Santa Rosa agreed Tuesday night to send all of its garbage to the county’s central landfill for the next 25 years, a decision that significantly advances a long-delayed plan to privatize operations of the Mecham Road facility.

On a 7-0 vote, the council approved a series of agreements that resolve some of the city’s long-term liability concerns related to seven closed landfills in the county, a thorny issue that has delayed privatization effort for years.

If enough similar deals are reached by other cities, Republic Services is expected to begin work to open a new cell of the landfill and construct additional recycling facilities to divert more waste from the landfill.

Several speakers praised the city for taking a leadership role in striking an agreement that other cities can follow.

“As goes Santa Rosa, so goes the region, and I think you know that,” former county Supervisor Ernie Carpenter told the council.

Council members also expressed gratitude to the city staff, especially City Attorney Caroline Fowler and City Manager Kathy Millison for their work on the yearslong effort.