No criminal charges will be filed against Health Sanitation, the
Santa Maria trash company that shortchanged the county by as much
as $1 million in recycling fees and charges. Sheriff’s
investigators said they could find no evidence substantiating a
whistleblower’s claim of premeditated criminal intent. Health
Sanitation – which is owned by Waste Management, the nation’s
largest trash company – has admitted to bookkeeping errors and
underreporting its processing dues to the county to the tune of
nearly $500,000; it volunteered to reimburse the county. But county
officials suspect the true damage might be as high as $1 million.
Sheriff’s spokesperson Erik Raney said the whistleblower – a former
Health Sanitation bookkeeper – never produced the evidence of
criminal misconduct he claimed he had. With the company on the hot
seat, competitors are poised to pounce. Already MarBorg Industries
– a David ever in search of Goliaths to slay – is vying for Health
Sanitation’s contract with the City of Guadalupe, having submitted
a bid $2 a month cheaper, per month per customer.


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