: ,

Metro, SPU plan for snow – just in case

December 28th, 2010 by master

The flakes haven’t started falling yet, but snow is in the forecast for tonight and Wednesday morning, which means the city and Metro Transit are preparing — just in case.

Metro is urging riders to check its Snow, Ice & Flood alert page if we wake up to a blanket of snow tomorrow, and also reminds riders that buses are on a reduced schedule this week because of the holidays.

Similarly, Seattle Public Utilities isn’t expecting snowfall to be significant enough to affect garbage pickup, and is asking customers with Wednesday pickup to put their garbage out as usual despite the forecast. So Maple Leaf residents, you know what that means. Unless you hear otherwise, put your garbage out as usual Wednesday night for our regular Thursday pickup, even if there is snow on the ground (unless we hear otherwise, of course).

Hey, and don’t forget to put out your tree and other holidays “greens” this week or next week for free tree-cycling.

→ No CommentsTags: , ,

Put out your garbage after feasting tonight

November 25th, 2010 by master

Even though garbage pickup was suspended Tuesday and Wednesday, Seattle Public Utilities has announced that pickup is scheduled to resume on Friday.

And because of today’s Thanksgiving holiday, those of us with a regular Thursday pickup, which includes most of Maple Leaf, will have our waste picked up on Friday.

Which means, after enjoying your holiday feast and cleaning up the mess, please remember to put out your garbage and recycling tonight or by 7 a.m. tomorrow.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

→ No CommentsTags: ,

More news from the morning after

November 23rd, 2010 by Mike

Many things are closed or not happening this morning. They include:

  • Schools.
  • Garbage, yard waste and recycling pickup.
  • All libraries, until 1 p.m.
  • Planes – flight crews are having trouble getting to the airport. Call first!
  • Many park programs.
  • The University of Washington.
  • Many bus routes.

→ 3 CommentsTags: , , , , ,

Garbage collection normal on Veterans Day

November 10th, 2010 by master

Don’t forget to put out your garbage and yard waste tonight or tomorrow morning. Despite the Veterans Day holiday, Seattle Public Utilities has announced normal garbage collection on Thursday, Nov. 11.

However, most other government offices are closed, and the Veterans Day holiday also coincides with the November Seattle Parks and Recreation furlough. All facilities and offices will be closed Thursday, but the Northgate Community Center, 10510 Fifth Ave. N.E., also will be closed Friday, Nov. 12.

Other services and facilities that won’t be available Friday because of the furlough include grounds maintenance; all community centers (except child care and late-night programs, which will still operate); swimming pools; Environmental Learning Centers; Lifelong Recreation (except Food and Fitness programs, which will still operate); and the Business Service Center.

On Monday, parks  facilities and services that will be closed include administrative offices (communications, correspondence, Park Board support, Web management, public outreach, human resources, finance and administration); the Planning and Development Division; and the Magnuson Park office.

The Northgate Library, 10548 Fifth Ave. N.E., also will be closed Thursday in observance of Veterans Day, but as part of its regular hours it also will be closed Friday and Sunday.

In addition, King County Metro Transit will be offering reduced services, so be sure to double-check your schedule before you leave here.

→ 2 CommentsTags: , , ,

Garbage strike shouldn't affect Maple Leaf service

April 21st, 2010 by master

Don’t forget to put out your garbage tonight!

Although a strike by Teamsters Local 174 garbage and yard waste drivers started at 10:30 a.m. today, most Maple Leaf residents (roughly from Interstate 5 to Lake City Way and from Northeast Northgate Way to Northeast 75th Street) are actually serviced by a different contract, CleanScapes, which isn’t part of the strike.

Recycling also will continue to be picked up citywide because it, too, is covered by a different contract.

Here’s a map that shows the collection days, as well as which company provides the service.

Today’s strike alone is expected to affect about 18,000 residential customers, and that number could grow to 1 million if the strike continues. Anybody who misses a pickup because of the strike is asked to put their cans out on their next collection day.

“The city of Seattle is not part of the negotiations between Waste Management and the Teamsters,” said Seattle Public Utilities Acting Director Ray Hoffman. “However, we are disappointed that the two parties were not able to reach an agreement and hope they continue good faith negotiations toward a speedy and successful outcome.”

Our partner The Seattle Times has more on the strike, as well as a Q-and-A on how it could affect you.

→ No CommentsTags: ,

Garbage collection still on schedule

April 5th, 2010 by master

Although Teamsters Local 174 does not have a contract, Seattle Public Utilities says that garbage and yard waste drivers will remain on the job today. “Although no new contract agreement has been announced between the company and the union, Teamsters officials reportedly have instructed garbage haulers to go to work today as usual,” a SPU press release states. The contract between Waste Management and the Teamsters Local 174 expired on March 31.

→ No CommentsTags:

No garbage strike this morning

April 1st, 2010 by Mike

Put out the trash. And the recycling and yard waste, too.

Negotiations continued overnight, and the potential garbage strike has been at least postponed, says Seattle Public Utilities spokesman Andy Ryan.

Our news partners at The Seattle Times have a full report here.

→ No CommentsTags:

Put out that trash despite possible strike

March 30th, 2010 by Mike

Despite the possibility of a garbage strike by Thursday, the city wants you to go ahead and put out your trash, recycling and yard waste as usual.

In a release Tuesday afternoon, Seattle Public Utilities asked customers to observe their regular pickup days. If there’s no pickup, leave it out an extra day, e-mailed Andy Ryan, media relations coordinator for the utility department. If it’s still not collected that next day, put it out the following week on your regular day.

The dispute is between Teamsters Local 174 and Waste Management, the company that provides pickup service for about half of Seattle, but not for most of Maple Leaf. A map of Waste Management’s service area is here.

Over the weekend the drivers voted to authorize a strike if they don’t have a new contract by Thursday. The current contract expires at midnight Wednesday.

The city’s contract with Waste Management requires continuation of services, and the company has announced it is lining up replacement drivers.

If you’re wondering what to expect if the union does strike, the Seattle Times has a write-up about how it could affect you.

→ No CommentsTags: