PRESS RELEASE / ANNOUNCEMENTS Thursday, October 9, 2014

The County Offers Free Programs to Help You Reduce Organic Waste & Close the Loop

The Santa Barbara County Public Works Department supports alternatives to throwing food scraps and yard waste into your trash; which will currently be landfilled. Sam Dickinson, Program Specialist with the Department, explains that, “When you compost at home, leftover food scraps and plant materials are naturally recycled into nutrient-rich compost for your garden - keeping valuable resources out of the landfill.” This is a great way for you to reduce your environmental impact. Organics that enter landfills release potent methane gas, which negatively contributes to climate change.

Santa Barbara County Public Works Department partners with the Cities of Solvang, Santa Barbara, and Goleta to provide these opportunities free of charge.

Get started by learning how you can create your own compost
Read the Composting ABC’s, a free booklet that has the information you need to get started. A free PDF is available at

The County provides free and fun compost workshops
The next workshops are typically planned for spring. Can’t wait? Get a group of 5 or more together for a private workshop.

The County offers half priced large composting bins for sale at two convenient locations:
South Coast Recycling and Transfer Station at 4430 Calle Real in Santa Barbara and at the North County Public Works Building at 620 West Foster Road in Orcutt.

Learn how to be Food Forward and reduce food waste
The County has developed a program to help members of the community reduce food waste by considering purchasing habits, feeding hungry people and animals, and composting any leftover food. Visit for more information.

Mulch your property to save water in these times of drought
Using your green waste recycling bin is another great way to help close the organics loop. Yard waste materials like grass, leaves, flowers, and other plants that are discarded into this bin are collected and processed into a mulch distributed locally back to residents and farmers. Returning this mulch to the soil completes the loop, with many positive impacts for any garden.

As Joey Costa, the County’s Mulch Program Coordinator, describes, “The main benefits of mulching is water conservation and nutrient input.” Get free “load your own” mulch at the South Coast Recycling and Transfer Station in Santa Barbara. Low cost loading and delivery options are available too. Contact 681-4981 for more details.

For more information about the Backyard Composting or Mulch Program, call 882-3618 or visit the County’s recycling website,

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