SSC Home Page Link ssclogo_right.png
top
navright
belownav
navphotos
sidebartop

Ask SSC Responses

separator

2015 Outstanding Philanthropic Small Business

WRRA 2007 Sustainable Business of the Year Winner

2006 Recyclers of the Year
 
spacer

360-734-3490 | 24 Hr Answering Service 360-734-2051 | ssc@ssc-inc.com | Contact Us

Ask SSC

FoodPlus! Yard Debris, Compostable Papers, Food

What is the difference between recyclable and compostable papers?
Do you offer pick up of bulky piles or bundles of yard / woody debris?
What can I put in the FoodPlus! Toter?
What types of holiday wrap and packaging are recyclable or accepted in the FoodPlus! program?
FoodPlus! seasonal, celebration and holiday list of accepted items
What do I do with aseptic (non-refrigerated, shelf-stable) cartons and boxes?

Recycling and Garbage Collection

Does SSC pick-up on holidays?
When should I set my containers out for pick-up?
What if I lose my recycling bins or they are stolen?
What should I do if my pick-up is missed due to a weather-related service delay?
I forgot to set out my (home) curbside recycling? What are my options?
What if I need an extra pick-up?
Does SSC collect hazardous or household hazard waste (HHW)?
Can I dispose of liquids in the garbage?
What do I do with my old burn barrel?
Why are collection calendars not available online?

Preparing Materials For Disposal Or Recycling

Styrofoam (TM)
Window Blinds, Curtains & Draperies
Lighting
Plastic Containers
Fireworks
Plastics - Rigid
Plastics - Film
Pots, Pans, Skillets & Cookie Sheets
Smoke Alarms & Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Shredded Paper
Why do materials need to be clean for recycling?
Infant Car Seats
Gasoline
Garments, Textiles & Fabric Art Supplies
Old Corrugated Cardboard (OCC) & Wax-Coated Boxes
Fiberglass Insulation
Paint and Paint Products
Polycoated / Paper Cartons (Refrigerator/Freezer)
Vinyl Siding (PVC)
CD's, Floppy Discs, DVD, and VHS Media and Cases
Oily Rags / Old Shop Towels
Canisters & Tanks (Helium, Propane)
Cooking Oil
Coffee Pods (aka Keurig K-Cups)
Aerosol Cans (Non-Hazardous) & Fire Extinguishers
Pet Waste
Mattresses
Appliances (White Goods)
Paperback Books / Guides / Manuals
Tires
X-Rays & MRI's
License Plates
(Powdered) Cement
Aseptic Containers (non-refrigerated, shelf-stable)
Antifreeze
Carpet & Carpet Padding
Golf Clubs
Medicines & Sharps
Marijuana Waste
Glass & Mirrors
Cables, Cords, Holiday Lights and Wire
Batteries - All Types
E-Waste (Electronics)
Used Motor Oil & Oil Filters

Account Management, Billing & Payment

Can I cancel or put a hold on my service?
What are the extra charges on my bill for?
What bill pay options do you offer?
Where is the invoice number on my bill?
Do you offer a senior rate or discount?
Why are rates not listed online?

Recycling Commodity Tracker

What is the recycling commodity tracker?

Confidential Data Shredding

Do I need to sign a contract?
Why is no sales tax charged?

Garbage and Recyclables - Where does it all go?

Glass
Cardboard (OCC)
Aluminum
Scrap Paper & Newspaper
Plastic Containers & Film Plastics
Scrap Metal
Garbage
What happens to construction debris?

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Company Updates

What is the latest company news in regards to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic?


FoodPlus! Yard Debris, Compostable Papers, Food

What is the difference between recyclable and compostable papers?

Not sure about what paper goes in the recycling bin and what can go in your FoodPlus! Toter for composting? 

Many papers are compostable, but not all papers are recyclable. For SSC customers, the great news is you have the option to keep all paper out of the landfill by either recycling it in your curbside recycling bin or putting it in your FoodPlus! Toter if you subscribe to this service. 

Recyclable Papers

(Place recyclable papers in your scrap paper recycling bin)

Generally, these are high quality papers that get the best market price when they are recycled. They include copy paper, letterhead, envelopes, magazines, old mail, paperboard food boxes used for pastas, cereals, etc., paper tubes from paper towel, toilet paper, gift wrap rolls.  These types of papers should be recycled in your paper curbside recycling bin.

Multi-family (apartment/condo dwellers) and commercial customers with Toter recycling service, please place these types of papers in your Scrap Paper recycling Toter.

Compostable Papers

(Place compostable papers in your FoodPlus! Toter)

These types of paper(s) are not recyclable, but are still compostable. They include any food-soiled papers (including paper plates, napkins, paper towels, pizza boxes, etc.), all refrigerator and freezer containers like milk/dairy/ice cream cartons, frozen food boxes, juice cartons and frozen juice containers (recycle metal lids and plastic strip separately please), to-go/deli type cartons, parchment and waxed paper, paper plates, towels, napkins, tablecloths, bowls and cups, "compostable" tableware and utensils (corn, bamboo, potato-based, etc.) and tissue paper. These products should be placed in your FoodPlus! Toter for composting if you are a FoodPlus! subscriber. 

For a complete list of items that can go in your FoodPlus! Toter click here.

NOTE: Aseptic cartons and boxes (non-refrigerated, shelf-stable) ex. juice boxes, juice pouches, milk/dairy beverage cartons, soup/broth cartons, etc. or paper with foil or plastic (ex. foil gift wrap, (TYVEK) postal envelopes) are neither recyclable nor compostable in our area at this time. They should be disposed of in your garbage.

Do you offer pick up of bulky piles or bundles of yard / woody debris?

Yes.

Small volumes - Extra charges apply to collect bulky or bundled materials. Tied bundles should be no longer than four (4) feet and weigh no more than 50 lbs. Please contact us at ssc@ssc-inc.com or call 360-734-3490 for current rates and additional information.

