The Santa Barbara County Public Works Department supports alternatives to throwing food scraps and yard waste into the landfill. Sam Dickinson, Program Specialist with the Department, explains, “Leftover food scraps and plant materials can be naturally recycled where you live into nutrient-rich compost for your garden – keeping valuable resources out of the landfill.”

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

The County provides free workshops for you to learn how to compost where you live:

Santa Maria Workshop: Saturday, May 10th from 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Santa Maria Valley Sustainable Garden, 624 W. Foster Road, Orcutt

Santa Barbara Workshop: Saturday, May 17 th from 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

SBCC’s Lifescape Garden, East Campus entrance, past the stadium, Santa Barbara

The County offers composting bins for sale at a discount 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 about Food Forward to stop wasting food

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.

Using mulch to save water is especially important during 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 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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