Partners of the Santa Barbara County’s Go Green Landscape Consortium endorsed proper toxic material disposal at a press conference yesterday afternoon.County and university officials met at the Community Hazardous Waste Collection Center — a disposal facility for business and household toxic waste products — to educate the public about the benefits of environmental sustainability. The Go Green Landscape Consortium was founded in 2007 to encourage “greener” pest extermination and includes partners from UCSB, the city of Goleta and Santa Barbara County Parks, among others.
According to First District Supervisor Salud Carbajal, the conference was held in preparation for the Earth Day Celebration at Alameda Park in Downtown Santa Barbara this weekend.
“With Earth Day approaching, we want to create the awareness to use this facility to dispose of chemicals people no longer use or are not aware of how toxic they are,” Carbajal said. “As Earth Day comes around, we want to inspire people to think green, to think alternatives to pesticides and to think to bring pesticides no longer used to this facility.”
Since the establishment of the Go Green Landscape Consortium, the levels of herbicide and pesticide used in the county’s public parks has declined by over 90 percent.
According to Kathy Boomer, Goleta Unified School District superintendent, the consortium is now working to reduce the amount of household pesticide use.
“Our whole district adopted a pesticide-free policy in 2006 and we are very proud to help the South Coast become a pesticide free community,” Boomer said. “Our next big initiative is reducing domestic pesticide use on the South Coast and we hope that community will come to know importance of pesticide disposal and come to use this facility.”
According to Bruce Carter, manager of the Hazardous Waste Collection Center, the facility provides safe disposal methods for items ranging from paint and batteries to pesticides and other hazardous waste products, completely free of charge.
“About 10,000 people use the facility and bring in about 350 tons of waste per year,” Carter said. “That is a lot of waste going through this facility — most of it being household products like paints and pesticides.”
The Community Hazardous Waste Collection Center is located at Building 565 on Mesa Road and is open to the community on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
For more information on the Go Green Consortium, and to learn more about safe alternatives to pesticides, visit gogreensbc.org.