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New Tajiguas Landfill Rate Approved for Private Property Debris Removal

Finding areas to transfer the hundreds of tons of boulders, dirt, mud and debris that rushed down the mountain above Montecito on Jan. 9 has become one of the most challenging aspects of the massive recovery effort which began shortly after the initial emergency response.

Due to the threat of future storms and to support critical response activities, in the initial days and weeks of the response, the county focused on critical public health and safety needs of
the community by removing materials from the public areas including creeks, debris basins and roadways.

A short-term solution to address removal of debris on private property was approved by the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors at Tuesday’s meeting. This allows private debris to be taken to the Tajiguas Landfill and stockpiled and sorted.

A special “emergency debris” rate of $55 per ton was approved for mud or mixed loads of dirt, rock and trees.

Only franchise waste haulers and other account holders may deposit waste at Tajiguas, which is not open to public dumping.

In addition, loads of less than one ton of material will not be accepted at Tajiguas but referred to the County South Coast Recycling and Transfer Station or the MarBorg Industries Construction and Demolition Facility. Rates are based upon inspection of the material.

Haulers wishing to use the Tajiguas Landfill, located between El Capitan and Gaviota off Highway 101, must first establish an account by contacting the Santa Barbara County Public Works Department at (805) 568-3129 or visiting http://www.lessismore.org/materials/286-tajiguas-account. Cash is not accepted at the landfill.

Santa Barbara County is also working diligently to find other options for local property owners to dispose of their debris due to concern that the Tajiguas Landfill and other outlets will reach
their capacity within a short time frame, if filled with rock and other materials, impacting the ability of the landfill to continue to take trash from the south coast.

“Finding more large scale sites on the South Coast to manage debris material has been very difficult,” said the County’s Director of Recovery, Matt Pontes. “The County will continue to aggressively evaluate potential local sites as well as reach out to neighboring counties for the use of their facilities,” he added.

In the meantime, other options are being recommended by the County for debris on private property including:

Materials Exchange Website: An innovative solution has been the Materials Exchange Program, an easy, convenient and mutually beneficial way for the community to share usable materials such as rocks, soil, mulch, boulders and other natural materials that can be repurposed for other landscaping needs. Ironically, the combination of ash, water and dirt that came down the mountainside makes for excellent topsoil.

This free listing can be viewed at http://sbcountymaterialexchange.com/ or by calling the Resource Recovery and Waste Management Division of the Santa Barbara County Public Works Department at 805.882.3600.

Transfer Beyond County: Transferring material to other areas in Southern California presents significant costs for transportation and dumping fees, which may not be fully covered by
insurance. These fees can also result in reduced funding available from insurance for a homeowner’s repair or rebuilding.

A full list of sites currently accepting material can be found at ReadySBC.org or by calling 805.882.3600.


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