Large volumes - We also offer dumpster (1-6 yards) and dropbox (10-yd to 40-yd) rentals for large amounts of yard waste or woody debris four (4) feet or longer (max. 20 feet long in 40-yd drop box).

What can I put in the FoodPlus! Toter?

Recycle these items in your FoodPlus! Toter (residential and commercial customers):

ALL FOODS/FOOD SCRAPS including:

  • Fruit/Vegetable Scraps, Peels, Trimmings
  • Spoiled/Outdated Foods
  • Dairy Scraps (such as yogurt, cheese, sour cream, ice cream, milk)
  • Paper Coffee Filters, Coffee Grounds, Tea Bags
  • Eggshells
  • Leftovers/Table Scraps
  • Dough Scraps (wrap or bag in PAPER)               
  • All Meat, Fish, Shellfish Scraps (including bones and shells)

 ALL COMPOSTABLE FOOD-SOILED PAPERS, including:

  • Pizza Boxes
  • Paper Cartons
  • Ice Cream Cartons
  • Paper Deli/Take-Out Cartons
  • Napkins/Paper Towels/Tablecloths
  • Paper Plates, Bowls, Cups
  • Parchment/Waxed Paper, Paper Bags
  • Bakery Boxes, Paper Liners, Waxed Cardboard Boxes
  • Compostable Serviceware (Ex. Corn, Potato, Bamboo-Based items) including Plates, Bowls, Cups, Lids, Utensils, Straws, To-Go Containers. Visit http://cedar-grove.com/compostable/accepted-items for more info.

All Yard Debris including:

  • Grass Clippings
  • Garden Trimmings/Weeds
  • Leaves
  • Brush/Branches (max. 7" diameter)
  • Floral Trimmings, Houseplants
  • Expired Floral Arrangements, Waxed Floral Paper. Plant Material ONLY.
  • Seasonal Greens (Pumpkins, Cornstalks, Hay, Gourds, Garlands, Wreaths, Swags, Etc.)

OTHER COMPOSTABLE ITEMS including:

  • Tissue Paper
  • Small Wood Scraps
  • Corks (real, not plastic)
Check out this FoodPlus! video from our friends at WSU/Whatcom County Cooperative Extension.

What types of holiday wrap and packaging are recyclable or accepted in the FoodPlus! program?

Many types of holiday packaging and other seasonal items are recyclable or accepted in our FoodPlus! program, including:

Curbside Recycling—YES, please recycle in your Scrap Paper bin:

  • Wrapping paper—No foiled paper please
  • Paper gift bags—Please remove handles
  • Product packaging including paper stuffing, inserts, wraps, boxes, etc.
  • Gift wrap cardboard tubes
  • All cards, tags and envelopes regardless of how much extra material, like glitter, is on them.

Curbside Recycling—YES, please recycle in your Bottles, Cans & Plastic Containers bin:

  • Glass, plastic bottles and jars—lids and caps too
  • Tin cans and lids
  • Plastic containers and lids (no hinged containers, blister-type packaging or film (wrap) plastics)

For blister-type plastic recycling options, click here

Curbside Recycling—YES, please recycle next to your recycling bins as scrap metal:

Holiday lights, extension cords and wire. Please bundle and tie with string, rubber band or twist tie.

FoodPlus!—YES, please compost:

  • Seasonal Greens/Wreaths/Garlands/Swags/Trees (up to 8' tall)—No wire or ribbon please
  • Tissue Paper/Cotton Twine/Cotton or Fabric Gift Bag Handles—No foiled paper
  • Paper Tablecloths/Napkins/Paper Plates, Bowls and Cups
  • Compostable Serviceware, inc. Utensils, Plates, Bowls and Cups, etc. often made from corn, potato, bamboo, etc. Must be labeled "compostable". Visit https://cedar-grove.com/compostable/accepted-items for more info. 

Sign up for FoodPlus! here. For additional questions or more info, please contact us at ssc@ssc-inc.com or call 360-734-3490.

FoodPlus! seasonal, celebration and holiday list of accepted items

Use your FoodPlus! Toter year-round to recycle many compostable items used for seasonal/holiday decorating, parties and other celebrations, including:

Pumpkins/Gourds/Squash

Cornstalks/Hay/Straw

Old or unwanted Halloween candy

Seasonal Greens and Holiday Trees (up to 8' long)

Wreaths, Garlands, Swags (no wire or ribbon please)

Tissue Paper

Cotton Twine, Cotton/Fabric Gift Bag Handles

Paper Tablecloths and Napkins

Paper Plates, Bowls, Cups

Compostable, Plant-based Dishware and Utensils inc. Plates, Bowls and Cups. Must be labeled "compostable". No "biodegradable" items accepted.

What do I do with aseptic (non-refrigerated, shelf-stable) cartons and boxes?

Aseptic cartons and boxes are non-refrigerated, shelf-stable food and beverage containers that include juice boxes, juice pouches, milk/dairy beverage cartons, soup/broth cartons, and more.

Tetra-Pak is a brand name of the largest maker of aseptic packaging. Aseptic packaging and other types of papers with foil component (ex. foil gift wrap) are neither recyclable nor compostable in our area at this time. Aseptic packaging is recyclable in other areas of our state that are closer to markets. It is cost prohibitive at this time to ship this material from Whatcom County. Please dispose of with your trash.

Recycling and Garbage Collection

Does SSC pick-up on holidays?

Yes, SSC crews work all holidays that fall on weekdays.

If your collection day falls on a holiday, please set out your garbage, recycling and/or FoodPlus! (if you subscribe to this service) the night before your collection day or by 6:30AM. We may be in your area a bit earlier that usual on holidays due to lighter traffic.

To help prevent litter, customers are reminded to bag and seal all trash before placing in containers and to place each recycling bin on the ground during windy weather.

SSC offices and our three area Drop Box Facility & Recycling Centers are closed most major holidays.  Please check our News page for info or connect with us on Facebook.

