Project Update

­The Resource Recovery Project at Tajiguas Landfill:
More Recycling, Composting and Energy from Our Waste


Dozens of successful programs have been implemented by our South Coast and Santa Ynez Valley communities over the­ past 20 years. Jurisdictions served by Tajiguas divert more than 70% of their waste from the landfill. Despite this success, over 170,000 tons of material is still being landfilled each year.

  • We are looking at new ways of managing what is still being buried
  • Whatever is implemented is not a replacement for existing programs… but an enhancement
  • It is an opportunity to reclaim resources currently being buried (recyclables, compost, energy)
  • It is an opportunity to extend landfill capacity and decrease generation of greenhouse gases

Goals of Project

  • 20-year solution for solid waste management
  • Competitive rates compared to alternatives
  • Significantly reduce environmental impacts of landfilling municipal solid waste
  • Maximize recycling
  • Generate green energy
  • Invest in the local economy


Development of a Resource Recovery Enhancement Project that would process municipal solid waste (MSW) from the communities currently served by the Tajiguas Landfill (i.e. the south coast of Santa Barbara County including the Cities of Santa Barbara and Goleta and the Santa Ynez and Cuyama Valleys including the Cities of Solvang and Buellton). This Resource Recovery Enhancement Project would be constructed and operated in partnership with MSB Investors, LLC and would include the following facilities.

  1. Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) - this facility would sort the MSW into three streams:
    • Recyclables - that would be separated, baled and sold for reuse
    • Organics - that would be recovered for composting in the Anaerobic Digestion Facilitiy
    • Residue - materials left over after all recyclables and organics are recovered
  2. Anaerobic Digestion Facilitity (ADF) - this facility would convert all organics recovered from the MSW into digestate and biogas.
    • The digestate would be aerobically cured into a compost product that would be marketed as a soil amendment or used for reclamation projects
    • The biogas would be converted at a power plant into electricity
  3. Power Plant - this facility would use the biogas generated by the ADF for fuel to generate electricity.


  • Energy Sefl-Sufficient ~ This project will generate all of its own energy through renewable sources; landfill gas, biogas, and solar.
  • Increases region's recycling rate from over 70% to over 85% (meets AB 341 goal of 75% diversion from landfilling in 2020 and AB1826 and SB1383 requirements for organics recovery and processing).
  • Long Term Solution ~ 20-year waste management plan (meets CalRecycle's 15-year disposal and newly adopted organics processing capacity requirement).
  • Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Reduction ~ calculated reduction of over 110,000 Metric Tons Carbon Dioxide Equivalent a year, which is equivalient to taking more than 22,000 passenger vehicles off local roads annually. Regionally, this project is the single largest reducer of GHG emissions and assists local communities to comply with SB 32 requirements (State mandated GHG reductions to pre-1990 levels by 2020) and each local jurisdiction's local Climate Action Plan.

For more information on this project please contact:

Carlyle A. Johnston (805) 882-3617

Resource Recovery Project Summary Sheet

| Home | Project | Events | News | Downloads | Contact Us | Sitemap |