Waste Disposal

Proper waste disposal keeps our homes and community free of disease and toxic materials that can harm your health. We ensure that garbage, recyclables, and other solid waste is properly managed by residents and businesses.

Rules & Regulations

Whatcom County code 8.10 and 24.06 outline the rules for solid waste in Whatcom County. Whatcom County residents and businesses must manage their garbage so that it does not become a nuisance. This includes keeping garbage contained in a solid, waterproof container with a tight-fitting lid to prevent wind or animals from scattering it. Chemicals, like automotive fluids or yard care products, should also be stored so that they will not contaminate the ground or water. 

Whatcom County’s Solid Waste Programs are guided by the Comprehensive Solid and Hazardous Waste Management Plan, approved by Department of Ecology. This plan details all local existing solid waste handling facilities and 20-year estimates for needed future solid waste facilities. The plan also provides detailed information on recycling programs, waste reduction, reuse strategies, and schedules for program implementation.

Our Solid Waste Program monitors and ensures that solid waste is properly handled and disposed of in Whatcom County.  We:

  • Review applications and permits for new and expanded solid waste facilities.
  • Inspect solid waste handling facilities.
  • Enforce local and state solid waste rules and regulations.
  • Investigate illegal dumping, garbage handling and contamination associated with landfills.
  • Oversee Biosolids Application Sites.
  • Oversee of biomedical waste generators, transporters and treatment facilities.
  • Provide information about composting, recycling, and proper disposal and handling of household hazardous wastes and biomedical waste.


The Solid Waste Advisory Committee (SWAC) is a citizen committee that oversees programs and policies related to solid waste disposal in Whatcom County. Committee members represent local residents, businesses, waste management industry, and elected officials.

The Solid Waste Executive Committee (SWEC) is a composed of the County Executive and the mayor of each city in Whatcom County. SWEC meets at least once a year to review and approve budgets, polices, and plans for solid waste management in Whatcom County.