Santa Cruz County Recycling and Solid Waste Services is responsible for the operation and administration of solid waste diversion and disposal in the unincorporated area of the County. We operate the County’s two solid waste facilities, the Buena Vista Landfill west of Watsonville and the Ben Lomond Transfer Station in the San Lorenzo Valley. We collaborate with local non-profit agencies to carry out community public education and waste reduction programs. We are charged with many public service responsibilities including:
- Operation of landfill and transfer station disposal and recycling services and household hazardous waste collection
- Development of programs designed to meet statewide diversion goals and other mandates, including the diversion of food waste and other organic material
- Implement the County’s Zero Waste Plan designed to achieve a 75% reduction in landfill disposal by 2010 and additional reductions in future years.
- Landfill design and engineering
- Liaison and reporting to a variety of state and federal agencies regarding solid waste facilities compliance and pollution control programs
- Heavy equipment fleet maintenance
- Administration of garbage and recycling collection franchise services
- Advance planning for future solid waste and recycling programs and facilities including implementation of the County's Integrated Waste Management Recovery Plan
Recycling and Solid Waste employs 47 operations and administration staff who are dedicated to providing quality service to the general public. The County has received numerous awards, including Awards for Excellence in Landfill Operations from the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) in 1996 and 1997, the California Green Cities Award in 2011, the Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award in 2012, The National Association of Counties Achievement Award in 2013, and the Outstanding Recycling Program Award from the California Resource Recovery Association in 2016.