- California hauler North Bay Corp. is facing up to $13.4 million in fines from Santa Rosa for alleged contract violations, mainly for operating trucks which didn't meet service requirements, as reported by The Press Democrat.
- The company is also spending at least $4.5 million to upgrade one of its two single-stream material recovery facilities in the city which will require operations to shut down for months. North Bay owner Jim Ratto has been fined almost $500,000 for accepting more than 10% non-recyclable waste, which requires a different permit.
- North Bay's application for a new solid waste permit was rejected last month due to unsanitary and potentially dangerous conditions at the facility. The company plans to resubmit the application and also contest the Santa Rosa violation fines.
The county Department of Environmental Health issued a cease-and-desist order for the two MRFs more than a year ago and the fines came into play after a city audit was released over the summer. This led the Santa Rosa City Council to vote against extending North Bay's contract and open up the process for new bids.
As has been seen in multiple instances before, delayed response to resolving issues identified by regulatory authorities can be costly for waste facilities. One Minneapolis metal recycler was recently forced to shut down part of its operation temporarily due to air quality issues, and a San Antonio operation had its certificate of occupancy permit revoked for failure to address issues. North Bay will now have to export some material to outside MRFs and potentially lay off employees as it makes the necessary upgrades to meet county requirements.
North Bay has become one of the largest haulers in the region since it opened 30 years ago and continues to maintain a large presence, but addressing the steep costs of these issues is a potential setback that may still be challenging for a company of its size.