 

When should I set my containers out for pick-up?

Please set out recycling bins, recycling Toters, FoodPlus! Toters, garbage cans or garbage Toters in a visible location the night before your regular collection day.

As our area grows, collection times in your neighborhood may change. To help us keep program costs low, please set out recycle bins only when full. Max. bin wt - 35 lbs.

On windy days, please place individual recycling bins on the ground rather than stacking to prevent tipping and windblown litter.

For garbage cans and Toters, please bag all garbage, packing peanuts, shredded paper, animal waste/litter, sawdust and cooled ashes to prevent windblown litter!

Thank you for your cooperation!

What if I lose my recycling bins or they are stolen?

Recycling bins remain the property of Sanitary Service Company, Inc. (SSC). Please do not take recycling bins, FoodPlus! Toters or garbage Toters with you if you move.

Please mark your address on your bins. A replacement fee will be charged for lost or stolen recycle bins. Customers are responsible for any theft, loss or damage in excess of normal use.

If any of your SSC containers are lost or stolen, please contact us or call 360-734-3490 to order replacements.

What should I do if my pick-up is missed due to a weather-related service delay?

During times of unsafe road conditions, you may experience some service delays and disruptions. Our top priority is the safety and well-being of our team members and the public, as well as providing the highest level of service to our customers. SSC is committed to providing service to the best of our ability in areas that can be safely accessed. If we cannot collect material on your regular service day due to unsafe road conditions, please leave your container(s) out at the curb (or alley). We will collect material as soon as possible. This may be the next business day or the next time we are scheduled to service your area.

Please brush snow off containers. Windy weather info and tips to prevent windblown litter are here.

If we do not service your account until your next regularly scheduled service day, we will take extra material at no extra charge (not to exceed an amount that would be reasonably generated as a result of missed pick up). Use plastic bags for extra garbage. Your patience and understanding is appreciated as we work to safely collect all materials during these times.

Sudden Valley customers please visit http://suddenvalley.com/ for service delay alerts and news during unsafe road conditions.

Request a collection calendar here. For more info visit our News page or connect with us on Facebook. Please contact us for specific account questions.

I forgot to set out my (home) curbside recycling? What are my options?

There are a couple options:

1) Store your recyclables and set out at your next regularly scheduled pick-up. If your recycling bins are full, place moderate quantities of extra materials in a small plastic tub or cardboard box no larger than a curbside recycling bin. Max. bin wt. 35 lbs.

2) Visit one of our Drop Box Facility & Recycling Centers and let the attendant know you forgot to set out your home curbside recycling. We will accept those recyclables at no charge.

For questions, please contact us at ssc@ssc-inc.com or call 360-734-3490.

What if I need an extra pick-up?

If you need an extra pick-up between regular collection or you have a large amount of garbage or recyclables, please contact us at ssc@ssc-inc.com or call 360-734-3490 to arrange for a special pick-up.

Moderate quantities of extra recyclables will be collected at no extra charge Place extra materials next to recycling bins in an open plastic tub or cardboard box no larger than your curbside recycling bin. Max. bin wt. - 35 lbs.

Additional garbage collected will result in additional charges. For current rates or additional questions, please contact us at ssc@ssc-inc.com or call 360-734-3490.

Does SSC collect hazardous or household hazard waste (HHW)?

SSC does not accept any kind of hazardous, toxic, radioactive or dangerous waste(s), ammunition, explosives, dead animals, CFL/fluorescent lights, old gasoline, solvents, antifreeze, asbestos, pesticides, any type of liquid paint, chemicals or hot ashes.

Note: hot ashes should never be placed in your Toter® or can. Hot ashes are a fire hazard and should never be placed in a Toter® or can. Set in a metal can outside and away from buildings, structures or anything that can ignite. Let cool completely. Place COLD ashes in a bag and dispose of as garbage.

To dispose of these types of wastes, please contact Disposal of Toxics at 360-380-4640.

To dispose of ammunition or explosives (old boat flares, fireworks, etc.), contact the Washington State Patrol (Bellingham office) at 360-676-2007 or the Bellingham Police Department at 360-778-8800 for options.

Can I dispose of liquids in the garbage?

Small quantities of household liquids such as cooking oils and beauty products are acceptable.

SSC is unable to collect household hazardous liquids such as pesticides, paints, thinners, solvents, fuels or cooking oils from homes or businesses. Please contact the Disposal of Toxics at 360-380-4640 for safe disposal options.

Commercial establishments can contact the following rendering services for disposal of cooking oils:

Darling International or 800-524-2401

J&S Rendering or 800-562-5058

What do I do with my old burn barrel?

Collection of burn barrels is classified as a special pick-up. We can only accept empty barrels (no ashes).

For burn barrels with material in them please contact the Northwest Clean Air Agency for instructions or call 800-622-4627.

Why are collection calendars not available online?

SSC has many service and collection options available to our customers. Our routes are designed to provide the highest quality recycling and garbage collection service at the lowest possible cost.

Each service has a different collection schedule, including every other week (EOW), monthly and weekly service. In order to ensure our customers receive the correct collection calendar, we ask that you contact us and request a calendar at this time.You can also get collection information via your online account.

Preparing Materials For Disposal Or Recycling

Styrofoam (TM)

Unfortunately, no recycling options are available in our area for Styrofoam™. Consider these reuse options:

Contact local postal, mailing and shipping outlets directly about accepting clean, dry Styrofoam packing "peanuts" for reuse. These two businesses have accepted them in the past. Contact first to check status:

Fairhaven Post & Parcel - 1050 Larrabee Ave, Bellingham

Cordata Post & Parcel - 424 W. Bakerview Ave Ste 105, Bellingham

Coolers and similar large packing blocks: Check with the company or organization that delivered or shipped them about taking the packaging back intact.

If you cannot find a reuse option, Styrofoam™ can be placed in your garbage for disposal. Please bag Styrofoam™ packing "peanuts" and other smaller pieces to prevent windblown litter.

Styrofoam is not accepted in the Food Plus! program. Please note this should you use Styrofoam as a filler in plant pots, vases, etc. 

For other reuse ideas, visit: http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/photos/0,,20349692,00.html

Window Blinds, Curtains & Draperies

Metal window blinds (36” or less), and similar metal items, are accepted in our curbside recycling program. Please remove and discard the plastic handle. String drawcords are OK. Please place next to recycling bins for pick-up.

Plastic and wood window blinds - dispose of in your garbage.

Metal window blinds longer than 36”, or other large scrap metal items made from steel, copper, aluminum and/or brass, are accepted for recycling at any of our three area Drop Box Facility & Recycling Centers. Small recycling fee charged.

Curtains and Draperies - clean cloth curtains and draperies are accepted at Ragfinery, a Bellingham textile reuse business.

We also offer our convenient You Call-We Haul junk recycling or disposal service to residential and commercial customers. Contact us at ssc@ssc-inc.com or call 360-734-3490 to arrange pick-up. Rates vary.

Lighting

SSC no longer accepts lighting products for recycling at our Bellingham Drop Box Facility & Recycling Center.

Dead LED and incandescent bulbs can be placed in the garbage. If broken, handle carefully like any broken glass material.

Reminder: It is illegal to dispose of mercury-containing lights with regular garbage (RCW 70.275.080).

More information can be found at:

LightRecycle Washington: http://lightrecyclewa.org/

Disposal of Toxics: 360.380.4640 or
http://www.co.whatcom.wa.us/publication/solidwaste/construction/toxics.jsp

Puget Sound Energy (PSE):
http://www.pse.com/solutions/foryourhome/pages/rebatesOnLighting.aspx?tab=5&chapter=1

Plastic Containers

Bottles, Jugs, Caps & Rings

Cups, Jars, Tubs, Pails, Buckets & Lids

(max. bucket size for curbside pick-up is 3 gal. with metal handles removed)

All colors and numbers. Labels OK.

Remove lids and caps. Rinse CLEAN. FLATTEN bottles. Replace caps and recycle containers loose or nested together.

Recycle plastic containers used for these types of products:

Beverages, dairy products, deli foods, sauces/condiments, cooking oils, soaps, detergents, cleaners (kitchen, laundry & garage), snack foods, frozen foods, storage/freezer containers, hair/body care, health/medicine, single-serve cold beverage cups/lids, hot beverage lids, caps and rings.

At this time, we cannot accept the following plastics for recycling in the residential or commercial curbside recycling programs, or at our Drop Box Facility and Recycling Center:

NO plastic pumps, Styrofoam, tableware/utensils, toys, foam rubber, insulation or any plastic containers that held potentially hazardous materials.

Please contact us at ssc@ssc-inc.com or 360-734-3490 to recycle larger quantities or film plastics.

Fireworks

All used fireworks should be soaked in a bucket of water and then disposed of in your garbage.

To dispose of duds, unused fireworks or other ammunition or explosives (old boat flares, etc.), please contact one of these agencies for options:

  • Washington State Patrol (Bellingham office) 360-676-2007
  • Bellingham Police Department 360-778-8800

For questions or more information, please contact us at ssc@ssc-inc.com or call 360-734-3490.

Plastics - Rigid

As of February 4, 2021, only rigid plastics collected in our curbside recycling programs will be accepted for recycling at our Drop Box Facility & Recycling Centers. Fee charged. Please contact us at ssc@ssc-inc.com or 360-734-3490 for current rates or questions.

Plastics - Film

SSC accepts film plastics including bags, wrap, and sheeting at our Bellingham Drop Box Facility & Recycling Center ONLY. Fee charged.

IMPORTANT!  These plastic items are not accepted through our curbside recycling programs. 

Commercial customers: Routed collection options are available for businesses generating large quantities of film plastics. 

Film plastics accepted for recycling include CLEAN:

  • Bags/Packaging (grocery, newspaper, produce, bakery, deli, dry cleaner, garden, shipping, mail order, storage/freezer, frozen food, etc.)
  • Wrap (magazine/mail, bubblewrap, spun fiber packing, poly sheeting/Visqueen, painter’s drop sheets, pallet wrap, etc.)
  • Commercial/Construction – (insulation bags, lumber wrap w/o paper backing, “Super Sacks”, sileage bags, etc.). 

All types and colors accepted. Material must be clean. NO Styrofoam™ or thin foam sheets.

Recommendation: compact (in can or plastic sack) to save money.

Pots, Pans, Skillets & Cookie Sheets

Old, unusable metal pots, pans, skillets, and cookie sheets can be recycled as scrap metal along with other steel, copper, aluminum and brass products, and empty non-hazardous aerosol cans. Maximum 35 lbs. per pick up. Maximum length 24 inches. Store in a box and place next to curbside containers for pick-up.

Small plastic handles are OK if not easily removed.

Smoke Alarms & Carbon Monoxide Detectors

There are two types of smoke alarms available on the market - ionization and photoelectric. Both contain plastic, electronic circuit boards and in some cases, batteries.
 
Some ionization smoke alarms contain radioactive materials and cannot be recycled. 

Ionization Smoke Alarm

  1. Remove the battery. If alkaline, dispose of it in the garbage. If lithium, drop off for recycling at your local electronics store. Some local grocers also have battery recycling containers.
  2. Carefully remove the plastic cover and recycle it with bottles, cans and plastic containers in your curbside recycling bin.
  3. Package the remaining alarm and mail it back to the manufacturer who will properly dispose of it. The address of the manufacturer is usually listed in the product warranty or user's manual.

Photoelectric Smoke Alarm

  1. Remove the battery. If alkaline, dispose of it in the garbage. If lithium, drop off for recycling at your local electronics store. Some local grocers also have battery recycling containers.
  2. Carefully remove the plastic cover and recycle it with bottles, cans and plastic containers in your curbside recycling bin.
  3. Dispose of the rest of the unit in your garbage.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Remove and dispose of battery in the trash. Recycle carbon monoxide detector shells with bottles, cans and plastic containers.

Shredded Paper

Please bag all shredded paper in a paper bag and tape shut with masking tape to prevent windblown litter. Lay sideways in recycling bin with other scrap paper and newspaper.

SSC also offers confidential data shredding – mobile on-site or drop-off at our Bellingham Recycling Center & Transfer Station located at 1001 Roeder Avenue (corner F & Roeder).

Why do materials need to be clean for recycling?

Properly rinsing leftover food and residue from bottles, cans and plastic containers is an important step in the recycling process.

As materials are baled in large compactors, any residual food or residue left in the containers gets squished out, making a mess and potentially creating stormwater run-off issues at the recycling center. When bales are stored prior to shipment, and again when broken open at the mill, residue attracts disease vectors like rats and insects. All these factors lower the value of the material being recycling, which means brokers pay less, and local program see higher costs, which are ultimately passed on to customers.

Our community’s recycling programs produce some of the cleanest materials in the entire nation, largely due to the care and attention paid by customers who take that extra step to recycle only clean materials.

Helpful Tip: Wash sticky or goopy bottles, cans and plastic containers with other dirty dishes in the dishwasher or sink then recycle.

Infant Car Seats

Recycle expired infant car seats by dismantling and separating out the metal and plastic components.

Metal: place in a box next to your curbside recycle bins along with other scrap metal. More here.

Please dispose of all other parts in your garbage.

Gasoline

Old or dirty gasoline, as well as most used solvents, paint thinners, and similar products can be properly disposed of through Disposal of Toxics at 360-380-4640.

Reminder: Flammable and hazardous items should never be placed in garbage Toters or recycling bins, dumped on the ground or in storm drains.

Garments, Textiles & Fabric Art Supplies

Unwanted garments, textiles and fabric art supplies can be recycled at Ragfinery in Bellingham.

Clean and dry clothing– mens, womens, childrens. ALL varieties except undergarments.

Clean and dry home linens– blankets, draperies, sheets, etc.

Textile Arts Supplies:

  • unfinished fabrics
  • sewing machines
  • fabric scissors
  • sewing notions of all kinds!
  • textile measuring tape
  • dress forms
  • elastic
  • trim
  • ribbons
  • fabric paint
  • fabric glue

Old Corrugated Cardboard (OCC) & Wax-Coated Boxes

Old Corrugated Cardboard (OCC)

Cardboard boxes, sheets, and ClimaCell insulated box liners. Remove packing materials. Flatten and bundle. One bundle per pickup (residential customers). Max. bundle size 24"x48"x6". No Styrofoam, plastic packing or wax-coated boxes.

Special picks-ups of large quantities available to residential customers for a fee. Please contact us at ssc@ssc-inc.com or 360-734-3490.

Note: Home-based businesses with regular, large quantities of cardboard require commercial recycling service.

Wax-coated Cardboard

Small quantities accepted flattened, loose for composting. Commercial only.

Fiberglass Insulation

If clean and dry, consider reusing it if possible or carefully bagging it and giving away. At present, there is no recycling available locally for fiberglass insulation.

If reuse is not an option, bag and dispose of with your trash.

Reminder: wear proper protective gear to minimize your risk from harmful fiberglass fibers in the air!

Contact Recovery 1 in Tacoma for options.

Paint and Paint Products

DROP OFF

Paint Care, Washington's paint stewardship program, offers paint and paint product recycling options.

Local drop-off sites are available to households, businesses, government agencies, and others with leftover paint or unwanted paint.

CURBSIDE

Empty Metal or Plastic Paint Cans and Lids (up to 1 gal.)

Remove lid. Recycle any paper label with scrap paper. Set can and lid out to dry. Residential and multi-family customers may recycle with bottles, cans, and plastic containers.

Polycoated / Paper Cartons (Refrigerator/Freezer)

Polycoated paper cartons used for refrigertor and freezer products can be composted in our FoodPlus! program. This includes dairy, juice, and frozen food containers.

Please discard any plastic parts (spouts, liners) before placing the cartons in your FoodPlus! ToterTM.

Vinyl Siding (PVC)

There are no local options for recycling vinyl siding (PVC). Please reuse or dispose of as garbage. To schedule a pick-up service, contact us at ssc@ssc-inc.com or call 360-734-3490. 

CD's, Floppy Discs, DVD, and VHS Media and Cases

Media

We offer secure shredding and disposal of floppy discs and other media including CD's, VHS / Audiotape cassettes and other magnetic media, etc.

Mobile on-site service or drop-off at our Bellingham Drop Box Facility and Recycling Center. Fee charged. To schedule on-site shred service please contact us at ssc@ssc-inc.com or call 360-734-3490.

For reusable floppy discs donate to a library, school, non-profit or local charity or give away or sell online via places like Craigslist or EBAY. Other reuse or recycling options listed below. Please contact first for latest info:

GreenDisk 800-305-DISK

3RTechnology 888-957-2682 

Alternative Community Training (ACT) 

Freecycle

Cases

Recycle DVD and VHS (soft) plastic cases at our Bellingham Drop Box Facility & Recycling Center only. Fee charged.

CD or DVD rigid "jewel" cases are not accepted at this time. Please reuse or dispose of as garbage. 

 

Propane Canisters

Empty propane canisters used for camp stoves, lanterns, propane torches, small BBQ’s and trailers should be taken to Disposal of Toxics or call 360-380-4640.

Isobutane Canisters

Empty isobutane canisters used for backpacking stoves can be safely punctured using a special tool sold at outdoor shops and then placed as scrap metal beside your curbside recycle bins (along with empty aerosol cans which did not contain toxic products).

