Thursday, March 22 , 2018, 6:55 pm | Overcast 57º


County Public Works Offering Free Programs to Reduce Yard and Food Waste

The Santa Barbara County Public Works Department, Resource Recovery & Waste Management Division offers free programs to help households divert the yard and food waste they generate from being thrown into the trash.

Backyard Composting Program

“Using leftover food scraps and yard waste to make compost helps divert these materials from the landfill and provides a nutrient-rich source for your garden,” said Sam Dickinson, program specialist with the department. “I encourage people to attend one of these workshops to learn more about composting.”

The RRWMD will offer free workshops to teach people how to compost where they live:

» Saturday, April 25 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at Santa Barbara City College’s Lifescape Garden, 721 Cliff Drive, east campus entrance, past the stadium in Santa Barbara

» Friday, May 1 from 3 to 4:30 p.m. at Isla Vista Food Co-op patio, 6575 Seville Road in Isla Vista

» Saturday, May 2 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at Solvang Branch Library, 1745 Mission Drive in Solvang

» Saturday, May 9 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at Santa Maria Valley Sustainable Garden, 624 W. Foster Road (off frontage road) in Orcutt

The RRWMD also offers Earth Machine composting bins for sale at over 50 percent off the retail price. For more information, please call 805.882.3618 or visit

Mulch Program

During times of drought, using mulch to save water is especially important. Yard waste, such as grass, leaves and flowers, which is collected through the county’s curbside green waste recycling program, is processed into mulch that is distributed locally to households and farmers.

“Placing mulch around plants can reduce water consumption and reduce weed growth,” said Joey Costa, the county’s Mulch Program coordinator. Households may obtain free mulch for their homes and gardens by accessing a pile that is maintained at both the South Coast and Santa Ynez Valley Recycling and Transfer Stations.

For applicable fees, larger amounts of mulch may be delivered or loaded into qualified trucks at both Transfer Stations.

For more information about mulch transfer, please call 805.681.981. For more information about the county’s Backyard Composting and Mulch Programs, please call 805.882.3618 or visit

— Sam Dickinson is a program specialist for the Santa Barbara County Public Works Department.

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