The unincorporated areas of Santa Barbara County are recycling more than they ever have, achieving a 69 percent recycling rate in 2006, the last available reporting year. In other words, 69 percent of all generated waste is recycled.

State law requires all jurisdictions in California to maintain at least a 50 percent diversion rate and Santa Barbara County rates in the top ten percent of more than 400 jurisdictions throughout California. In 1990, according to the county numbers, the county recycled just 11 percent. “Congratulations are due to our residents and businesses for doing such an outstanding job with recycling,” said 1st District Supervisor Salud Carbajal in a statement. “Their commitment to recycling, along with the county’s innovative and user-friendly recycling programs, is a role model for other jurisdictions to follow.”

The county runs many programs to boost recycling rates, including a business and residential hazardous waste collection program, recycling of green waste and construction and demolition debris. It also produces a countywide recycling guide and runs countywide educational programs on recycling. “We have been able to do better than expected because of the support and effort of our community members,” Mark Schleich, Deputy Director of the Resource Recovery & Waste Management Division, said in a statement. “Beyond this achievement we will continue to do more together, such as converting our solid waste into green energy and ending our dependence on landfills.”

For more information about the County’s recycling programs, visit


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