Propane and Helium Tanks

Propane tanks (BBQ-size) and party-size helium tanks are accepted for recycling as scrap metal at our Drop-Off Facility and Recycling Centers only.

Tanks must be empty and valve removed. Propane or helium tanks are not accepted as garbage or through our curbside programs.

Cooking Oil

Residential customers can recycle used cooking oil at Disposal of Toxics or call 360-380-4640.

If drop off at Disposal of Toxics is not an option, and it is a small quantity, residential curbside customers may place used cooking oil in a sturdy plastic bottle, seal tightly and place in a plastic bag in garbage. Cooking oil must be cooled before placing in garbage.

Commercial customers can contact these businesses for options:

Whole Energy

VegOil Recycle

Coffee Pods (aka Keurig K-Cups)

Single-use coffee pods cannot be recycled at this time because they are made of three materials: a plastic cup, which is lined with a plastic or heat-sealed paper filter, and a polyethylene-coated aluminum foil top.

Aerosol Cans (Non-Hazardous) & Fire Extinguishers

Aerosol Cans (Non-Hazardous)

Non-hazardous, aerosol cans ONLY are accepted for recycling. Aerosol cans must be EMPTY. No pressure or contents must be left in can. Leave cap on (if you have it). Place in cardboard box with any other scrap metal. Set next to recycling bins or recycling Toters® for collection.

Hazardous product aerosol cans, cans that are not empty, or cans generated by businesses must be taken to Disposal of Toxics or call 360-380-4640.

Fire Extinguishers

Empty tanks are accepted for recycling as scrap metal in our curbside recycling program. No pressure or contents can be left in tank. Remove plastic or rubber parts if possible.

Place in cardboard box with other scrap metal and set next to recycling bins or recycling Toters® for collection.

We also accept empty tanks at our Bellingham Drop Box Facility & Recycling Center (F & Roeder)  

Security Solutions in Bellingham accepts empty tanks for refurbishing depending on condition (small charge may apply).

For antique extinguishers (pre 1960) please contact Disposal of Toxics or call 360-380-4640.

Pet Waste

All pet waste should be bagged and disposed of in the trash.

Pet wastes are not accepted in the FoodPlus! program.

The City of Bellingham's Scoop the Poop program is a project promoting proper pet waste disposal in several Bellingham neighborhoods. For more information, contact the City of Bellingham at 360-778-7800.

Mattresses

Items like an old mattress beyond reuse or repair can be set out next to your garbage Toter® for pickup. Contact us at ssc@ssc-inc.com or 360-734-3490 for rates.

Other options include visiting one of our Drop Box Facility & Recycling Centers or our You Call-We Haul junk hauling service.

Appliances (White Goods)

We offer several options for recycling appliances (also known as white goods).

To recycle appliances with compressors, such as refrigerators, freezers, air conditioning units, de-humidifiers, etc., please contact us at 360-734-3490 or ssc@ssc-inc.com to schedule pickup through our You Call – We Haul junk hauling service. These appliances contain compressor oil and refrigerant in them that must be recovered by law by certified technicians, which increases the cost to recycle.

Non-compressor appliances, such as washers, dryers, dishwashers, etc. are accepted for a fee at our Bellingham Recycling Center located at F & Roeder St. and recycled as scrap metal via Northwest Recycling. 

Reminder: we do not accept appliances as part of our regular curbside garbage or recycling collection service.

For current rates or to schedule a pick-up please contact us at ssc@ssc-inc.com or call 360-734-3490.

Paperback Books / Guides / Manuals

Paperback books, guides, manuals, and similar softback or loose-leaf (notebook, 3-ring binder paper, etc.) material can be recycled with scrap paper and newspaper. Staples, paper clips, file folder clips OK.

For larger quantities:

Place in a small plastic tub or cardboard box no larger than a standard curbside bin and recycle through the curbside recycling program (no charge) or drop-off at our Drop Box Facility & Recycling Centers.

Tires

Tires can be set out next to your garbage Toter® for disposal. Extra fees apply and will appear on your next bill. Please contact us at ssc@ssc-inc.com or call 360-734-3490 for an estimate or to schedule a pickup of multiple tires.

Metal rims can be placed next to curbside recycling bins as scrap metal (max wt. 35 lbs, max length 24”).

Tires and metal rims are also accept tires for disposal at our Drop Box Facility & Recycling Centers .

Check with your local tire retailer for additional recycling or disposal options.

X-Rays & MRI's

X Rays and MRI's can be safely disposed of in the regular trash. Here are some other options to consider:

Contact your physician/lab/hospital to see if they will take them back for disposal or recycling.

Donate to a school, etc. for use as a teaching tool or as part of an arts/craft project?

Check out these nationwide, mail-in recycling options:

http://www.recyclingxrays.com/

License Plates

Remove or invalidate the month and year tabs then bend plates so they can't be used on another vehicle.

Recycle old license plates, except those listed below, with bottles, cans, and plastic containers in your curbside recycling bin or at our Drop Box Facility & Recycling Centers.

We cannot accept the following types of plates. Please return to a vehicle licensing office.

Commercial vehicle (gross weight over 12,000 lbs.)
Personalized
Baseball stadium
Horseless carriage
Amateur radio operator (HAM)
Medal of Honor
Pearl Harbor survivor
Gold Star parent
 

(Powdered) Cement

If cement is still powdery, transfer it carefully to a heavy plastic bag and seal it up until ready to use. Wear safety goggles, a dust mask, gloves, and long sleeves.

Dispose of cement that has started to go hard and formed solid lumps in your garbage.

Cement, and the cement in concrete or mortar mix, will begin to cure as soon as it absorbs moisture, including from the air.  After it hardens to a certain point, it will not perform as it was designed.

Reminder: a 60-gallon garbage ToterTM allows only 100 pounds net load per pick-up, and a sack of cement or mortar mix can weigh 90 pounds by itself. Don’t overload containers.

