Saturday, May 26 , 2018, 3:35 pm | Fair and Breezy 70º

 
 
 
 

Local News

Award Proves County Public Works’ Efforts Don’t Go to Waste

Santa Barbara County's integrated waste management program is recognized with top national honors.

Santa Barbara County’s Public Works Department has earned top honors for its integrated waste management program from the Solid Waste Association of North America.

Competing against municipalities across the United States and Canada in the category of Solid Waste Management Systems, the county’s system, according to SWANA, “is no small accomplishment given the excellent quality of this year’s nominations and the challenges faced by many of the programs and operations in the solid waste industry.” The award, said Public Works deputy director Mark Schleich, encompasses everything from facilities and operations to programs and outreach.

“In 1995, our diversion rate was only 30 percent and today Santa Barbara County is at 69 percent, making us one of the leaders for waste management recycling in California,” said 1st District Supervisor Salud Carbajal, the board chairman. “Our Public Works employees who have worked so hard with the community to achieve success are to be congratulated for receiving this national award.”

“We’re aiming for 100 percent diversion,” said Schleich. “And that’s going to take a lot of work.”

Currently, county Public Works, along with the city of Santa Barbara, is in the middle of a big push to get a waste conversion facility on the ground to divert the county’s trash before it winds up in the Tajiguas Landfill, which has about 13 years left in it. The department has just completed a feasibility study for the multimillion-dollar project and is considering its options. On Aug. 18 the agency will be consulting with local elected officials to hash out details about what might appear in the department’s Request for Proposals.

“We envision that these vendors will spend several hundreds of dollars in preparing proposals, so we’re trying to have as much information that they would need, and that we’re as clear as we can be about what we’re asking for,” said Schleich. Not only would the chosen vendor be spending millions of dollars on the facility, Public Works will be committing funds to the project for up to 20 years.

“It’s a big project, so we’re taking the time to make sure we get it right,” he said.

Noozhawk staff writer Sonia Fernandez can be reached at [email protected]

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Supporter

Enter your email
Select your membership level
×

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >