Blaine Bay Refuse in garbage service battle

Published on Thu, Oct 23, 2003
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Blaine Bay Refuse in garbage service battle

A battle is ensuing over garbage service within legal territories, and Blaine Bay Refuse could lose over 500 customers should their service be denied in the Birch Bay Village area.

During a Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (WUTC) review of all service territories for waste-collection companies, a draft map showed the shoreline residences as outside Blaine Bay Refuse�s legal service area.

The issue affects 521 of Blaine Bay Refuse�s customers between the shoreline and Birch Bay Drive, Birch Point Road, Semiahmoo Drive, and Drayton Harbor Road, including 327 just in Birch Bay Village.

Blaine Bay Refuse was granted a permit 30 years ago, and the company believes the intent of that was to serve residences on both sides of territory boundaries. The company�s application for a territory �expansion� to clear up this issue is opposed by Sanitary Service Co., which has a broader permit to serve all areas of Whatcom County.

Blaine Bay Refuse�s expansion application involves the small land area between the shoreline and the above-mentioned roads.

According to vice president Jim Sands, Blaine Bay Refuse isn�t seeking exclusive rights to serve this territory, just the right to compete for serving these residences, as it has for 30 years.

�We want to continue serving our customers,� Sands said. �This isn�t right.�The state needs to hear from all of us. We just want the right to compete, to do what we�ve been doing for 30 years.�

Blaine Bay Refuse said it has the support of many affected customers. The Birch Bay Village Community Club�s board of directors unanimously passed a resolution September 18 in support of continued competition for waste collection services.

�I�ve dealt with Blaine Bay Refuse since I came to the community 22 years ago,� said Meg Grable, general manager of Birch Bay Village. �I�ve always been happy with them.�

Blaine Bay Refuse has a curbside recycling program that has become a major component of its service. In the last 12 months ending August 31, Blaine Bay Refuse recycled 347 tons of cardboard, 253 tons of mixed paper, 200 tons of newspapers, and 210 tons of tin, glass, and other materials collected from residential and commercial customers.

Sanitary Sewer Company could not be reached as of press time.