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Alisal Fire damages Santa Barbara County's cutting edge waste disposal facility

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KCLU News photo by John Palminteri
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Santa Barbara County's new cutting edge waste recycling facility on the Gaviota Coast suffered some damage as a result of the Alisal wildfire

Ventura Counties companies step up to temporarily help handle waste.

The Alisal Fire has been threatening more than 100 homes, but it’s also caused some damage at Santa Barbara County’s brand new state-of-the-art recycling facility located on the Gaviota Coast.

After decades of work, Santa Barbara County’s new cutting edge recycling facility at the Tajiguas Landfill finally opened over the summer. It’s reducing the amount of materials going into the landfill by some 20%

Santa Barbara County firefighters protected the main buildings from the fire, but embers ignited an adjacent filtration system which uses wood chips.

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KCLU News photo by John Palminteri
With the facility damaged, Ventura County waste haulers are temporarily helping to deal with some of Santa Barbara County's solid waste.

Santa Barbara County CEO Mona Miyasato says the two main parts of the new facility were undamaged, But, the area next to the facility, a biofilter which uses wood chips, was hit by the blaze. Because the fire was in the wood chips, it's been hard to fully extinguish.

The fire also damaged the drainage system, the landfill gas collection system, and some heavy equipment.

As a result of the issues, some of the county's waste is temporarily being shipped elsewhere.

Two companies in Ventura County have stepped up to help. It’s still unknown how long the Tajiguas facility might be offline.