Setting up Utilities, Voter Registration & More!
An important part of moving into your new place is setting up all the services and utilities. Here is some basic information to help you get started:
Garbage and RecyclingIf you live in an apartment, you probably don’t need to arrange for garbage and recycling pick-up, as this will already be in place for the whole building. However, if you live in a house, you may need to set up service, unless the rental agreement includes garbage pick-up. Garbage and recycling collection in Bellingham/Whatcom County is provided by Sanitary Service Company, Inc. They offer weekly, bi-weekly or once a month pick-up. To sign up for services, find out how much it will cost, and what day and time they come to your street, give them a call. If you are wondering what sorts of materials can and can’t be recycled check out their website at: www.ssc-inc.com/.
Phone: 734-3490 (Monday-Friday, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm)
Dispatch: (360) 734-2051 (24 hours)
Water and SewerCheck with your property owner to see if water and sewer is included with your rent. It almost always is included in apartment rent and often is not in a house rent. If it is not included, make sure the water account is put in your name. Water and sewer service is provided by the City of Bellingham (COB). Call the number below to put the account in your name and find out about water rates and billing.
Phone: 676-6900 (Monday-Friday, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm)
COB website: www.cob.org/
Electricity and GasWhat kind of heat does your place have? Is it gas, electric, or propane? What kind of stove do you have? If you have electric heat and an electric stove, you probably will not need to worry about setting up gas service (you can have both electric AND gas heat).
Electricity is provided by Puget Sound Energy (PSE).
Phone: 1-888-225-5773 (Monday-Friday, 7:30 am – 6:30 pm)
Gas is provided by Cascade Natural Gas.
Phone: 1-888-522-1130 (Monday-Friday, 7:00 am – 5:00 pm)
“Land Line” Telephone ServiceSome people have cell phones and choose not to have a “land line” at their home. However, if you would like to have a wired telephone, call Qwest to arrange for a phone number and connection date.
Phone: 1-800-244-1111 (Monday-Friday, 7:00 am – 9:00 pm)
Mail DeliveryWhen you move to a new address, you need to notify the post office by filling out a change of address form, which can be found online or at your local post office. Your mail will automatically be forwarded from your old address to your new one for a period of 12 months (60 days for periodicals). For more information, visit the US Postal Service website at www.usps.com/.
Voter RegistrationWhen you turn 18, you are eligible to vote. This is an exciting privilege! You must be a resident of Washington State and have lived in Bellingham for 30 days prior to an election. To register to vote in Whatcom County, contact the Whatcom County Auditor. Go to their website or call 676-6742 or 398-1310.
For more information on voting, visit the Secretary of State website at www.secstate.wa.gov/elections