Trash troubles: Services resume after picketing causes garbage delays

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SEATTLE -- Hundreds of Republic Services and Allied Waste workers are on strike, a move that's led to trash piling up outside some homes across western Washington.

Allied Waste says trash pickup should resume this week for customers in the Puget Sound area. But because of the missed pickup days last week, garbage is piling up in parts of Bellevue, Kent and Lynnwood, leaving many who live there frustrated.

Sanitation workers are on strike in Massachusetts and extended their picket line to Seattle, where workers here chose to not cross the picket line in support of the Massachusetts workers. They're demanding a living wage and better health care.

“(The) temporary work stoppage at our Bellevue, Kent and Lynnwood locations is related to a labor issue in Massachusetts that has nothing to do with any Washington employees. Republic Services is servicing critical customers in the affected areas today and will pick up any missed collections as soon as possible," Republic Services said in a news release.

Local workers are calling on Microsoft founder Bill Gates - Republic Services' biggest shareholder - to step up.

According to a post on the city of Kent's Facebook page, Republic Services will pick up double the amount of garbage, recycling and yard waste at no extra charge.

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