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The Resource Recovery Project: An Alternative to Landfilling

The County Public Works Department and the cities of Santa Barbara, Goleta, Buellton, and Solvang have joined together to identify and evaluate the feasibility of various technologies that provide alternatives to landfilling of solid waste in Southern Santa Barbara County.

The result of this effort is the Resource Recovery Project.

Recent News

The Board of Supervisors will consider approval of the Revised Tajiguas Resource Recovery Project (TRRP), including an amendment to the Comprehensive Plan Waste Disposal Facility Overlay, at their meeting on November 14, 2017 (Notice of Public Hearing on Revised TRRP). The Board Letter for the project can be accessed through the Board’s website. A copy of the Revised TRRP SEIR Addendum may be accessed by clicking here. The Revised Addendum has been divided into three files for easier downloading: Addendum Text (1.02 MB), Figures (29.4 MB) and Appendices (29.3 MB).

If you have any questions, please call (805) 882-3614.

The Project

Santa Barbara County has a long history of developing innovative environmental solutions for our community’s needs. 

The Santa Barbara County Department of Public Works, in collaboration with the cities of Santa Barbara, Goleta, Solvang, and Buellton, is proposing to develop a Resource Recovery Project that would process municipal solid waste (MSW) currently disposed at the County owned and operated Tajiguas Landfill.

This project includes facilities that would pull out any recyclables mistakenly sent to the landfill and anaerobically digest organic material currently buried at the landfill.

The project would increase recycling in our community to above 80%, generate green energy, and reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions from our community.

On August 30, 2017, the County Planning Commission reviewed proposed changes to the design of the Tajiguas Resource Recovery Project (TRRP). County staff worked with its partners to eliminate intrusion of the project into the Coastal Zone while still meeting all of the project’s original environmental goals (reduction of greenhouse gases, production of green energy, and enhanced recycling). More information about the Planning Commission meeting is provided in the County’s press release.

On December 13, 2016, the County Board of Supervisors approved the final contracts necessary to move forward with the Resource Recovery Project and also authorized financing for the facility.

On November 30, 2016, Biomass Magazine published an article on the latest developments of the Resource Recovery Project. Check it out here.

July 12, 2016 – Board of Supervisors Approves Contract and EIR for Tajiguas Resource Recovery Project

On July 12, 2016, the Board of Supervisors approved a contract with MSB Investors, LLC to design, build, and operate the Tajiguas Resource Recovery Project. At the same time, the Board also certified the proposed Final Subsequent EIR.

The Board Letter for the project, video of the meeting, and other details can be accessed by clicking here (the project was the last agenda item of the day, Departmental Agenda Item #9).

If you have any questions regarding the project or the hearing, please contact Carlyle Johnston at (805) 882-3617 or send him an email.

December 15, 2015 – Final Subsequent EIR Released

12EIR-00000-00002 (State Clearinghouse #2012041068)

Pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), a proposed Final Subsequent Environmental Impact Report (Final Subsequent EIR) has been prepared for the Tajiguas Resource Recovery Project. Details are available in the Final Subsequent EIR transmittal letter.

A Draft Subsequent EIR for the Tajiguas Resource Recovery Project was released for public review on August 11, 2014. The public review period closed October 9, 2014. An Environmental Hearing was held on September 4, 2014.

All comments received on the Draft Subsequent EIR have been responded to in the Response to Comments section of the proposed Final Subsequent EIR (Volume 1, Section 9.0). Where appropriate, changes have been made to the Draft Subsequent EIR text in response to comments received, and have been incorporated into this proposed Final Subsequent EIR. The Final Subsequent EIR is comprised of Volume 1 (SEIR) and Volume 2 (Technical Appendices).

Please click here to download the Final Subsequent EIR.

Public Hearings

Government Code Section 65402 (General Plan Consistency) Determination January 6, 2016

Santa Barbara County Planning Commission
County Engineering Building, Room 17
123 East Anapamu St
Santa Barbara, CA 93101

A hearing will be held to determine if the Tajiguas Resource Recovery Project, proposed to be located at the Tajiguas Landfill ( AP Nos. 081 150 026, -019 and -042, located at 14470 Calle Real, in the Gaviota  area, Third Supervisorial District), is in conformance with (complies with the policies of) the County’s Comprehensive Plan.

Tajiguas Resource Recovery Project Hearing – Early 2016

Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors Hearing Room; the date has not yet been scheduled but will be posted here as soon as it is.

For additional information, please contact Joddi Leipner, Senior Engineering Environmental Planner, at (805) 882-3614 or send her an e-mail.

Want to know more?

The County has a website dedicated to this project. Check out for all the details.