Aseptic Containers (non-refrigerated, shelf-stable)

Aseptic cartons and boxes, also known as "Tetra-Pak" containers, are non-refrigerated, shelf-stable food and beverage containers that include juice boxes, juice pouches, milk/dairy beverage cartons, soup/broth cartons, and more.

Tetra-Pak is a brand name of the largest maker of aseptic packaging. Aseptic packaging and other types of papers with foil component (ex. foil gift wrap) are neither recyclable nor compostable in our area at this time.

Aseptic packaging may be recyclable in other areas of our state that are closer to markets. It is cost prohibitive at this time to ship this material from Whatcom County. Please dispose of with your garbage.

Antifreeze

Recycle antifreeze at these locations (5-gallon limit):

SSC Cedarville Drop Box Facility

SSC Birch Bay Drop Box Facility

Disposal of Toxics or 360-380-4640

Some speedy lube/oil businesses may also take household quantities. Inquire direct.

Reminder: antifreeze is not accepted in our curbside recycling program.

Carpet & Carpet Padding

Carpet, carpet padding, and tacking are not accepted for recycling at this time in our area.

Please dispose of these items in your garbage Toter® if they fit and the lid can be closed. For small amounts that are too bulky to fit in Toter®, contact us to schedule a curbside pick-up on your regular collection day. Extra fees apply.

For larger volumes, or items too large for curbside pick-up, use our You Call We Haul junk hauling service or visit one of our Drop Box Facility & Recycling Centers.

Golf Clubs

Golf clubs/bag not worthy of selling or donating can be  taken apart for recycling and disposal.
 
Metal club shafts can be recycled as scrap metal. Set next to your curbside recycling bin. All other parts should be disposed of in your garbage. 

Medicines & Sharps

Information on proper disposal or recycling is here.


Marijuana Waste

Marijuana waste is ONLY accepted as garbage and may need testing and special handling.

For more info contact Whatcom County Health Department at 360-778-6033 or Disposal of Toxics at 360-380-4640 before disposing.

Marijuana waste is not accepted in our FoodPlus! program.

Glass & Mirrors

GLASS

We accept all colors of food and beverage glass bottles and jars (plus lids, labels and caps) for recycling.

  • Please remove lids and caps and place loose in recycling container. Avoid breaking glass.
  • Rinse bottles and jars clean.
  • Reminder: Bottles must be removed from 6-pak and half case boxes, etc. before recycling.

While food and beverage glass is recyclable, for safety reasons, we prefer that broken or shattered glass be bagged or placed inside an empty carton (milk/juice) or box and discarded as garbage. Cracked or chipped glass bottles and jars are accepted for recycling.

MIRRORS / OTHER NON-RECYCLABLES

Picture frame glass, also referred to as plate glass, and similar breakable items like ceramic dishware, drinking glasses, mirrors, PYREX, window glass and lightbulbs are not accepted for recycling. Please wrap in newspaper then place in a plastic bag and dispose of in your garbage.

Plate glass, and other non food and beverage container glass, melts at a different temperature than container glass and can't be separated once mixed in the recycling stream.

Cables, Cords, Holiday Lights and Wire

Cables (computer), extension cords, holiday lights, and wire are recyclable as scrap metal. Please bundle and tie with string, rubber band or twist tie and place next to recycling bins for pick-up.

Batteries - All Types

Vehicle Batteries (Lead Acid) - Car, truck, motorcycle and boat batteries. Store in a box or bag. No cracked, leaking, household or rechargeable batteries accepted. Leave battery caps on. Note: Battery should say “Pb” on it, which designates it as Lead Acid.

Residential and Multi-Family Curbside Customers: please set next to recycling bins or recycling Toters.

Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) Batteries – Used in security, emergency, backup, mobile medical devices, etc. Store in a box or bag. No cracked, leaking, household or rechargeable batteries accepted. Note: Battery should say “Pb” on it, which designates it as Lead Acid.

Residential and Multi-Family Curbside Customers: please set next to recycling bins or recycling Toters. 

Rechargeable Batteries - Ni-Cad, NiMh, Lithium and those used for cell phones, cameras, hearing aids, rechargeable tools, etc. Please contact Disposal of Toxics or 360-380-4640 for recycling or disposal options.

Household Batteries - Alkaline and carbon-zinc batteries no longer contain hazardous materials and can be recycled. Inquire with your local grocer, electronic, or hardware store or dispose of in your garbage.

E-Waste (Electronics)

SSC no longer accepts electronic waste (e-waste), such as laptops, flat screen TV's monitors, etc. for recycling.

Please visit E-Cycle Washington for local recycling alternatives.

Used Motor Oil & Oil Filters

Used Motor Oil

Used motor oil ONLY is accepted for recycling. Please do not mix with anything else.

Store in a one gallon (or smaller), sealed, non-breakable container. Empty motor oil or clean plastic milk or water jugs work great. Do not use bleach, detergent, or antifreeze containers. Screw on threaded lids tightly. Seal “pop top” style lids with duct tape. Mark container "Oil." Set next to recycling bins (residential) or recycling Toters® (multi-family) for collection. Commercial customers should contact us at ssc@ssc-inc.com for options.

Oil & Water Don’t Mix – Separating Oil from Water

  1. Let the oil/water mix stand. The oil will float to the top.
  2. Pour off oil into an approved container (see above). Seal and label as instructed above.
  3. Soak up any contaminated water and dispose of in the garbage.

Used motor oil is also accepted for recycling at our Cedarville Recycling Center & Transfer Station and Birch Bay Recycling Center & Transfer Station

Empty motor oil jugs can go in the garbage or be saved and used to store used motor oil (synthetic or petroleum) for recycling.

For questions or more information please contact us at ssc@ssc-inc.com or 360-734-3490.

