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WASHINGTON – The Santa Barbara County Public Works Departmenthas been recognized with an Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties (NACo). The awards honor innovative, effective county government programs that strengthen services for residents.

NACo recognized the Santa Barbara County ReSource Center for its role in optimizing new technologies and other innovations to advance the County’s energy goals and environmental stewardship. The ReSource Center is the first large-scale operation in California to house a materials recovery facility, anaerobic digestion facility, compost management unit, and landfill all at one location. This comprehensive project recovers recyclable materials, transforms organics into landscape nutrients, and creates renewable energy. With these new facilities, approximately 60% of additional waste from the community’s trash cans is diverted from the landfill, bringing the region’s diversion rate above 85% while significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The project required over a decade of skillful coordination of regional interests, a comprehensive public outreach plan, a thorough environmental review process, and public financing for Santa Barbara County’s largest single capital project to date.

Santa Barbara County Board Chair Joan Hartmann noted about the Achievement Award, “I am so pleased that the ReSource Center is receiving this well-deserved recognition from NACo. The state-of-the-art Resource Center has both increased the County’s diversion rate and reduced GHG emissions. Congratulations to Public Works for bringing this project to completion and for receiving this esteemed award.”

NACo President Larry Johnson said, “All across the country, counties are working tirelessly to support residents and drive recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s Achievement Award-winning programs showcase how counties work every day to build healthy, safe and thriving communities.”

Nationally, awards are given in 18 different categories that reflect the vast, comprehensive services counties provide. The categories include children and youth, criminal justice and public safety, county administration, information technology, health, civic engagement and many more.

Started in 1970, NACo’s annual Achievement Awards program is designed to recognize county government innovations. Each nominee is judged on its own merits and not against other applications received.


The National Association of Counties (NACo) unites America’s 3,069 county governments.  Founded in 1935, NACo brings county officials together to advocate with a collective voice on national policy, exchange ideas and build new leadership skills, pursue transformational county solutions, enrich the public’s understanding of county government and exercise exemplary leadership in public service.  Learn more at


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