- Santa Rosa, CA is holding multiple public hearings to see what residents want out of a new collection contract after deciding not to extend its relationship with current hauler North Bay Corp., as reported by the Press Democrat.
- North Bay's exclusive contracts for collecting waste from 50,000 residential and commercial customers is up in 2017. The Santa Rosa City Council has established a subcommittee to decide how much of the potential $15 million in penalties the company will be expected to pay for alleged violations of the current contract.
- Officials recognize that North Bay's rates have been below the market average and are looking for ways to balance potentially higher costs with desired services such as customer education.
Since the results of a tough audit found that North Bay had issues with recycling contamination, customer service, fleet maintenance and facility permits the company has been on the defensive. Their general manager resigned before a City Council review of the audit and the company is fighting millions in potential fines.
While North Bay has said tough commodity markets played a role in these issues, officials say that doesn't excuse poor maintenance and sorting standards. North Bay has said it's spending money to upgrade sorting capabilities and plans to bid on the new contract, though its local facilities don't currently have the required permits that are expected. Yet according to the company's interim general manager, none of the other bidders have permitted facilities in the area either.
A lot can still happen in this type of complex municipal bidding process and despite North Bay's current issues it's still possible that they could pay the fines and end up retaining the contract they've had for more than a decade.