Revised Tajiguas Resource Recovery Project

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Source: Santa Barbara County Planning Commission

Late last year, the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors and partnering cities approved the contracts necessary to move forward with the long-awaited Tajiguas Resource Recovery Project (TRRP) and the development of facilities to process municipal solid waste (MSW), recyclables and organic materials at the County-owned and operated Tajiguas Landfill. Shortly thereafter, it was determined prior to construction that the TRRP’s designed footprint partly crossed into the Coastal Zone. Over the past five months, County staff has worked with its partners to revise the project design to eliminate intrusion of the Coastal Zone while meeting all of the original important project environmental goals (reduce greenhouse gases, produce green energy, and enhance recycling).

Staff will present these changes to the County Planning Commission during its regularly scheduled public hearing on August 30.  The Planning Commission will consider whether the revised TRRP remains in conformity with the County’s Comprehensive Plan (also known as a 65402 Hearing) and provide recommendations to the Board of Supervisors regarding a related proposed revision to the Comprehensive Plan Land Use Element Waste Disposal Facility Overlay.

Third District County Supervisor Joan Hartmann, whose district contains the Tajiguas Landfill, said, “The removal of organics from the landfill with the TRRP in operation is a key component to the County’s Energy and Climate Action Plan. By removing the organics from our landfilled waste we will have the same impact as removing more than 20,000 cars off of our streets.”

The TRRP will process all waste currently buried at the landfill with a series of on-site facilities including two key buildings:

  1. A Materials Recovery Facility that will pull out any recyclables that will be sent to market and also extract all organic waste that will be sent to the Anaerobic Digestion Facility; and
  2. An Anaerobic Digestion Facility that will further process the organic waste extracting methane to be turned into green energy, and digestate that will be cured into compost on-site adjacent to the digesters.

“The Tajiguas Resource Recovery Project is a critical project to reduce our region’s greenhouse gas emissions,” said First District Supervisor Das Williams. “The reduction of these emissions, coupled with an increase in recycling and green energy production is a reflection of our community’s values of environmental stewardship.”

For general information about the TRRP, go to the County’s dedicated website on this project.

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