Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I support less service if I use more than 12 pick ups per year?

This is about setting a minimum service level, not the maximum. Any household that requires more service can order that service directly from the operator.

Why 12 cans not something even less?

By lowering the minimum to 12 mini-cans, Point Roberts home owners will be treated as equals to all other home owners in Whatcom County.

In Canada people pay on their taxes, how is this different?

In British Columbia garbage is provided by the municipality and is run under the mandate of the City government. The system is managed as a publicly operated resource. In Point Roberts, the services are provided by a privately owned company that is regulated by the UTC.

How does this compare to service in Vancouver for example?

In Vancouver, garbage pick up is only available every other week and service is $85 Canadian per year for a standard can. Larger cans are available for an extra charge. Recycling pick up in Vancouver is free to all residents. Standard curbside pick up of green waste is $119 per year.

Can the Vancouver model apply to Point Roberts?

Not really. Vancouver has a 1% vacancy rate – Point Roberts has a 75% vacancy rate. That means that 75% of homes are generally not owner-occupied full time. There is no way that Point Roberts needs the same minimum service as Vancouver.

How does this compare to service in Bellingham, Ferndale or Birch Bay?

In Bellingham, Ferndale and Birch Bay, home owners minimum service is 1 can per month (12 cans pick up) and if the home owner goes on vacation for more than 1 month, they can put their service on vacation hold. Services are billed directly by the service provider and home owner picks the service level they need. Residents in these areas can apply for an exemption to not have garbage service and to bring their garbage directly to the dump.

Note: With the recent Whatcom County ordinance change, exemptions and minimum service levels were removed from only Point Roberts.

Why is Point Roberts being required to have a higher service than designated in Whatcom County Code?

We don’t know. Neither PRCAC nor County Staff can answer this question. We believe garbage should be a level playing field.

Point Roberts owners used to be eligible for an exemption and the Whatcom County Code had special designation for seasonal and vacation home owners in Point Roberts with the tag system designed specifically for part-timers.

The tag system or self haul worked for my household. Why did they get rid of these options?

The county recommended mandatory service so the tag system was eliminated along side the ability to get a self haul exemption. Neither the tag system nor the exemption seems to have been discussed as part of this process. However, both were removed in the wording of the ordinance change.