Freeze and thaw leaves garbage stranded in Thurston Co.

Freeze and thaw leaves garbage stranded in Thurston Co. »Play Video

THURSTON COUNTY, Wash. -- Garbage is starting to pile up in unincorporated Thurston County.

New weight restrictions on county roads mean the garbage trucks can't use them and garbage cans are getting collected.

The restrictions just went into effect, leaving nearly half of the LeMay garbage trucks at Pacific Disposal sitting idle, perhaps for several more days.

"Wow, I had no idea," said garbage customer Susan Lowery. "That's a little rough around Christmas with all of the extra stuff going on, but I hope they get it figured out soon."

"We're going to try to lift the restriction as soon as we can," said Thurston County civil engineer Diane Sheesley. "We know it's important."

The ground under the roads is frozen deep, and now the thawing is causing the asphalt to be vulnerable to cracking if pounded by heavy trucks.

"It's a tough call to make it," said Sheesley, "but it can cost the county in the millions of dollars if we have major damage to road sections."

Garbage customers are being told they'll have to wait until their next normal pickup and they won't be charged for extra bags. As for the 30 or so drivers sitting idle? They won't get paid..

It's not just garbage trucks. Any truck over a certain weight are prohibited from traveling over county roads. Sheriff's deputies and the county roads deputy are on the look-out. Trucks are being pulled over left and right.