Locally-owned and family-operated, Sanitary Service Company, Inc. (SSC) is Whatcom County's largest full-service recycling and waste collection company.
As fellow neighbors, we care about our community and take pride in supporting the areas we service by participating in local events. SSC is a proud business member of Sustainable Connections and the Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce and Industry. As a 5-Star EnviroStar, Whatcom Watershed Pledge participant, Whatcom County Waste-Wise Business, 100% Green Power business and Toward Zero Waste Pioneer, we strive to reduce our waste, reuse and recycle where we can. We regularly use products made from recycled materials and continue to find ways to incorporate other recycled products into our daily operations.
We are fortunate to live in such a beautiful area, but we all share in the responsibility to protect and preserve its health and beauty. At SSC, we take this responsibility seriously and are proud of our many years of service to this community. Working together, we can ensure a clean and healthy environment - today and for the future.
In 1929, Sanitary Service Company opened for business in Bellingham with five employees and 500 customers. Today, we employ more than 90 people and serve over 45,000 commercial and residential customers in Bellingham, Ferndale, Birch Bay and the majority of unincorporated Whatcom County.
Garbage collection circa 1930's. Gus Razore (L) and Jaquin (R) and (ret.) Fire House horses "Patrick and Max"
Sanitary Service Company, Inc. was co-founded by Agostino "Gus" Razore. Mr. Razore was born in 1895 in Sant'Olcese, Italy, a small mountain village just outside Genoa in Northern Italy. Mr. Razore emigrated to the U.S. at the age of 16, entering through Ellis Island, New York, before traveling cross country by train to Seattle. He eventually settled in Bellingham and worked for several years in the truck gardens before starting SSC.
In 1929, Mr. Razore and two other local businessmen, Josie Razore (no relation) and Mario Torre established City Sanitary Service Company, Bellingham's first garbage collection company. City Sanitary Service Company, now Sanitary Service Company, Inc., originally collected garbage from local residents and businesses by horse and wagon.
Gus Razore died in 1978 at the age of 83. He is well-remembered for his contributions to the community. In 1997, the Washington Refuse and Recycling Association (WRRA), the state trade association for garbage and recycling haulers, honored Mr. Razore for his contributions to the solid waste and recycling handling industry. SSC continued as a family-run business, being operated by Mr. Razore's two sons, Joe and Paul, as well as employing other Razore family members. After retiring from SSC, Joe went on to open Joe and Cora’s U-Cut Christmas Tree Farm with his wife Cora, before passing away in 2008. Paul Razore continues as company President.
|One of Gus Razore's favorite industry stories: Before trucks were available, horses were used to pull wagons to collect garbage. Often, retired "fire hall" horses were used. These horses were trained to respond to the fire bell, pulling the water wagons to fight fires. Even though they were retired from firefighting duty, every time a fire bell would ring, these horses would leave the garbage route and head straight toward the fire hall. - Joe Razore
Supporting Our Community
Arthritis Foundation - Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis – Sponsor
Association of Washington Business (AWB)
- Business Week Scholarship
- 2013 Policy Summit - Sponsor
- 2014 Legislative Summit - Gold Level Sponsor
Behind the Badge Foundation's Fun with the Fuzz 5K - Title Sponsor
Bellingham Bay Marathon - Presenting Sponsor
Bellingham Festival of Music - 2013
Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce & Industry
- Industry Annual Awards Dinner - Green Award Sponsor
Better Business Bureau (BBB) Secure Your ID Shred Day
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Washington -– 2012 Corporate Partner
Chuckanut Century to benefit Whatcom Hospice - Event Sponsor
Depot Market Square - Major Donor
Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services of Whatcom County (DVSAS)
- Hands for Hope Gala – Sponsor
- Victory Over Violence Luncheon – Sponsor
- Race for the End of Domestic Violence 5K/10K (DVSAS/Womencare Shelter)
