This guide is designed to help customers understand our operations and how we prepare for and react to an inclement weather event. For information about an ongoing inclement weather event, please see the announcement bar labeled “Inclement Weather Alert” on your city’s Recology homepage.


I was missed for service due to inclement weather conditions. What should I do?

The best thing to do is to leave your bin out for service. We will be there as soon as possible. Thank you so much for your patience during this time.

Please place any extra material next to their bins. Garbage should be prepared in a plastic bag. Recycling should be prepared in a cardboard box or paper bag. Compost may be placed in a compostable or paper bag


How will I be notified of my collection being rescheduled?  

A daily call will be made to customers impacted by inclement weather service. You can also check our website which will be updated with inclement weather information. Or sign up for collection calendar alerts on our website. The best thing to do is leave your bin out for service. Our drivers are working hard to collect your bins and will be there as soon as possible.


The roads are clear, why am I not receiving service? 

After a snow event, snow plows typically clear main roads, but not smaller side streets. These side streets can go through a freeze-and-melt cycle leading to extremely icy conditions that make them dangerous to service. Our operations team scouts the cities we service multiple times a day during an inclement weather event. We are working as hard as we can to collect your material while keeping the safety of our drivers and the public in mind. 


Why do I have to wait until next week for service? 

When weather conditions make a city unsafe to service on a particular day we, we do not have the equipment or drivers necessary to pick up 2 days at the same time. Because of this, if we go back to pick up customers missed during the snow we will not be able to service the customers who’s service day is today. For example, if we were unable to service a city on Monday and Tuesday due to snow, we would have to skip Wednesday customers to pick up Monday customers and skip Thursday customers to pick up Tuesday customers.  

While it can be frustrating for customers missed by a weather event, the fastest way to return all customers in the city to normal and regular service is to pick up affected customers on their next regularly scheduled service day. This is why, in the contact Recology negotiated with your city, the solution to customers being missed due to inclement weather is to service them on their next regularly scheduled service day.  We thank you for your patience as we recover.  


The snow is gone, why was I not serviced today? 

  • The main road is clear, but the side streets are icy, slippery, and dangerous 
  • In this scenario, the main road has been cleared but the side street you live on was not cleared and has been marked icy or dangerous by one of our drivers. If we cannot turn around at a cul de sac due to snow or there is a dangerous situation caused by ice on a hilly road, we may skip service on a road or sidestreet.
  • You will be serviced on your next regularly scheduled service day 
  • In situations where multiple days of service must be missed due to snow, customers may have to wait until their next regularly scheduled service day for a pickup. Please check our website, social media, and look out for phone calls to find out if you are a customer who has been affected in this way. As for what you can do, the best thing to do is leave your bin out for service. We will be there as soon as possible. 


Why can’t your trucks drive on the snow when my truck can? They’re heavier and should be able to drive. 

While our waste-hauling trucks are much heavier than a regular pickup, they do not perform well in snow. They are not 4-wheel drive vehicles, are not equipped with snow tires, cannot attain the grip they need to travel, and until they are fully loaded with waste, they operate very much like a 2-wheel drive pickup with a light backend, heavy front, and high amount of torque. This leads to sliding and getting stuck.   

Snow also makes these vehicles hard to stop, especially on the hills of King County, so running these vehicles in the snow and ice poses a significant danger to our drivers and the communities we serve. Additionally, these trucks need to make nearly 1,000 stops and starts a day to pick up a route, creating 1,000 opportunities to get stuck while on route.  

The safety of our drivers and the communities we serve is always our paramount concern. This is why we do not send our trucks out for service if we deem the conditions too dangerous.  


How do you determine if a route or city is safe to service? 

Our operations teams scout out our routes in the early morning (typically between 1 AM and 3 AM) and throughout the day to determine the road conditions and if they are safe to serve. We then hold meetings to take in the reports, review images, and make a call. We do this consistently throughout snow events to determine our plans for the day. We then coordinate these plans with city officials and share the information through our website and on social media.  


Why can’t you put snow chains on? 

Snow chains do not significantly improve the handling of the truck in the snow. They improve the rolling ability in straight lines enough to get our trucks back to home base, but to not make it possible for our trucks to safely handle hills, stops and starts, col de sac turnarounds, or tight streets.  


How can I help? 

The best thing to do is leave your bin out for service. We will be there as soon as possible. 

If you own a commercial property, please make sure to not pile snow in front of your garbage enclosure and try to keep cars away from the enclosure as well.  

For residential customers, please be patient, we are working as hard as we can to take care of you. If your street has been plowed, push the bin past the snow drift, this can also make it easier to service your container.