Plastic Free Goleta: Reducing Pollution on the Central Coast

The City of Goleta’s Sustainability staff will share how implementation of the comprehensive “Plastic Free Goleta” initiative is going, with a focus on the content of the policy, accompanying outreach and implementation, collaboration with local community groups, and how Plastic Free Goleta has reframed the city's waste reduction initiatives. Plastic Free Goleta tackles reducing plastic waste from the source, while Waste Free Goleta reduces waste downstream. Both are efforts from the City of Goleta to decarbonize our community’s impacts on the environment and our neighborhood. Through the Waste Free Goleta initiative, the City has involved community volunteers to move towards a goal of Zero Waste, which the City has identified as 90%+ diversion from landfill disposal. This City-wide effort engages individuals, community groups, and businesses to remove litter from public spaces in Goleta through Beautify Goleta. In the first year of the program, over 450 volunteers across 40 cleanup sites removed 3,144lbs of litter in our community. Goleta’s efforts can easily be replicated in other jurisdictions. 


Dana Murray, Sustainability Manager, City of Goleta
Dana Murray has over 20 years of professional experience in the environmental field, and is currently the Sustainability Manager for the City of Goleta where she leads the City's sustainability policies and programs related to climate action, renewable energy, climate adaptation and resiliency, and plastic pollution reduction. She was formerly the Environmental Sustainability Manager in Manhattan Beach where she worked on coastal adaptation planning for sea level rise, native habitat restoration, and climate change mitigation. Prior to local government, Dana was the Senior Marine Scientist and Coastal Policy Manager at Heal the Bay where she worked on science and policy issues related to coastal habitats and marine wildlife in California. Dana earned her master’s degree in Environmental Science and Management from UCSB's Bren School, specializing in Conservation Planning and Coastal Marine Resource Management, and her bachelor’s in Geography and Environmental Studies from UCLA.

Dan Rowell, Environmental Services Specialist, City of Goleta
Dan became the City of Goleta’s first Environmental Services Specialist and helps achieve the division’s mission to create a clean, sustainable Goleta through watershed protection and responsible materials management (recycle, reduce, reuse), while complying with environmental regulations. Dan designs, implements, and manages environmental programs using modern technology platforms for the City of Goleta. Dan was formerly the Senior Environmental Specialist with the Environmental Services Division in the City of Santa Barbara. He graduated from UCSB with his degree in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Technology Management and Professional Business Writing.

Waste Reduction efforts at the City of Santa Maria 

The City of Santa Maria (“City”) is required to comply with California Senate Bill 1383 (“SB 1383”), the most comprehensive solid waste legislation to be implemented in California for 30 years. SB 1383 introduced the state-wide goals of reducing organic waste disposal in landfills by 75% and the recovery of 20% of the edible food that is currently disposed of by 2025. Diverting organic waste and edible food from landfills is an important way that Californians can combat climate change.

SB 1383 requires the implementation of a residential organic waste recycling program and an edible food recovery program, the expansion of commercial organics recycling, and the development of an enforcement and monitoring program.

In October 2022, the City performed a waste characterization study to determine the percentages of various recyclable materials in the trash stream for residential, commercial, and multi-family waste streams. The waste characterization study showed that there were still significant percentages of recyclable materials in the trash stream for all three source sectors. Using the data obtained from the study, the City expanded their residential, commercial, and multi-family outreach programs.

Beginning in 2022, the City implemented an edible food recovery program, which includes 68 commercial edible food generators (“CEFGs”) and 6 local food recovery entities (“FROs”). The program connects the CEFGs with FROs to divert edible food from the Landfill, resulting in over 2.5 million pounds of edible food being recovered in the City in 2022. The City also aims to expand the existing edible food recovery capacity.


Maia Hoffman, Regulatory Compliance Specialist II 

Maia is a Regulatory Compliance Specialist II at the City of Santa Maria. Her work focuses on implementing landfill diversion programs, with an emphasis on organic waste diversion. She manages and is very passionate about the City’s edible food recovery program. Prior to working in solid waste, Maia worked in the water industry in Colorado and California, and she has been in regulatory compliance for over four years. She has a degree in Earth Sciences with Environmental Geology from the University of California, Santa Cruz and is on the City of Grover Beach Planning Commission.