Haggen Food - Pet Food Drive
New Ferndale Library Project - Major Donor
PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center
- Cancer Outreach Center - Major Donor
- Emergency Department Renovation - Major Donor
- Peace Health Foundation - Gala Sponsor
Redden Marine Opening Day
ReSources for Sustainable Communities
- Environmental Heroes Award Dinner - Sponsor
- Sustainable Living Center - Contributor
RIDE 542 Mount Baker Hill Climb - Title Sponosr
Ryan Stiles Celebrity Golf Classic – Benefits Burned Children Recovery Foundation
- Fairhaven Festival - Supporter
- Grand Parade - Sponsor
- Jr Ski-to-Sea Race - Sponsor
- Opening Reception - Sponsor
- Green Building & Smart Growth - Gold Sponsor
- Whatcom County Farm Tour
- Member Networking Breakfast
Washington Higher Education 2014 Sustainability Conference - Sponsor
Western Washington University
- Huxley Student Chapter of the Air and Waste Management Association (AWMA)
- Office of Sustainability - Off-Campus Partner
- President's Club - Lifetime Member
- WWU Cycling Team - Sponsor
Whatcom Humane Society
- Dog Days of Summer Festival & Purple Paw Fun Run - Sponsor
- New Building Project - Major Donor
- Farm Animal Facility - Service Donation
- Treasures from the Trunk: The Story of J.J. Donovan - Donor
AGC - Associated General Contractors
AWB - Association of Washington Business
AWC - Association of Washington Cities
BWCCI - Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce & Industry
BBB - Better Business Bureau
Birch Bay Chamber of Commerce
BIAWC - Building Industry Association of Whatcom County
Ferndale Chamber of Commerce
NAID - National Association for Information Destruction
NSWMA - National Solid Waste Management Association
NWEC - Northwest Economic Council
Sustainable Connections - Sustaining Member
WRRA - Washington Refuse & Recycling Association
WSAC - Washington State Association of Counties
WSEHA - Washington State Environmental Health Association - Sustaining Member
WSRA - Washington State Recycling Association
We also support the following...
- April Brews Day -– Max Higbee Center Benefit
- Animals as Natural Therapy (ANT)
- Association of Washington Business (AWB) - Holiday Kids' Tree Project
- Baker's Breakfast Cookie Triathlon
- Bellingham Bike Event
- Bellingham Scottish Highland Games
- Bellingham Central Business District Litter Collection - Sponsor
- Bellingham Merchants Softball - Sponsor
- Bellingham School District
- Classified Employee of the Year Award - Sponsor
- Fairhaven Middle School - Winter Wobble Food & Clothing Drive
- Gordon Carter Environmental Education Site (3rd Grade Field Trip)
- Greater Bellingham Middle School Challenge Event
- Healthy Minds Breakfast Fundraiser
- Lowell Elementary School Coat Drive
- Bellingham Traverse
- Bike to Work & School Day - Sponsor
- Birch Bay Chamber of Commerce
- Discovery Days
- July 5th Cleanup
- Bite of Bellingham
- Boys & Girls Club of Whatcom County - Annual Breakfast Sponsor
- Cascade Radio Group/Industrial Credit Union Food Drive
- Chuckanut Bay Rugby
- Deming Logging Show
- Downtown Sounds (Alley Concerts)
- East 542 Music Fest
- Everson Summer Festival
- Fairhaven Girls Night Out
- Fairhaven Runners & Walkers
- Ferndale Street Festival
- Festival of Flags - Greenacres Memorial Park
- Fun With The Fuzz
- Greater Bellingham Running Club (GBRC)
- Chuckanut Footrace
- Padden Mudfest
- Grizzly Bear Outreach Project
- Haggen Food
- Family Fourth of July
- Haggen to Haggen 5k Fun Run & Walk
- Haggen Annual Coat Drive
- Hoop Jam
- Jazz Festival at Bellwether
- Keller Williams - RED Day (Renew, Energize, Donate)
- Ken Meyer Criterium - Ken Meyer Memorial Foundation for Cancer Cure
- Kulshan Community Land Trust
- Madrona Street Home -– 100th Home
- Livestrong Ride To Conquer Cancer
- Lowell Elementary School - Coat Drive
- Lummi Stommish Water Festival
- Lummi Youth Programs - Sponsor
- Lydia Place Annual Mother-of-all-Garage-Sales
- Makayla’s Street Jam 3-on-3 Childhood Cancer Benefit
- Memory Walk - Alzheimer's Society
- Mount Baker Bicycle Club
- Mount Baker Theater
- Mt. Baker Invitational
- MS Walk
- Nooksack Appreciation Days
- Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association (NSEA)
- Nooksack Tribe Mother's Day & Canoe Races
- Northwest Washington Farm-to-Table Trade Meeting
- Northwest Wildlife Rehabilitation Center
