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Manure Picture by Eszter Hargittai on Flckr original at

Horse Manure and Bedding Recycling

Horse manure and bedding make excellent compost.

In an effort to reduce the amount of compostable material being thrown in the landfill, the County started this recycling program in 2008.

There are a lot of horses in Santa Barbara County, and those horses make a lot of manure. They also produce lots of used bedding, which, like the manure, typically ends up in the landfill...Until now!

In October 2008 the County joined forces with Waste Management and Valley Compost to set up an innovative program to recycle horse manure and bedding in the Santa Ynez Valley. In the first year alone, more than 600 tons of manure were turned into valuable compost.

How does the program work?

Waste Management worked with County staff to set up a separate collection route for these materials. The program's success relies on the cooperation of customers willing to separate their horse manure and bedding from trash. After it's collected, the material is taken to a local composting facility, currently Engel and Gray, to be composted.

How do I participate?

If you're located in the Santa Ynez Valley, Waste Management will provide an extra container to keep manure free of contaminants. To sign up, call Waste Management at (805) 242-7936.