Supervisors Approve Tajiguas Landfill to Expand by 14 Acres

Aerial photo of the Tajiguas Landfill area (edhat file photo)

The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors voted to approve expanding the Tajiguas Landfill last week amid opposition by nearby residents and the Gaviota Coast Conservancy (GCC).

The expansion will be 14.25 acres with an increased height of 650 feet above sea level, that’s 30 feet higher than the current allowance. This increases the permitted total design capacity of the landfill from 23.3 million cubic yards to 29.4 million cubic yards.

“The Tajiguas Landfill is located on the Gaviota Coast, situated between the Los Padres
National Forest to the north, the Arroyo Hondo Preserve to the west, the County’s Baron Ranch
to the east, and Highway 101 and the Arroyo Quemada residential community to the south. No
landfill could be approved in such a sensitive location today,” wrote Doug Kern, Executive Director of the GCC, in a public comment.

Public Works stated there is potential for negative impacts to surrounding plants and wildlife, including a loss of habitat for the soon to be endangered Crotch’s bumblebee. The department stated they are consulting with the state’s Fish and Wildlife office.

The pink and black lines show the current landfill site with the expansion options highlighted in purple and green. The coastal zone is shaded in blue on the right. (courtesy map)

Kern went on to state the landfill is filling up faster than anticipated and states one reason is due to operational challenges with the ReSource Center. Kern, on behalf of the GCC, requests the board improve and enhance mitigation measures, direct Public Works to take immediate steps to improve diversion rates to prolong capacity, establish an independent committee, and commit to long-term planning to avoid additional expansions.

The County Public Works Department determined the ReSource Center, who operates the landfill, will reach capacity by 2026 and not the expected year of 2038. One reason is that county residents produce nearly double the amount of trash than the average American.

Additionally, several issues with the center’s management led to the county cutting a ties with a contractor who failed to complete development of the center and caused a series of violations from regulatory agencies. This subsequently caused a faster accumulation of waste.

Nearby residents made statements of their personal issues with the landfill and the County Public Works Department.

“The landfill continues to break its promises. They expanded once and said it was the last expansion. Then they did it again. Now they are asking for another expansion. It isn’t acceptable,” wrote Jeff Pion who lives nearby.

The Tajiguas Landfill was expanded in 2002 and reconfigured seven years later.

“Numerous violations have been issued against the landfill. Odors emit from the landfill that the operator cannot control. Plastic and other trash from the landfill litter the beaches nearby,” wrote Gaviota Coast resident Bruce Hendricks.

Both Supervisors Laura Capps and Joan Hartmann expressed the need for an educational program for residents aimed at waste reduction.

Construction is expected to begin this summer.

Edhat Staff

Written by Edhat Staff

What do you think?


0 Comments deleted by Administrator

Leave a Review or Comment


Suspected DUI Collision Sends Vehicle into Creek off Highway 154

Camino Cielo Prescribed Burn Scheduled This Week