Rethinking Single-stream Recycling

Dec 7, 2015

Sonoma County's garbage collection company sought to re-brand itself when single-stream recycling was implemented in 2009.
Credit North Bay Corporation

  Expanded recycling programs, such as here in Sonoma County, have succeeded in cutting the waste stream going into the dump. But the economics behind them are not working out as expected. And that is leading to some reconsideration.

Long-time recycling advocate Mike Anderson, the current chair of the Sonoma County Solid Waste Management Task Force, contends that one factor in North Bay Corporation’s higher-than-permitted volume of “residuals” at their Standish Avenue sorting facility is the age of the equipment in use there.

A truck deposits its load of single-streamed recyclables at a recycling facility.

  Attorney Eric Koenigshofer, a long-time member of North Bay Corporation’s management team, says that lower revenues from the resale of recyclables could affect their garbage collection rates.

North Bay Corporation and its parent company became the dominant garbage collection service in Sonoma County after activists such as Anderson persuaded local governments to use competitive bidding in awarding those contracts. But he is concerned that this consumer-friendly approach has begun to backslide.