California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle)

Local Government Central

Diversion Rate Measurement Before 2007

Note: This page contains historical data from CIWMB’s (now known as CalRecycle) statewide goal measurement prior to 2007 that estimated a diversion percentage. For 2007 and subsequent years, CalRecycle compares reported disposal tons to population to calculate per capita disposal expressed in pounds/person/day. This new goal measurement system is described in the Goal Measurement: 2007 and Later web page.

The Integrated Waste Management Act directs every jurisdiction to divert 50 percent of its waste stream starting the year 2000. Public Resources Code (PRC) section 41780 requires all jurisdictions to achieve 25 percent diversion for the year 1995 and 50 percent on and after the year 2000. By August 1 each year, every jurisdiction with a Board-approved waste management plan must send the California Integrated Waste Management Board (Board) an annual report, which:

  • Summarizes its progress in reducing solid waste.
  • Updates the status of waste diversion programs planned or implemented by the jurisdiction.
  • Calculates a diversion rate.

Estimating a Diversion Rate

The online diversion rate measurement Blank calculator helps jurisdictions estimate their diversion rates, using the Board-approved adjustment method to adjust for jurisdiction population and economic change.

Under the new disposal measurement system jurisdictions’ diversion rates will no longer be calculated by CalRecycle. However, to assist stakeholders that may need to calculate their diversion rate, the blank calculator with links to the Department of Finance and the Employment Development Department will be provided on the CalRecycle's website on each jurisdictions default adjustment factors webpage.

The calculator automatically estimates diversion rates for any jurisdiction selected by the user. If more accurate information is available, a jurisdiction may change its default numbers. This prompts the calculator to automatically revise the diversion rate estimate.

The calculation program includes a charting feature that allows jurisdictions to compare their waste-reduction performance against other jurisdictions with similar disposal, population, or taxable sales. To see these charts: (1) complete a worksheet calculation by clicking on the "Calculate Diversion Rate" button at the lower left of "Step2: Worksheet Calculation Input"; then (2) click on "Charts" at the upper right corner of the screen.

There are complete instructions for using the online diversion rate measurement calculator.

For help in understanding diversion rate estimate concepts, read the How the Measurement System Works.

Diversion Rate Measurement Resources

Adjustment Method Factors: Population, employment, and taxable sales (corrected for inflation) are the factors used in jurisdiction diversion rate estimates to reflect changes in the waste stream. These factors are used to adjust jurisdiction base year generation tons for change between the base year and the reporting year to estimate the reporting year generation tons

Progress in Achieving Diversion Goals and Future Program Efforts: (PowerPoint, 1.9 MB). A May 2003 discussion of Statewide historical progress, achievement of diversion goals, and future program implementation efforts.

How Do Alternative Employment Measures Affect Diversion Rates? Use of employment estimates based on where workers work—as opposed to where workers live—affects adjustment-factor-based diversion rate estimates for some jurisdictions. This April 2001 paper compares the impact on 1999 diversion rate estimates when two estimates of employment by place of work are substituted for an estimate of employment by place of residence. 

Why is There a Diversion Rate Calculation Range (Maximum and Minimum)? The Board’s approved method to estimate a diversion rate uses eight input values to adjust a base-year waste generation amount forward to a report-year waste generation amount. Using different input value combinations, a maximum and a minimum rate can be estimated.

Adjustment Method Questions and Answers. Important questions and answers about the adjustment method.

What Economic Activities are Missed by Taxable Sales? Taxable sales (taxable transactions in thousands of dollars) do not necessarily indicate the gross sales of retailers dealing in taxable items. Only sales subject to sales or use tax are tabulated; excluded are sales for resale, sales of nontaxable items such as some food products and prescription medicines, and taxable transactions disclosed by BOE audits.

A Comprehensive Analysis of the Integrated Waste Management Act Diversion Measurement System (SB2202 Report) is a report required by a provision of Senate Bill 2202 (Sher, Chapter 740, Statutes of 2000). It evaluates the Board's diversion rate measurement and disposal reporting systems.

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Last updated: October 24, 2012
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