Waste and recycling collection is changing across the country as the cost of processing recycling increases and as cities make commitments to reduce waste and climate emissions. With these changes, it is necessary for cities to re-evaluate waste and recycling collection systems to ensure their efficiency and effectiveness while reducing environmental and health impacts.
The City of Bellingham has a contract with Sanitary Service Company (SSC) to manage residential recycling and waste collection in Bellingham. On February 27, 2023, City staff and SSC proposed the following changes for Bellingham City Council’s consideration:
- Switch from a three-bin, curb-sorted recycling system for single-family residences to a single-stream (or “commingled”) recycling system that uses one 96-gallon bin for all recyclables.
- Add organics collection as a minimum service level for all single-family residential customers.
In response, City Council approved a resolution that allows the City to modify its contract with SSC to include the above changes. Visit SSC’s website for more information about current single-stream recycling efforts.
Learn more about single-stream recycling and organic waste collection below.
- February 27, 2023 Bellingham City Council meeting – Proposed Resolution Regarding Single Stream Recyling and Organic Materials Collection (Item 23645)
- October 24, 2022 Bellingham City Council meeting – Single Stream Recycling Pilot Update (Item 23220)
- 2019 State of Residential Recycling and Organics Collection in Washington State Report by Zero Waste Washington
- 2020 State of Curbside Recycling in U.S. Report by the Recycling Partnership
- City of Bellingham Solid Waste Management
- Whatcom County WasteWise Tool