The latest solution to Sonoma County’s garbage situation is a 20-year contract worth more than half a billion dollars that would outsource operations of the solid waste system.
It would give control of the county’s troubled 42-year-old central landfill west of Cotati to an Arizona company with $8 billion in annual revenue. But it would keep the site, and the county’s five waste transfer stations, in public ownership.
The proposal is being called the largest public-private business deal in county history and is headed to the Board of Supervisors for the first time Tuesday.
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.
An interim appointment to one of Sonoma County government’s most embattled jobs — transportation and public works director — could go to two people under a proposal to be considered today by the county Board of Supervisors.
Sonoma County supervisors are set to extend a composting services contract for four months, a period during which ratepayers will pay $120,000 more than they would have under a contract proposed in June. The contract is between the county’s Waste Management Agency and Sonoma Compost, the company that handles composting services on 27 acres at the Mecham Road landfill.
Sonoma County ratepayers are currently losing out on $30,000 a month because county officials balked last month at approving a new contract with the public agency that oversees composting services at the Mecham Road landfill. There is a wide gulf of opinion over who is responsible for the costly holdup.