Supervisors set to approve $547 million deal to operate landfill

Sonoma County supervisors Tuesday are set to formally approve a deal that would expand the county's central landfill by permanently turning over operations to a national solid waste contractor.

The switch, which keeps the 42-year-old Mecham Road site west of Cotati in public ownership, would begin under a 20-year-deal worth an estimated $547 million.

The main contractor would be Arizona-based Republic Services, which has been operating the dump on an interim basis for the county since late 2010.

The Board of Supervisors voiced support for the plan in its meeting two weeks ago. County approval Tuesday would set in motion a series of decisions by local cities to commit their garbage, a vital element of the plan.

The deal has been called the largest single public-private business contract in county history, but it could be overshadowed Tuesday by board discussion of an even bigger initiative: the county's bid to create its own power agency.

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