Leaders to move forward with Tajiguas project - October 15, 2007

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A potential waste conversion facility at Tajiguas Landfill will be up for discussion by both Santa Barbara city leaders and the County Board of Supervisors tomorrow as they decide on moving forward with a feasibility study of the project.

Partners in the effort to build a landfill facility to convert solid waste into energy, the city and county agreed to split the consulting fees earlier this year. The Board of Supervisors is expected to approve the consulting contract today and the city will likely authorize spending for their share of the cost.

"This is an exciting step forward in partnering to find innovative ways to mitigate the impact of our community's waste," First District Supervisor Salud Carbajal said in a statement. "As was the case with recycling, Santa Barbara is once again a leader in pursuing forward-thinking technologies to reduce the amount of waste we send to our landfill."

If approved, the consulting firm — Concord, Mass.,-based Alternative Resources, Inc. — will move forward with an evaluation and recommendation of conversion technologies for Tajiguas Landfill. The city will fork over its $73,700 share of the cost from its Solid Waste Fund, paying the county ask work is performed by the consultant.

In addition to determining the feasibility of a waste conversion facility, the consultant will also identify and evaluate vendors offering conversion technologies.

"Conversion technology is a wave of the future," City Councilmember Iya Falcone said in a statement. "It is gratifying that the city and county of Santa Barbara can work together on such an important project for the benefit of the region."

Although the scope of the project is currently limited to a feasibility study, the project has the potential to significantly reduce the volume of waste being buried at the landfill while boosting the local supply of alternative energy, Robert Samario, city assistant finance director, noted in a staff report.

If both governmental bodies give the project the nod tomorrow, the final consultant report is expected to be completed by January of next year.


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