Options Offered for Managing and Removing Debris

Options Offered for Managing and Removing Debris

Montecito debris

Immediately following the 1/9 Debris Flow, first response agencies and the County focused on the removal of debris for emergency search and rescue efforts and from debris basins, creeks and roadways to provide protection from future storms. As recovery efforts unfolded, many questions were posed by the community about debris remaining on private property. Ultimately, property owners are responsible for managing or removing any debris on private property. To assist property owners, the County has worked to make available cost-effective options for how to manage or remove the debris. “We recognize that dealing with the debris is a complex and expensive issue. We continue to work with the community to assist property owners and find new ways to manage this challenge,” said Matt Pontes, director of recovery efforts for Santa Barbara County.

The County recommends the following debris management and removal options:

  • Reuse/recycle debris as rebuilding material – Property owners should consider using rocks and dirt that may be able to be integrated into rebuilding plans. “Homeowners are realizing that some of this natural debris is usable material to elevate their property, which can protect against future flooding,” said Rob Lewin, director of Santa Barbara County’s Department of Emergency Management.  Rocks and large boulders may also be used for landscaping features. FEMA is currently remapping the Montecito area and this information may inform rebuilding efforts. Property owners should consider retaining reusable debris and delaying rebuilding plans until FEMA’s work is completed.
  • Materials exchange website – The County’s Public Works Department established a free materials exchange website to facilitate the sharing of natural, reusable debris (e.g. rocks, dirt). The website allows homeowners, contractors, landowners, farmers and others to connect directly with residents who have materials on their property that need to be removed. Residents can go to SBCountyMaterialExchange.com for more information.
  • Contracted material haulers – Materials should be hauled by a permitted hauler or a licensed contractor. The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors recently approved a rate of $55 per ton for the disposal of mud or mixed loads of dirt, rock and trees at the Tajiguas landfill. Only franchise waste haulers and other account holders may deposit waste at Tajiguas, which is not open to public dumping. The following haulers are permitted by the County and can serve Montecito:
    • MarBorg Industries  (805) 963-1852
    • Waste Management  (805) 242-7937
    • Progressive Waste  (805) 564-2654
    • Engel & Gray  (805) 925-2771

Property owners needing guidance and assistance with debris management and removal can visit the Montecito Center for Preparedness, Recovery and Rebuilding at 1283 Coast Village Circle or by calling 805-845-7887 or emailing montecitocenter@sboem.org.  The Center’s hours are Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Wednesday 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Contact Office of Emergency Management

4408 Cathedral Oaks Rd., Santa Barbara, CA 93110
Phone: 805-681-5526