Sometimes, something that happens in your own backyard can bode well for others who are far beyond state lines. Here in Santa Barbara County, CA, a conservancy group has been in opposition to the Tajiguas Landfill, where around 200,000 tons of waste are deposited every year. The Gaviota Coast Conservancy has also been against plans to extend the lifespan of the landfill.Managing municipal solid waste is more than landfilling: publicity, education, engineering, long-term planning, and landfill gas waste-to-energy are specialties needed in today’s complex environment. We’ve created a handy infographic featuring 6 tips to improve landfill management and achieve excellence in operations. 6 Tips for Excellence in Landfill Operations. Download it now!
The fight is over. According to the Santa Barbara Independent, “The Gaviota Coast Conservancy has laid down the fight, settling its lawsuit on Tuesday. In exchange, the Santa Barbara County supervisors vowed to find another dump when Tajiguas fills up, rather than seek permits to expand operations there any further. As a result, county trash planners are free to pursue their $540 million plans to extend the landfill’s life span—to 2036—by repurposing the trash. (The county’s contract for building the project sits at $130 million; city officials have calculated that over its entire lifetime, the project will end up costing $540 million.)”
The settlement also paves the way for the Tajiguas Resource Recovery Project.
The Independent reports: “Santa Barbara Public Works’ Mark Schleich, deputy director for resource recovery and waste management, said both project and settlement underscore the county’s commitment to the environment. ‘We’ve been on the Gaviota Coast since the mid-’60s and have always tried to be a good neighbor to the coast,’ Schleich said. The planned composter, an anaerobic digester, will reduce greenhouse gases by collecting carbon dioxide and methane and converting the gases into electricity. By Schleich’s count, this will slash emissions equivalent to those of 24,000 cars and generate enough juice to power 1,000 homes.”
They are all desirable outcomes from my perspective.