The Santa Barbara County Public Works Resource Recovery and Waste Management Division will present free composting workshops throughout the county this month.
The three workshops at the Solvang Branch Library, the Santa Maria Valley Sustainable Garden and the Santa Barbara City College Lifescape Garden will include information on the different processes of composting organic waste. In addition, there will be discounted sales on compost bins and a specialist to answer any individual questions.
Leslie Wells, program leader for the Public Works Department, said the event will cover a broad range of topics.
“It is just sort of a general background. Like, if you do not want rodents, you probably do not want to introduce meat or decay,” Wells said. “They will also tell you how to balance your carbon/nitrogen ratio to help make a better nutrient quality compost.”
Wells said that all three workshops will offer visitors the same information.
“They are just in different locations so it is easier for people to have access to,” she said.
Workshop organizers said they are promoting composting due to its environmental benefits.
According to Lisa Sloan, senior environmental health specialist for the Public Works Department, composting reduces the impact of landfill development and management — which has a high potential to cause environmental damage.
“There are currently four active landfills in the county of Santa Barbara,” Sloan said. “The existing landfills have environmental controls in place and are quite expensive to build. To build a new landfill it takes an extensive amount of time of environmental studies and research.”
Sloan noted that no matter how thorough countermeasures are for landfill development, damage is inevitable.
“They will find that there may be impacts, however the project will not be approved if they cannot be mitigated,” Sloan said. “The only thing that cannot be mitigated is the natural landscape. It is going to be permanently blighted by the construction of the landfill.”