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Santa Barbara County looking to expand dump, even though it was supposed to be set through 2038

Proposal calls for adding 14 acres of capacity to the existing 118 Tajigas Landfill facility.

It could be a controversial debate. On Tuesday, Santa Barbara County Supervisors are set to consider a major expansion of the county’s landfill, after a touted project to reduce the need to expand failed to meet a major goal.

The proposal is to expand the 118 acre Tajiguas Landfill site by 14 acres. The landfill in the mountains off of Highway 101 on the Gaviota Coast.

County Public Works officials say the move is needed because the existing dump will be at capacity in 2026.

But, in 2017 the county approved construction of a major, state-of-the-art recycling facility on the site. It was projected the facility would help extend the life of the existing dumpsite to 2038.

So, what happened? In a staff report, county officials say some of the problems are delays in construction, a spike in the amount of garbage being created, and more waste that can’t be recycled.

County officials say in order to expand to meet the need, work has to start this summer. But, some environmental groups have announced opposition to the expansion, citing potential air and water pollution concerns.



Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.