California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle)

Recycling Market Development Zones (RMDZ)

Online Resources

As part of the Recycling Market Development Zone program, CalRecycle offers resources to both businesses and the local zone program administrators for stimulating markets for recyclables. The following links offer just a sample of the assistance available to companies through the program. Custom support is also available, according to the needs and interests of the participating businesses.

RMDZ Program

  • RMDZ News. Get the latest RMDZ news by subscribing to the program's e-mail list. Downloadable versions of old hard-copy newsletters (1997-99) are also available.

CalRecycle Business Programs and Resources

  • Business Assistance Home Page. A list with links to the web pages of programs and services at CalRecycle toward helping businesses.
  • Buy Recycled Program. CalRecycle's Buy Recycled Program promotes the State's policy to "buy green." The program assists procurement officers of the Department of General Services (DGS), all other State agencies, local governments, and private businesses in establishing practices for purchasing recycled-content products (RCP).
  • CalMAX (California Materials Exchange). The "waste-not want ads" allow users to advertise materials wanted or available--often for free or at low cost. As a source of feedstock at little to no investment, CalMAX can be a goldmine to the entrepreneur who wants to experiment with making a new recycled-content product.
  • Construction and Demolition (C&D) Recycling. News, publications, C&D recyclers database, recycled-content building products, C&D links, and C&D staff at CalRecycle.
  • Data Central. A portal that provides quick access to a variety of CalRecycle and other data sources and tools relating to California’s solid waste stream, waste disposal and recycling facility infrastructure, materials flow, recycling, and much more.
  • Financial Assistance. Grants and loans available through CalRecycle.
  • Green Building. Sustainable design or building "green" is an opportunity to use our resources efficiently while creating healthier buildings. Includes green building basics, materials, project specifications, government actions (executive orders, special green building projects), links, and events.
  • Market Development Resources. Activities, publications, and databases aimed to help collect secondary materials in California and recycle them into high-quality, value-added products attractive to consumers.
  • Recycled-Content Product Database. A searchable list of companies that make recycled products. Are you looking to "buy recycled" for your business? Research whether or not other businesses are making a recycled product you are thinking of adding to your line? This is the link for you.
  • RecycleStore. An online catalog of recycled-content products made in California's Recycling Market Development Zones (RMDZ). Originally designed to serve rural manufacturers, this program is now available to all businesses in the RMDZs. Stay tuned for more expansion!
  • Waste Prevention Info Exchange. The Waste Prevention Information Exchange (WPIE) is a directory of informational resources for waste prevention. Much of the information is provided by users like you.
  • Waste Reduction Clip Art. Graphics for promoting waste prevention in your business.
  • WRAP (Waste Reduction Awards Program). WRAP gives California businesses an opportunity to gain public recognition for their outstanding efforts to reduce waste. Efforts to reduce, reuse, recycle, or buy recycled are all acknowledged. If your business could use some "green marketing," apply for WRAP. The WRAP winners are also a great source of recycling-friendly businesses for business program administrators. You might also find the company that makes just recycled product you have been looking for.

Other Government Business Programs and Resources

  • Business Environmental Resource Center (BERC). Sacramento County's free, one-stop, nonregulatory office that can help you understand and comply with all types of environmental regulations.
  • California Pollution Control Financing Authority. The California Pollution Control Financing Authority (CPCFA) provides financial assistance in a variety of forms, including tax exempt bonds for qualifying waste and recycling facilities, grants and loans to clean up contaminated lands, small business loan assistance and tax exempt bonds for certain industrial facilities.
  • Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance. A searchable, government-wide compendium of federal programs, projects, services, and activities which provide assistance or benefits to the American public.
  • Industrial Assessment Centers. IACs provide energy, waste, and productivity assessments at no charge to small and mid-sized manufacturers. There are two IACs in California at San Francisco and San Diego State Universities.
  • State and Local Info on the Net. A resource guide to government sponsored Internet sites.
  • U.S. EPA. The federal Environmental Protection Agency's web site has an enormous array of information helpful to recycling-based businesses. Start with pollution prevention and particularly note the Recycling Market Development link and the other resources available on this page.
  • US EPA Comprehensive Procurement Guideline (CPG) Program. The CPB program is a key component of the government's buy-recycled program. At this site, you'll find information about the CPG and EPA's Recovered Material Advisory Notices (RMAN). The RMANs are important references for companies that want to make recycled-content products for sale to government agencies. The RMANs recommend the recycled content levels for CPG items and offer one of the few reference standards available for these products.

