WatchSonoma Watch
Supervisors support $547 million deal for national firm to operate landfill

Sonoma County supervisors Tuesday voiced support for a move that would expand the county’s central landfill by permanently turning over operations to a national solid waste contractor, starting with a 20-year deal with worth an estimated $547 million.

Effort to reopen Sonoma County landfill advances

Sonoma County’s plans to permanently reopen and expand its central landfill cleared a major hurdle Thursday, receiving a go-ahead from North Coast water regulators.

The decision approving a permit for up to 22 more years of operation at the Mecham Road site west of Cotati came from the same state agency that nearly a decade ago raised pollution concerns that triggered a five-year closure of the landfill.

The decision came over the objections of some neighbors, who voiced concerns about groundwater contamination, noise and traffic.

Petaluma starts 2013 with trash, smoking ordinances

The Petaluma City Council will seat its newest member Monday and formally vote on new garbage-hauling and smoking ordinances tentatively approved last year by the previous council.

Paper? Plastic? I’ll take both

OK, I admit it. I’m one of the people hauling groceries to my car in plastic and, occasionally, paper bags. I don’t feel especially guilty about it, either.

Healdsburg council raises garbage rates

It’s going to cost a little more in Healdsburg to have your trash hauled away. The City Council on Monday night unanimously approved a garbage rate increase of approximately 3 percent for residential customers.

Santa Rosa sets fines on trash cans left out more than 24 hours

Santa Rosa residents can now be fined $100 or more for leaving their garbage cans at the curb too long, but the City Council increased the grace period from 12 hours to a full day to make it easier for people to comply with the new rule. Council members also stressed that the change was not an effort to raise revenue from fines, but rather to gain voluntary compliance with a rule aimed at keeping neighborhoods clean and safe.

Leaving trash cans out in Santa Rosa may cost you

The Santa Rosa City Council on Tuesday will consider fining residents who put their garbage cans out too early or leave them out too long. The first violation would be $100, the second $250 and subsequent fines $500. But city officials don’t expect to issue many fines. Code enforcement officials have full case loads and priority goes to issues that pose dangers to health and safety.

Windsor garbage hauler sues Rohnert Park over bidding rules

A Windsor debris removal company has sued Rohnert Park, arguing that a fee the city wants to charge companies that win a hauling contract is “tantamount to a bribe.” Pacific Sanitation’s suit says the city requires the company that wins the contract, now out for bids, to pay $300,000 in addition to other fees.

Supes extend garbage contract for 20 years

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to confirm an existing 20-year franchise agreement for garbage collection with Redwood Empire Disposal, part of the Ratto Group of Companies. The agreement provides additional services – including roadside litter and large dead-animal pickup duties – that had been suspended by the county due to budget cuts.

Cost set for new county garbage contracts

The Ratto Group will continue to operate four of the county’s five waste transfer stations — the fifth, at the central landfill is overseen by the county — and haul at least a portion of local trash to a landfill in Solano County. Ratto’s current contract for that work expires Aug. 31.

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