Trash : Landfill Bound
Unfortunately there are still materials we can't avoid throwing away.
This section contains information about what items are trash, why they are trash, and what happens to trash in Santa Barbara County.
Lucky for us, most plastics are recyclable in the County of Santa Barbara - most, but not all. The non-recyclable plastics fall into a few different categories:
Syrofoam, or Expanded Polystyrene Foam
Broken pieces of styrofoam or styrofoam containers that have come into contact with food are always trash. The only types of styrofoam that may be reusable are those that act as packaging materials, such as styrofoam peanuts. If you have packaging materials, see our Packaging Material Reuse page. Other forms of styrofoam are trash.
Plastic Bags and Plastic Film
Plastic bags and other plastic film are currently not recyclable. Please do not put them in your blue bin. Visit our Plastic Bags page for more information.
PVC pipes are brittle, meaning that they can be dangerous if placed in a blue bin for recycling. Please remember to always put your broken PVC pipes in the trash. And if they're mostly in tact, try reusing them by trimming off the broken portion.
As the name implies, compostable plastic is designed to be composted, not recycled. It's made from materials such as Poly Lactic Acid (PLA), which is of a similar density to PET (plastic labeled Number 1). As such, it's really difficult to separate compostable plastics from PET and can ruin the recycling of the PET material. Nobody wants that!
If you have compostable plastics, you may be able to compost them at home but it will take a long time. If you live in a community with a food waste recycling program, mix your compostable plastics (make absolutely sure they're compostable!) with the food scraps.
What about plastic toys that include electronics?
Plastics that contain electronic components, like toys that make sounds or have lights, should be treated as electronic waste (anything that uses batteries, plugs in, or charges up). Some smaller toys may have built-in batteries you can't see or change, but they're still classified as electronic waste.
DVDs, CDs, and other plastic media can be recycled, too. Look at the related links on the side of this page for more information.
Where to go
Santa Barbara Area (1)
- *South Coast Recycling and Transfer Station — 4430 Calle Real
- DVD and CD Reuse
- Packaging Materials Reuse
- Plastic Bags Recycling
- Plastics #1 and #2 Recycling
- Plastics #3 - #7 Recycling (no Styrofoam)
- Plastics Recycling
- Portable Electronics Recycling
December 15, 2015 by Carlyle Johnston - Trash
September 25, 2015 by Carlyle Johnston - Recycle
August 25, 2015 by Carlyle Johnston - Policies
June 15, 2015 by Carlyle Johnston - Policies
January 28, 2015 by Sam Dickinson - Electronics
September 23, 2013 by Leslie Robinson - Trash
September 19, 2013 by Sam Dickinson - Trash
September 09, 2013 by Sam Dickinson
September 13, 2012 by Leslie Robinson - Trash
June 13, 2011 by Jeff Simeon - Electronics
April 09, 2011 by Jeff Simeon - Recycle