ReSource Center at Tajiguas will "fundamentally define" waste recovery

Local officials, county staff, and contractors celebrated the groundbreaking of The ReSource Center at the Tajiguas Landfill on May 30, 2019. The event celebrated the name change of the facility and construction of the $150M project that is expected to be complete by early 2021. Public Works Director Scott McGolpin said, "Many of you have heard references to the Tajiguas Resource Recovery Project, or TRRP, over the last decade. Today we officially kick off implementation of this facility and it is well on its way to becoming a community asset. It is time to rename this project to represent what it will become – a ReSource Center for the communities we serve."

The new state-of-the-art recycling facility and large-scale anaerobic digester will convert commercial and residential waste into resources by recovering recyclable materials, transforming organics into landscape nutrients, and creating renewable energy in the process. The center will divert an additional 60% of waste from landfill, which will bring the region to above an 85% diversion rate. The center reduces annual GHG emissions by the equivalent of nearly 29,000 cars. Methane gas will be captured and used to generate enough energy to power the equivalent of 2,000 homes. The center will be vital to achieving state-mandated GHG emission reductions, increasing recycling, and diverting organic waste. It will also create nearly 100 permanent living-wage jobs.

The event was attended by County Supervisors Das Williams, Gregg Hart, Joan Hartmann, and Steve Lavagnino, former Supervisor Doreen Farr, County Executive Officer Mona Miyasato, and Treasurer-Tax Collector Harry Hagen. Speakers included Supervisor Williams, John Dewey of MSB Investors, and Wendy Motta from Congressman Salud Carbajal's office.

Public Works Deputy Director Leslie Wells also spoke and said, "I have personally been working on the development of this project for over 10 years and want to thank the staff and elected officials from the County and our partners at the cities of Buellton, Solvang, Goleta, and Santa Barbara who have assisted in shaping and bringing this important project to our community."

The groundbreaking was unique in its dedication to producing zero waste. All plates, utensils, and other items used for food service and preparation were reusable.

Recent media coverage regarding the lack of markets for selling recyclables has focused on how countries like China have decreased the amount of recyclables it is willing to import. This is largely a result of countries exporting dirty bales of recyclables to China. Now that China has closed its doors, domestic processing facilities are having to upgrade their equipment to produce a much cleaner product. Wells added, "The ReSource Center has integrated the latest processing technologies, which will ensure much cleaner bales and will allow us to be able to market these recyclable materials."

The Tajiguas landfill has hosted thousands of schoolchildren, college students, and interested members of the public to learn about the community's waste management system. McGolpin said, "Our public education effort will be expanded with the ReSource Center, which will include an indoor visitor education center. This center will have interactive exhibits and windows into the materials recovery facility itself to see how the machinery operates and to learn about the benefits of recycling. Ongoing education of the next generation helps all of us provide a more sustainable future with regards to the community's waste generation."

For more information on the ReSource Center, visit lessismore.org.



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