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Diverted: Tracing the path of recycling in Whatcom County is a multi-part series that follows waste from curbside to commodity market.

Written by Julia Tellman // Photographed by Finn Wendt

City, county curbside recycling changing to single rolling bin

Organic waste collection mandated in Bellingham starting 2025

Part one explores a major shift in how recycling is collected in much of Whatcom County. Local governments have approved “single-stream” recycling, which is supposed to make collection more efficient for the hauler and more convenient for the customer, although contamination rates may increase.