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Trash : Landfill Bound

Unfortunately there are still materials we can't avoid throwing away.



This section contains information about what items are trash, why they are trash, and what happens to trash in Santa Barbara County.

What is Trash?

Trash is any material that is unwanted or unusable. In Santa Barbara County, these materials end up in a landfill. The term "waste" is often more appropriate than trash; many materials that end up in the trash are wasted because they could have been reused or recycled.

What is in the Trash section?

Items in this section do not have a clear way to be reused or recycled. This section also contains the contact information for the waste haulers and the local government agencies that deal with trash. If you discover an illegal dump site that needs cleaning up, or if you want to clean the beach at Coastal Cleanup Day, you will also find those links in this section. Finally, this section has an explanation of how much trash residents make, what happens to trash in Santa Barbara County, and more.

An Extremely Short History of Trash:

Did you know trash is a relatively new idea?

While people have been throwing away old items and materials forever, modern trash is fairly new. Archaeologists spend their lives digging up trash that ancient peoples have left behind. Most of this ancient trash came from plants and animals, causing it to decompose fairly quickly.

This all changed at the end of the Industrial Revolution. Manufacturers began making disposable items out of durable materials. One of the first popular items designed to be disposable was the metal bottle cap invented in 1891. It was soon followed by the disposable safety razor blade. In no time, many more durable items were designed for disposal and mixed with decomposable items like food scraps, creating modern trash. Trash as we know it has really only been around for about 120 years!

List of Items in the Trash Section

Most of the pages in the trash section are found below:

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