By the SB County Public Works
Californians are working 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 a major contributor to climate change.
Beginning in July 2022, Santa Barbara County expanded its organics collection program to include all residents and businesses of the unincorporated Santa Maria and Lompoc Valleys. Customers must place food scraps, food-soiled paper, and yard waste in their green container. Wet or food-soiled paper includes items like used pizza boxes, coffee filters, and wet paper towels. Clean paper and cardboard should still go into your blue recycling container. Everything in the green container is 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 provides free kitchen pails to all residents. Pails are an easy way to collect organic waste at home without running to the green container after every meal. Kitchen pails are available to residential customers at 620 West Foster Road during regular business hours. Local community groups, such as libraries, schools, daycare centers, clubs, and non-profits, can request kitchen pails in bulk to distribute to their members. Property managers for multifamily complexes of five units or more may arrange for a bulk delivery of kitchen pails for their tenants. Email email@example.com to coordinate a bulk container pickup. Kitchen pails are funded by a grant from the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle).
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 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 can keep 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 Carpinteria, Guadalupe, Lompoc, or Santa Maria, your jurisdiction has its own organics recycling program. Please visit your city’s website for specific details.
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, the South Coast Recycling and Transfer Station at 4430 Calle Real in Santa Barbara, and the Santa Ynez Recycling and Transfer Station at 4004 Foxen Canyon in Los Olivos. Visit www.LessIsMore.org/compost for complete information on bin sale locations and resources.
For a complete organics overview, please visit the County online at www.LessIsMore.org/Organics.