Port of Bellingham Terminates Lease with ABC Recycling

Image: Port of Bellingham.

The Port of Bellingham has ended its lease agreement with ABC Recycling, citing “ongoing concerns about ABC’s ability to comply with the terms of their lease, especially environmental standards,” the port announced March 25.

“We are unhappy to lose any employer which supports union labor and family-wage jobs,” Port Executive Director Rob Fix said. “But metal is a challenging cargo which requires expensive engineering controls to protect water quality. While ending a lease is never an easy decision, safeguarding the environment will always remain our top priority.”

The company, which began operating at the port in June 2022, had expected to load metal onto ships every four to six weeks but has only loaded metal onto four ships so far, the port said.

ABC is required by the port to remove all scrap metal from the waterfront by June 30.

“We know how important the working waterfront is to Whatcom County,” Fix said. “The shipping terminal is unique in that it can generate family-wage jobs from various skill sets and expertise which do not require a college degree.”

The port, which heavily invested in the modernization of Bellingham Shipping Terminal, has said a number of companies are interested in using the terminal for shipping cargo such as vehicles and construction equipment.

“We will redouble our efforts to secure industries which align with our sustainability goals, put our longshoremen and marine trades people to work and foster economic prosperity throughout the region,” he said.

By Karen Robes Meeks