City of Santa Rosa

At its meeting August 29, the Santa Rosa City Council voted to move forward with changing representation on the city council from "at large" to a district-based system. This will strengthen representation of all citizens in the city, especially those in the southwest, according to city council member Julie Combs. News director Steve Mencher spoke with Combs about the vote.


No city official wants to wake up to a big headline in the paper about rates for trash and recycling soaring sixty percent. But although Santa Rosa's trash and recycling rates are going up, people may be more willing to pay the higher fees if it brings better, more earth-friendly service, which is also more respectful and fair to workers.

Information about trash and recycling at recent meeting
Steve Mencher

It's easy to forget about trash. We bring it to the curb once a week, or send it down a chute, and it disappears. But trash is becoming an increasingly important subject in our region, as we try to figure out how we can avoid creating ever-higher mountains of garbage near our towns and cities. Steve Mencher reports on a recent gathering where trash and jobs were the central focus.

Learn more about "Don't Waste LA," an inspirational model for dealing with the stuff we generally throw away.

Rethinking Single-stream Recycling

Dec 7, 2015
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.

Recycling on the Ropes

Dec 5, 2015

  The economics of recycling are driven by oil prices, environmental regulations, and consumer demand. But the results are being felt by local garbage haulers and their customers

   The economic factors that affect international markets vary from one material to the next, explains Eric Koenigshofer of North Bay Corporation. Purchase prices for both cardbord and plastics are down sharply, but for quite different reasons.

Small Mountain of Trash Cleared from Laguna Channel

Sep 17, 2015
Maggie Hart, Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation

Representatives from the participating agencies were on hand to celebrate the conclusion of the clean-up project. Pictured from r-l are: Kevin Munroe, Laguna Foundation; James Gore, 4th District Supervisor; Michael Thompson, Sonoma County Water Agency; Karen Fies, Sonoma County Human Services; Matt Martin, Social Advocates for Youth; and David Kuszmar, North Coast Regional Water Quality Control BoardCredit Maggie Hart, Laguna de Santa Rosa FoundationEdit | Remove

One Woman’s War on Plastic Litter

Sep 14, 2015
Heather Itzal

  Local parks are a popular place to escape the stress of urban life. But they’re not always free from urban problems… like litter. Litter in our parks and neighborhoods has become something of an obsession for one Marin county woman….and she’s on the quest to not only keep it at bay…but keep it out of the San Francisco Bay. Katie McMurran has the story.

County Landfill Prepares for Composting Move

Nov 20, 2014
Sonoma Compost

  When composting operations were added to the Sonoma County Landfill, on Meacham Road west of Cotati, the location was going to be temporary. It still is, so the process of redesigning a new, permanent composting facility is now underway—one that’s going to be significantly different from the old one.

The new composting site will at a different location within the existing landfill property. An Environmental Impact Study for it is currently being drafted.

Plastic Bag Fairs Help Businesses Adjust to Ban

May 14, 2014

As the new restrictions on the use of plastic bags by retailers are phasing in, the Sonoma County Waste Agency is hosting a series of three “Plastic Bag Fairs” for business owners this week. Here’s a look at what they’re about, and why.

The first of the Sonoma County Waste Agency's  three Bag Fairs was held yesterday in Cotati; there’s one today in Santa Rosa, and the third one will be in Windsor tomorrow.

Brook Haven Students Aim for Zero Waste

Apr 11, 2014

  All this week, students at a Sebastopol elementary school have been seeing how close they can get to generating zero waste. It’s part of a program sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, with a big emphasis on cutting down the use of plastics. We hear today from the teacher who’s been guiding that effort.

Although many other schools observed Zero Waste Week last month, the actions students are encouraged to take remain the same:


Restaurants and caterers throw away tons of unused food scraps each day. A new project in Marin is working to keep that food out of the landfill and using it to create renewable, clean-burning bio gas. After nearly 5 years of negotiations and testing, it officially began operations yesterday. 

Organizers say the project, called the  Food-to-Energy (F2E) program, is the first of its kind: a partnership between a the private Marin Sanitary Service  and the public Central Marin Sanitation Agency.  

Sonoma County Plastic Bag Ban Advances

Jan 16, 2014

After years of discussion and a late procedural diversion, Sonoma County is finally poised to impose limitations on the use of free plastic bags by grocers and other retailers. But getting to this point wasn’t easy.

Find details about the new bag restrictions here. You can also review KRCB's coverage of the Febrary 2011 Public Forum on Single-Use Bags here.