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Private/Nonprofit Resources

  • California Association for Local Economic Development. CALED is the premier statewide professional economic development membership organization dedicated to advancing its members’ ability to achieve excellence in delivering economic development services to their communities and business clients.
  •  Economic and Workforce Development.EWD at Shasta College is the home of the Northern California Center for Nonprofit Resources. It provides services to all nonprofit & philanthropic organizations by providing information, education, and consulting services. The Center is a one-stop resource for board members, staff, and volunteers of nonprofit organizations.
  • GrantsWeb. Government and private funding sources, focused on research, sponsored by the Society of Research Administrators International.
  • Inventor's Workshop. Provides inventors with services in the areas of guidance analysis, idea protection, idea registration, patent saver (reduced costs to patent inventions), and market research. Membership required.

RMDZ Favorites

These links have been recommended by zone administrators and RMDZ program staff. They have been valuable to people working in the program on an ongoing basis. Do you have a favorite link you'd like to add? E-mail Tara Gauthier at

General Recycling Resources

  • Global Recycling Network. GRN is a free-access public site dedicated to recycling-related information. It offers all companies involved in the recycling industry a wide exposure through web publishing services, online sales and catalogs, and advertising.
  • Canada Reuses Network. The Reuses Network is a cooperative online exchange system supported by a variety of sponsors to foster a new approach to waste prevention.
  • GreenBiz. A resource center with links to all sorts of sites and other business assistance related tools. There are several directories and programs that are potential assets for businesses that deal with recycling.
  • Northeast Recycling Council. NERC publications, bulletins and minutes from previous meetings. NERC's mission is to minimize the amount of materials requiring disposal by promoting the environmental and economic benefits of recycling and source reduction in the Northeast.
  • Environmental Organization Web Directory. Advertised as "Earth's Biggest Environment Search Engine," the directory provides information on a wealth of environmental subjects. Some of the many subjects include information on education, health, weather, and animals.
  • SMART (Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association). In its online Market Place for Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles, SMART offers members free space to advertise materials wanted or for sale. The site is dedicated to strengthening the economic opportunities of its members.
  • Recycler's World. A free, globally accessible, electronic business-to-business (B2B) eCommerce marketplace. Recycler's World was established as a worldwide trading site for information related to secondary or recyclable commodities, by-products, used and surplus items or materials. The Recycler's Exchange is designed to assist companies and individuals who buy/sell/trade: secondary/recyclable commodities, waste-related materials, used and surplus equipment, other used materials and items, consumer goods and collectibles, and related goods and services.

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Financial Resources

  • GrantsWeb. The Society of Research Administrators developed this web site to give state and local government officials and employees easy access to federal grants and funding information in a user-friendly format.
  • Small Business Administration. A wealth of information on starting and financing your business. Includes business opportunities, business education, a procurement and marketing access network, local offices and their services, and links to numerous helpful resources.
  • California Community Economic Revitalization Team Grants and Loans. A list of current federal and state grant offerings.

Resources by Material Type


  • National Safety Council/Electronics Recycling. Features the Electronics Product Recovery and Recycling project (EPR2), " of the most comprehensive and informative reports on the current state of electronics recycling," which can be purchased on-line, and free highlights of its results; how to recycle old computers; regulating the industry; and resources, including a national directory of computer recycling programs and an international trade association for electronics recyclers.



  • Scrap Tire News. Information on uses for scrap tires--links and articles on tire recycling. Publications include Scrap Tire News, Scrap Tire & Rubber Users Directory, State Scrap Tire Management Programs, and Tire Recycling Is Fun.

Wood and Paper

  • Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry. Industry news, upcoming events, and a source of great, inexpensive and free educational materials.
  • American Forest & Paper Association. Includes recycling overview, resources for recycling coordinators, educational tools, AF&PA recycling programs, hot topics, community recycling survey, and the National Wood Recycling Directory. The site is a comprehensive clearinghouse for sharing current information about U.S. paper recycling.

Studies on the Economics of Recycling

Two studies were conducted for CalRecycle and results presented in January 2002. Although the studies had different goals, both came to similar conclusions. Diversion creates twice as many jobs, double the income, and twice the sales per ton of material than does disposal.

  • The Economic Impact of Waste Disposal and Diversion in California (Adobe PDF, 1.4 MB) was produced by the University of California, Berkeley (UCB). The UCB study estimated the economic impacts of the waste disposal and diversion system created under the Integrated Waste Management Act (AB 939, Sher, Chapter 1095, Statutes of 1989).
  • California Recycling Economic Information Study (Adobe PDF, 1.1 MB) was produced by the National Recycling Coalition (NRC). The NRC study documented the size and economic impact of the recycling and reuse industries in California.

A CalRecycle-produced summary of these two studies can be downloaded or ordered from our online Publications Catalog.

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Last updated: May 31, 2012
Recycling Market Development Zone Program:
Zone Assistance: Regional Zone Contacts or, (916) 341-6199