- Wild Things Dinner & Auction - Eagle Sponsor - 2012
- Old Settlers Days - Ferndale
- Project Santa Claus
- Procession of the Species Parade
- Real Heroes Event - Mt. Baker Chapter American Red Cross
- Relay For Life - American Cancer Society (Bellingham & WWU)
- State Capital (Olympia) Kids Christmas Tree
- The Human Race
- The Upfront Theatre
- Tour de Whatcom
- Twilight Girl Scout Camp
- Washington Foundation for the Environment
- Washington Law Enforcement Memorial
- Washington State Criterium Championship
- Washington State Recycling Association (WSRA)
- Washington Recycles Every Day - Whatcom County Tour
- Annual Conference Ice Cream Social
- We Snip
- Whatcom Community College - Annual Waste Audit
- Whatcom County Library System - Summer Reads
- Whatcom County Parks & Recreation Department Foundation
- Whatcom County Youth Soccer Association – Annual Food Drive
- Whatcom Crisis Services - Sponsor
- Whatcom Family YMCA - Sponsor
- Whatcom Land Trust
- Whatcom Museum
- Whatcom Rowing Association - Lakewood Dock Rehabilitation
- Whatcom Sustainable Recreation
- YMCA Youth & Government Program - Governor's Breakfast & Proclamation Signing Ceremony
- York Neighborhood Annual Cleanup
Brad Walton Photography
The Western Washington University (WWU) Cycling Team is a men's and women's collegiate team that competes in Division Two (DII) from the local to national levels. WWU Cycling competes in four disciplines - road, mountain, track and cyclocross. Riders of any level are welcome. WWU Cycling is open to any student at Western Washington University, but only eighteen riders compete.
In 2013, WWU Cycling ranked twelfth in the nation in the Division ll Collegiate Cycling Road National Championships after winning the DII NWCCC (Northwest Collegiate Cycling Conference) title. Riders Danita Dunlap and Michael Simecek each respectively won the best individual DII rider in the NWCCC.
WWU Cycling helps the local cycling community in the greater Bellingham area by volunteering at events such as: The Chuckanut Century, Cascade Cross Events, Whatcom Mountain Bike Coalition trail building days, matinence with our Adopt-A-Road Program, and Bike to school/work day.
For more information about the team, visit Facebook and Twitter.
SSC is a "bicycle friendly" business. Our drivers are giving training in bicycle friendly ways of the road and we have long supported local cycling efforts, including organziations like Mount Baker Bicycle Club (MBBC), events such as Bike to Work and School Day and business programs like Whatcom SmartTrips. Our employees log over 30,000 SmartTrips miles per year – many of them by bike! SSC is also a proud sponsor of WWU's Cycling Team.
In 2013, SSC was awarded a Silver Certification during the inaugural round of awards sponsored by the BizCycle Program of the Cascade Bicycle Club. Washington Governor, and fellow bicyclist, Jay Inslee, presented the awards at the BizCycle Breakfast in Seattle. SSC joined other Washington businesses at the silver level, including CH2MHill, Starbucks, and the University of Washington-Seattle Campus.
BizCycle is based on the evidence that businesses and workplaces that encourage and support bicycling among their employees demonstrate improved employee health and financial performance. A detailed 50-point checklist allows each business to measure their “bicycle friendly” rating against objective standards, which also point out areas where businesses can strive to improve their performance in the future. The checklist has six prerequisites, which SSC and the other winners all met:
- adequate bike parking for employees and visitors
- sponsorship of an annual bike event
- bike specific messages sent to employees
- measurement of % of employees who bicycle to work
- goal-setting for increased % of riders
- community advocacy & planning around bicycling
As part of Bike to Work & School Day, SSC sponsored one of 61 celebration stations in 2013, rallying neighborhood businesses to help with staffing. The event hosted nearly 10,000 riders during their morning commute. Year-round, Bellingham has 6% bicycle rideshare, just .2% behind Portland, OR, the highest in the nation! Currently, 9% of SSC employees bicycle to work regularly. Our goal is to double that over the next by 2015. SSC has set a minimum of eight (8) bicycle commutes per month for an employee to qualify for participation and benefits.
