New Organics Recycling Program


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New Program in Santa Maria and Lompoc Valley Unincorporated Areas Begins July 1 

(SANTA BARBARA, Calif.) – Californians now need to keep as much organic waste out of landfills as possible. When buried, organics such as food scraps, yard waste, and soiled or wet paper products, take up valuable landfill space, and release methane as they decompose. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas and major contributor to climate change.  

Beginning in July, Santa Barbara County is expanding its organics collection program to include all residents and businesses of the unincorporated Santa Maria and Lompoc Valleys. Customers must place ALL of their food scraps and food soiled paper, along with yard waste, in their green container. Wet or food soiled paper includes items like used pizza boxes and coffee filters, and wet paper towels. Clean paper and cardboard should still go into your blue recycling bin. Everything in the green container is now processed at a local facility and then used as compost in local agriculture. If you do not have a green container, please contact your hauler, Waste Management, at (805) 922-2121 to subscribe to organic waste service. 

The County will provide free kitchen pails to all residents. Pails are an easy way to collect organic waste at home without needing to run to the green bin after every meal. Stay tuned, kitchen pails will be available later this year and be distributed in a variety of ways to residential customers. Kitchen pails are funded by a grant from the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle).  

Commercial customers can arrange for a delivery of free 28-quart indoor organics collection containers by calling (805) 882-3613.  

What’s happening in the rest of the County?  

If you live or work in Buellton, Goleta, Santa Barbara, Solvang, and the unincorporated areas of the Cuyama Valley, Santa Ynez Valley, and South Coast, your waste is processed at the County Public Works Department’s newly opened ReSource Center. Recyclable materials are recovered and sold, and organics (including food waste and food soiled paper*) are separated from trash and transformed into compost and energy. This means that residents who live or work in these areas do not need to change how they manage waste to meet new statewide requirements. Please continue using your green waste, recycling, and trash containers in the same way as you always have.  

If you live or work in the cities of Carpinteria, Guadalupe, Lompoc, or Santa Maria, your jurisdiction has its own organics recycling program. Please visit your city’s website for specific details. 

Backyard Composting 

If you compost your organics where you live, please don’t stop! It’s best to compost as locally as you can, plus you’ll create a great soil amendment to use in your garden within months. The County supports these efforts by selling half-priced compost bins at the North County Public Works Office at 620 West Foster Road. Visit www.LessIsMore.org/compost for more compost bin sale locations and resources.  

For a complete organics overview, please visit the County online at www.LessIsMore.org/Organics.  

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