Government officials, county staff, and contractors gathered at Tajiguas Landfill on 16 July to open the Santa Barbara County ReSource Center.
The new $130 million (€110 million) centre will divert an additional 60% of waste from the landfill, bringing the region to a diversion rate of 85%. Additionally, the facility will create enough energy to power 2,000 homes.
The facility has two components, according to Santa Barbara News-Press - a new materials recovery facility (MRF) and an anaerobic digester. The two components will work in tandem. The MRF will remove organic waste, including food waste, wet paper, and cardboard. Once the waste has been sorted, a truck will transport the waste to the digester where it will be mixed with cow manure and heated to produce biomethane. The biomethane will then be combusted in an engine and converted into 2 MW of renewable energy.
“This is a great day for Santa Barbara County,” said Leslie Wells, deputy director of the country’s Public Works Department. “This will serve as a model for other communities and minimise the impact of our waste on our own environment – an excellent example.
“It’s an action that communities across the country are going to have to take in order to better use and protect our resources into the future.”