Garbage Piling Up? Waste Management Strike Affects King County

Did you notice your garbage was still in the driveway when you came home from work yesterday afternoon? You weren’t the only one! The Waste Management Team in King and Snohomish counties went on strike yesterday afternoon against the largest refuse service over wage and benefits issues in the Northwest. According to the Seattle Times, the Local 117, which includes 153 recycling-route drivers walked out yesterday, and were joined by the garbage truck drivers of Local 174 shortly after.

Drivers began to pull service trucks into the South Seattle Waste Management yard, stepped out of their vehicles and picked up a picket sign. Their strike affects over 220,000 in King and Snohomish counties, and Waste Management could be issued steep fines should the strike drag out; up to $4,500 dollars a day for failing to make scheduled collections, and $250,000 if the strike drags out longer than a week. Drivers have been without a contract since May 31st, and are disputing the wage gap between recycle drivers who start at $17 an hour vs garbage drivers who’re starting at around $26 an hour. At this time there are no plans for negotiation in place, Waste Management hopes drivers will come back to work. For more information on the strike, visit the Seattle Times.

Good Bye Plastic Bags, Hello Sustainable Seattle!

After this weekend, the plastic bag ban in Seattle will go into affect July 1st, so if you haven’t already been accumulating some reusable grocery totes, this weekend might be a good time to get your hands on a few! The law states that all retail stores are prohibited from providing customers with single use plastic carry out bags, even those advertised as compostable, biodegradable, etc.

Retail stores will now be providing customers with any size recyclable paper bag, at a cost of a minimum of 5 cents per bag. Bag charges will show up on customer receipts, a friendly reminder to bring your totes with you next time you pick up your groceries. If you’re picking up party favors and fireworks this weekend for the July 4th holiday, say your goodbyes to the plastic bag for the week to come! If you haven’t picked up any bags yet, Safeway stores in Seattle will give away 32,000 free reusable totes this Sunday in preparation for the Bag Ban.

 

4724 California Ave Design Reivew Meeting This Week

Although development has been slowing down rapidly over the past two years, we are starting to see projects pick up in various areas, such as West Seattle, and North Seattle neighborhoods like Ballard and Fremont. Plans for the 4724 California Ave project in West Seattle are still underway, and a Southwest Design Review Board meeting will be held this Thursday night at 6:30PM at the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. This is the first public design meeting for the roughly 100unit building with retail space on the ground floor in the junction at the old Petco site. For more information on this project status, or other developments in the neighborhood, please visit the Department of Planning and Development.

Home Prices in King County on the Rise!

For the first time in a very long time, home prices in King County rose last month, and have increased significantly in the Seattle city limits. According to the Seattle Pi, the median sale price was $360,000 countrywide in April and was $425,000 in Seattle. Rates have risen 2.9% nationwide, and 10.4% in Seattle alone. There’s something to be said for the Northwest after all.

Of course, there are still areas within King County that aren’t seeing the same increase that Seattle is, such as South King County where activity was simply OK. Lender owned homes, which generally sell for less went up this month as well, and overall sales of homes and condos were up in Seattle, and nationwide 19.2%.  Pending sales in our city have risen, indicating an increase in activity even though some of these don’t always close. It’s very promising that although the prices of homes are continually on the rise in Seattle and the surrounding King County areas, sales are just as high as ever. For listings in the Seattle area, click here.