Other areas on the BizCycle checklist where SSC received points include: “bicycle friendly” training for our recycling and garbage drivers, “Bicycle Friendly” decals on the back of company vehicles, providing showers and lockers for employees, and financial incentives. The latter includes quarterly drawings for gift cards and reimbursement of up to $20 per employee per month for bicycle commuting expenses through the federal tax deductible program to encourage bicycle commuting.
For questions or more info or contact us or (360) 734-3490.
Running on Biodiesel Fuel
Since 2005, SSC's garbage and recycling trucks have been running on biodiesel fuel. "We tested biodiesel in a number of our trucks for 18 months with no maintenance issues or loss in performance," said SSC Co-Owner Paul Razore. "We made the switch in mid-2005 and have never looked back." SSC trucks fuel up at one of two Yorkston Oil Yorky's locations that offer biodiesel - State Street and West Bakerview stations. The SSC fleet uses 300,000 gallons of fuel per year to collect garbage and recyclables from residents and businesses in Whatcom County. Biodiesel costs a bit more than regular diesel, but it is biodegradable, non-toxic and virtually free of sulfur and aromatics. Plus it reduces emissions by up to 20%. "We hope our actions will encourage other local fleets to consider biodiesel as their fuel choice."
Biodiesel itself contains no petroleum, but can be blended with petroleum diesel to create a biodiesel mix. Biodiesel is a mix of diesel and a certain percentage (5%, 20%, etc.) of B-100 Biodiesel fuel, usually rapeseed oil, soy oil or reclaimed vegetable oil.
For information about biodiesel contact Matt Yorkston at Yorkston Oil (360) 734-2201.
SSC achieved a 5-star rank from the Whatcom County EnviroStars program in 2007. SSC earned 5 EnviroStars, the highest rating possible, for our leadership activities in reduction of both hazardous and non-hazardous solid wastes, and for our sustainable business practices. SSC is the first garbage and recycling collection company in Washington to be included in the EnviroStars program.
SSC places a strong emphasis on fleet maintenance and driver training to reduce spills, leaks and emissions from company vehicles. "SSC has pioneered the commercial use of bio-diesel in Whatcom County fleets, a move which has resulted in decreased diesel emissions from their fleet of 60 vehicles and greater availability of biodiesel fuel in the local area," said Penni Lemperes, Whatcom County Solid Waste Coordinator. Lemperes also highlighted the use of an oil filter crusher which allows SSC to recycle over 500 oil filters each year as scrap metal, and remove and recycle over 300 gallons of additional waste oil per year from the spent filters.
As a part of the certification process, SSC completed a comprehensive review of all toxic shop products in use and was able to switch 12 products to less hazardous or non-toxic alternatives. According to SSC Recycling Manager Rodd Pemble, the company evaluates all waste materials generated by the company and their customers for recyclability. "Based on that on-going evaluation, we have been able to develop new recycling programs for plastics, wood and compostables," said Pemble.
For questions or more info visit our FAQ section or contact SSC Recycling Manager, Rodd Pemble.
For information about our stormwater management system, click here.
"5 Star Rating"
Whatcom Smart Trips
SSC has been a Smart Trips Employer since 2006. Since that time, 23 employees have made over 8,700 Smart Trips (bike, walk, bus, or carpool to work), avoiding over 157,000 car miles.
In addition to the prizes Whatcom Smart Trips gives away, SSC employees that make at least eight Smart Trips per month qualify for our quarterly in-house prize drawing.
For more info on the Smart Trips program or to sign up visit Whatcom Smart Trips.
100% Green Power Leadership Partner - PSE
Sanitary Service Company is "greening" 100% of its electricity usage through PSE's Green Power program. Our switch in early 2007 made us the largest private business in Whatcom County to use 100% Green Power.
PSE's Green Power Program, ranked as one of the top 10 Green Power programs in the U.S, provides SSC with just over 200,000 kilowatt hours annually of domestically-produced, alternative energy. The city of Bellingham was also recently recognized by the US Environmental Protection Agency as the first Green Power Community in Washington - one of only seven in the nation. Green Power is electricity generated from renewable, non-polluting resources such as wind or solar power.
For questions or more info visit our FAQ section or contact SSC Recycling Manager, Rodd Pemble.
Toward Zero Waste Pioneer
SSC is a Toward Zero Waste Pioneer in Sustainable Connection's Toward Zero Waste Campaign. We practice waste reduction and reuse and are recycling more than 80% of our business waste. For more information about the Toward Zero Waste Campaign, visit www.sconnect.org.