Back to Whatcom County home page Whatcom County | Departments | Contacts |  Help |  Search
 Resource Conservationheader image



Waste Prevention



Recycling in Whatcom County Offices

Recycling in Whatcom County offices is easy. Take a look at all of the recyclables we can throw in the bin!

Waste Reduction in Whatcom County Offices

Whatcom County has introduced centralized trash collection, just like our recycling program. Desk staff are asked to use centralized trash containers which are strategically placed throughout the offices. In most County buildings, we have swapped out desk side bins for mini bins for Whatcom County desk staff. The mini bin, made of recycled content, is a fraction of the size of the old trash can and doesn’t require a plastic bag to line it. It also takes up less office space then the traditional trash can and can hook onto the existing recycle bin.


recycle bin



mini bin




mini bin

Program Benefits:

  • Increased custodial efficiency
  • Prevents 175,000 plastic bags from entering landfill every year
  • Builds awareness around recycling
  • Promotes personal responsibility for waste generation
  • Reduces Solid Waste bills


$$ Cost Savings $$


Plastic Bag Savings

$3,500.00 per year

Trash Disposal Savings*

$4,725.00 per year


$8,225.00 per year

   *Annual trash disposal savings could reach up to $47,725.00.  Number above calculated on assumption that 10% of staff will reduce waste   

Program Overview Video

Paper Use Reduction Program

In 2007, an Executive Order was signed calling for a reduction of County paper usage. This was to be done by the following:

  • Set printers to default to duplex printing
  • Use all means to reduce paper waste in operations
  • Preference to recycled paper content capability copier machines

The first step was to default copiers to duplex (double-sided) in all feasible locations.  In addition, notices were posted at all copiers, which provide tips for staff regarding paper-use reduction.  Following, brown-bag educational lunches were held on conservation topics, such as filing documents electronically instead of printing and using ‘Track Changes’ for paper-free document editing.



Top Five Tips for Paper Reduction
  1. Pay attention to the paper that you use. 
    Do you really need to make that copy?  If each County employee made one less copy per day, we’d save almost a quarter million sheets of paper per year!
  2. Duplex copying.
    Is this printer capable of printing on both sides?  If so, did you know that you can default your computer to automatically print duplex?
  3. Electronic data storage.
    Save information on your computer and circulate documents electronically whenever possible. 
  4. Use Print Preview.
    Do you check your documents for blank pages or irregular margins before hitting print?  Do you print copies just so you could see it, then make changes and print it again?  Try looking at it in preview mode first – it can save a tremendous amount of paper!
  5. Print sections of documents, if that’s all you need.
    If you need information from a 30-page document, could you print just a portion of it and still meet your needs?

Residential and Business Recycling

Visit our Recycling and Trash webpage for residential recycling information.