Used motor oil accepted in SSC's recycling programs is collected by Thermo Fluids of Sumner, WA. More info about Thermo Fluids at http://www.thermofluids.com/

Oil Filters

Drained oil filters are accepted for recycling at our Birch Bay Drop Box Facility & Recycling Center and our Cedarville Drop Box Facility & Recycling Center ONLY.

To prepare used oil filters for recycling:

Punch hole(s) in sealed end (hammer and nail work fine). Drain upside down into a collection pan for 24 hours.

Used motor oil is accepted for recycling through our residential curbside program and at both locations above. For info on how to prepare used motor oil for recycling click here.

For questions or more info please contact us at ssc@ssc-inc.com or call 360-734-3490 or Disposal of Toxics at 360-380-4640.  

 

Account Management, Billing & Payment

Can I cancel or put a hold on my service?

Yes. Feel free to adjust your service at any time via your online account or by contacting us at ssc@ssc-inc.com or call 360-734-3490.

You can put a hold on service(s) if you are going away (min. one month). There is no charge for stopping or starting service.

What are the extra charges on my bill for?

Charges for extras may be the result of any of the situations listed below. Extra charges are for each can, per pick-up.

  • Capacity
  • Overweight container(s) due to heavy materials.
  • Extra bag(s), box(es) or can(s) other than your regular garbage container.
  • Special pick-up of containers (non-scheduled collection).

What bill pay options do you offer?

We offer a number of ways to pay your bill.

Auto Pay Plan (check or savings account)

To sign up for auto pay click here to register online or download an enrollment form.

Online Bill Pay (one-time or recurring payments, deposits)

To pay your bill online, click here to register and manage your account online. Please note: you will want a copy of your most recent SSC bill when registering. You will need your account number and invoice number to sign up. You can find these in the upper left corner of your bill.

For a complete list of all payment locations and account payment options, please click here.

We accept cash (US Dollars), check, debit, VISA, Mastercard, American Express and Discover.   

Where is the invoice number on my bill?

The invoice number (and your account number) can be found in the upper left corner of your most recent bill or a bill dated 9/30/11 or later.

Do you offer a senior rate or discount?

A senior rate is offered to qualified residential customers in Bellingham.

To see if you qualify, contact the City of Bellingham Finance Department at 360-778-8010. For additional questions, please contact us at ssc@ssc-inc.com or call 360-734-3490.

Why are rates not listed online?

Rates are subject to change and are based on a variety of factors, including the location of your home or business.

Please contact us at ssc@ssc-inc.com or call 360-734-3490 for complete rate and service information.

Recycling Commodity Tracker

What is the recycling commodity tracker?

Sanitary Service Company, Inc. (SSC) provides you with recycling collection service. You pay us to collect these materials. On your bill, you will see:

  • Actual cost of collecting your recyclables
  • The value (less any processing charges) of recyclables sold (shown as a recycling commodity credit or debit)

Recyclables are sold and the value we receive (if any) from the sale of these materials is applied to your collection bill in the form of a commodity credit or commodity debit. The commodity credit or commodity debit that appears on your bill reflects market conditions of the previous six months. Market prices for recyclables go up and down just like prices for other commodities, such as lumber and gasoline. Following a period of high (or positive) market values, your commodity rate will increase, but may still be a debit depending on market conditions. Following a year of low (or negative) market values, your commodity rate will decrease and may become a debit. The sale of these recyclables helps lower your overall bill. In years when we pay to have your recyclables processed, please remember it is still less expensive than disposing of these materials as garbage. We encourage you to continue recycling!

The commodity credit or commodity debit is reviewed and adjusted every six months by the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC). The UTC reviews and approves our rates (except for residents in the cities of Bellingham and Ferndale) to ensure you are paying a fair price for the service you receive and fair value for your recyclables.

Confidential Data Shredding

Do I need to sign a contract?

No. Just contact us to schedule service at ssc@ssc-inc.com or 360-734-3490.

Why is no sales tax charged?

The paper that we shred is recycled so Washington state sales tax does not apply.

Garbage and Recyclables - Where does it all go?

Glass

Glass (clear, green, brown and blue all mixed together - or commingled) is shipped to Strategic Materials in Washington where it is sorted by color, melted, and used to produce new container glass.

Cardboard (OCC)

Cardboard, also known as old corrugated cardboard (OCC) is shipped to a number of paper mills in Washington for production into new cardboard.

Aluminum

Aluminum is shipped to an aluminum smelter in Muscle Shoals, Alabama where it is melted and used to produce new aluminum beverage cans.

Scrap Paper & Newspaper

Scrap paper, also known as mixed waste paper (MWP), and newspaper, also known as old newsprint (ONP), are shipped to paper mills in Washington to be made into recycled paper products such as fruit box liner trays.

Plastic Containers & Film Plastics

Plastic containers are sorted into two streams - all bottles, containers, lids, rings, and caps (#1-#7) and HDPE (#2) plastics.

These are baled and currently shipped to various plastic processors where they are used to make feedstock for new plastic items (non-food grade).

Film plastics (bags, etc.) are baled and shipped to various processors for use as a feedstock for new plastic items (non-food grade). 

Scrap Metal

Scrap metals are sorted by size, compacted, and shipped to steel mills in Washington, including Nucor Steel in Seattle, where they manufacture rebar or other similar metal products.

Garbage

 

 

Garbage that SSC collects from residential and commercial customers is delivered to Republic Services and Recycling & Disposal Services Inc. (RDS), both in Ferndale.

Garbage is loaded into rail cars and shipped by train to landfills in Washington and Oregon. Read more about solid waste management in Whatcom County.


 

All construction / demo debris loads are delivered to Recycling & Disposal Service (RDS) in Ferndale. Material is off-loaded to a tipping floor then moved onto a conveyor belt where materials are pulled for recycling. Note: items pulled for recycling subject to change without notice. 

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Company Updates

What is the latest company news in regards to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic?

Customer Alert as of June 1, 2020: Essential Service status.

Bellingham Drop Box Facility & Recycling Center