Sonoma County supervisors on Tuesday authorized a temporary contract extension between the county and the company that handles composting operations at the Mecham Road landfill. The four-month contract extension with Sonoma Compost will save the county Waste Management Agency $30,000 a month following a last-minute change in the agreement.
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.
Forums held throughout Sonoma County on a proposal to ban plastic bags drew few participants, but those who did attend voiced near unanimous support. Only 75 people attended nine meetings held in each of Sonoma County’s cities in March. Of those, 70 people voiced support and five spoke in opposition.
Support for a countywide ban on carry-out grocery plastic bags continued to grow this week as two more cities and the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors endorsed the concept. Seven of the county’s nine cities and the county now have agreed to take steps toward a countywide ordinance limiting single-use bags under a proposal from the Sonoma County Waste Management Agency.
Should Sonoma County impose restrictions on plastic and paper bags? If so, should it regulate use only at grocery stores or at all retailers? The county Waste Management Agency is working with retailers to come up with ideas for regulating bags, which have big environmental costs. The topic was the focus of a two-hour forum Wednesday.
The checkout-line choice between paper and plastic bags isn’t going away just yet in Sonoma County. But study of the issue is now ramping up following a recent string of plastic bag-bans imposed by a number of California locales. “It’s no small issue on a national or local scale,” said Sonoma County Supervisor Mike McGuire, who will moderate a public forum on the issue Wednesday morning at Santa Rosa City Hall.
Proposals to ban plastic grocery bags have been talked about for years in Sonoma County. Now, the idea may resurface due to a recent study that could shield the county from lawsuits by bag manufacturers. One Petaluma councilmember predicts the county may soon address the issue.