Rural Jurisdiction Waste Disposal Reduction Resources

Note: This page contains the updated information about the definition of Rural Counties, as defined in the Per Capita Disposal Measurement System, SB 1016.

Rural jurisdictions—bookmark this page! This is the home for information and ideas directed toward the rural city, county, or regional agency. The links to the left connect you to information on achieving the goals of California’s Integrated Waste Management Act (IWMA), including rural assistance, successful diversion programs, grants and loans available to rural jurisdictions, as well as other useful links.

The Rural Challenge

The IWMA requires California jurisdictions to achieve 50 percent waste disposal reduction. California’s 39 rural jurisdictions and 28 counties, and 15 rural regional agencies, face special challenges in meeting this requirement. Low population densities and small tax rolls, as well as long distance costs to collection facilities and recycling markets, make implementing cost-effective, solid waste diversion programs more difficult. Rural counties currently account for 4.7 percent of the total waste disposed in California.

This site will help rural jurisdictions share ideas about what works to reduce waste, locate available funding to implement programs, and apply for other assistance.

Who is Considered Rural?

A jurisdiction is defined as a “rural city,” a “rural county,” or a “rural regional agency” if it meets specific criteria.

Public Resources Code (PRC) section 40183-4 rev. 2008, defines a rural jurisdiction for the purposes of the Integrated Waste Management Act, as a jurisdiction that resides within a rural county. A rural county is defined as a county which disposes of less than 200,000 tons of waste annually.

A list is available of Disposal Tons for Rural Counties per the criteria in PRC section 40183-4.

Jurisdictions may run a Single-year Countywide Origin Detail DRS web report to determine what types of disposal their County generates in a given year.

Rural Regional Agencies

Per PRC section 40973, to qualify for:

  • Rural Reductions (reduced diversion goal)–All members must meet all applicable criteria mentioned.
  • Reduced Planning Requirements–All members must be in a “rural county.”