Taxpayers association assessing pros and cons of creating solid waste district

A committee to examine the pros and cons of establishing a Point Roberts solid waste district was created during the Point Roberts Taxpayers Association regular monthly meeting on September 11. Local recycling advocate Heidi Baxter proposed the committee during a far-ranging discussion of trash issues.

Acting as chair in the absence of Mark Robbins who is away on vacation, Jennifer Urquhart pointed out the board didn’t know what were the ‘pros and cons’ of the proposed district, and recommended that the people who are interested in its creation should provide that information to the community. Urquhart later clarified that the committee was independent of the taxpayer association and suggested it should seek liaison members with other community groups such as the chamber of commerce.

Point Roberts is currently part of the solid waste collection district encompassing the entire county. In order to become a separate district, it would need to petition Whatcom County Council which would hold a public hearing after it approved a coordinated, comprehensive solid waste management plan from the proponents. The county would then need to ask the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (WUTC) to investigate and to approve the application.

If the WUTC found that the existing garbage and refuse collection company or companies are unable or unwilling to provide the required service, it could issue a certificate of public need and necessity to any qualified person or corporation in accordance with RCW 81.77.04. Currently, both curbside trash collection and the operation of the solid waste transfer station are contracted to Cando Recycling and Disposal. Curbside collection is under the authority of the WUTC while the transfer station is under contract with the county.

The pros and cons committee is comprised of Louise Cassidy, Samantha Scholefield and Kimberley Butts.

  1. The WUTC would have no role in the creation or approval of a Disposal District for Point Roberts. The WUTC Regulates Curbside Collection and issues “G-Tickets” to Providers and gives the provider a Monopoly in a specific area for Curbside Collection.
    The creation of the Disposal District is solely at Whatcom County Councils discretion. A Public Hearing in County Council Chambers is where the decision of creating a Disposal District will happen. Barry Buchannen, Whatcom County Council, stated at the Townhall in Aug. that he thought a Disposal District would be a good idea for Point Roberts.
    While there seems to be some Cons to the uninformed, after doing some research there are only Pros for Point Roberts having it’s own Disposal District.


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