After Halloween, as jack-o-lanterns and decorative pumpkins begin to decompose, the Santa Barbara County Public Works Department is encouraging resident to compost their decorations rather than throwing them in the trash. “When you compost this material in your own backyard, you divert organics from landfills and create a nutrient-rich soil amendment that is great for your garden,” said Compost Program Specialist Sam Dickinson.
To get started, the county offers composting bins at wholesale prices at three locations: South Coast Recycling and Transfer Station at 4430 Calle Real in Santa Barbara; North County Public Works Building at 620 West Foster Road in Orcutt; and Santa Ynez Valley Recycling and Transfer Station at 4004 Foxen Canyon Road in Los Olivos.
The county reminds the community that green waste recycling bins are not for pumpkins, but for grass, leaves, flowers, and other yard materials. The materials are collected and chipped into mulch to help complete organic loops and help with water conservation and nutrient input. Residents can pick up free mulch at the South Coast Recycling and Transfer Station and at the Santa Ynez Valley Recycling and Transfer Station.