Per Capita Disposal and Goal Measurement (2007 and Later)


The purpose of the per capita disposal measurement system (Chapter 343, Statutes of 2008 [Wiggins, SB 1016]) is to make the process of goal measurement as established by the Integrated Waste Management Act of 1989 (AB 939) simpler, more timely, and more accurate. SB 1016 builds on AB 939 compliance requirements by implementing a simplified measure of jurisdictions’ performance. SB 1016 accomplishes this by changing to a disposal-based indicator–the per capita disposal rate–which uses only two factors: a jurisdiction’s population (or in some cases employment) and its disposal as reported by disposal facilities.

In order for the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) and jurisdictions to more properly focus on successful program implementation, SB 1016 shifts from the historical emphasis on using calculated generation and estimated diversion to using annual disposal as a factor when evaluating jurisdictions’ program implementation. Overall benefits of the new approach include:

    • Focuses on diversion program implementation.
    • Increases simplicity and timeliness of goal measurement.
    • Allows for jurisdiction growth.
    • Saves money and time by eliminating complex calculations.
    • Increases CalRecycle staff field presence.
    • Adjusts CalRecycle review schedule for compliant jurisdictions.

The per capita disposal rate approach is not determinative of jurisdiction compliance. CalRecycle will use per capita disposal as an indicator in evaluating program implementation and local jurisdiction performance. CalRecycle’s evaluation will be focused on how jurisdictions are implementing their programs.


    • Per capita disposal” is a numeric indicator of reported disposal divided by jurisdiction population (residents) or in some cases jurisdiction industry employment (employees) to obtain disposal by individual.
    • 50 percent per capita disposal target” is the amount of disposal that is approximately equivalent to the current 50 percent diversion requirement.
      • To meet the 50 percent goal, jurisdictions must dispose of not more than their 50 percent per capita disposal target.
      • For most jurisdictions, the 50 percent per capita disposal target will be based on the average of 50 percent of generation in 2003 through 2006 expressed in terms of per capita disposal.
    • Disposal” means all waste created by all sources within each jurisdiction (including businesses, government agencies and residents) which is disposed at CalRecycle-permitted landfills or CalRecycle-permitted transformation facilities, or is exported from the state. CalRecycle tracks tons of waste disposed by each jurisdiction using its Disposal Reporting System. Also, please see Public Resources Code Section 41821.5.
    • Population” means the January 1 estimate of the number of inhabitants occupying a jurisdiction as prepared by the California Department of Finance (DOF) using the most current U.S. Census as a benchmark year.
    • Employment” means the estimate of the annual average number of employees by jurisdiction as prepared by the California Employment Development Department (EDD).
      • It is the number of people aged 16 years or older employed at places within each jurisdiction’s boundaries (industry employment)–not the number of jurisdiction residents with jobs (labor force employment).
    • Rural county,” as defined in Section 40184 of the Public Resources Code (PRC), means a county or multicounty regional agency that annually disposes of no more than 200,000 tons of solid waste. “Rural city” or “rural regional agency” means a city or regional agency that is located within a rural county.

Using Per Capita Disposal (Per Resident or Per Employee)

    • Every year CalRecycle will calculate each jurisdiction’s per capita (per resident and per employee) disposal rates.
      • CalRecycle will use the per resident disposal rate for most jurisdictions.
      • If business is the dominant source of a jurisdiction’s waste generation, CalRecycle may use the per employee disposal rate.
    • Per capita disposal is an indicator that allows for jurisdiction growth. As residents or employees increase, report-year disposal tons can increase and still be consistent with the 50 percent per capita disposal target. Disposal modifications such as disaster waste are still allowed.
    • Per capita disposal will be adjusted to account for the maximum 10 percent transformation credit allowed by statute (PRC Section 41783).
    • There is no specified biomass credit under SB 1016. However, materials diverted from a disposal facility to a biomass facility will result in a disposal reduction.
    • Rural reduced goals will still be allowed.
    • CalRecycle review of jurisdiction compliance will still be on a case-by-case basis. Jurisdictions will not be compared to other jurisdictions or the statewide average. Jurisdictions will only be compared to their own 50 percent per capita disposal target.
    • A comparison of the reported annual per capita disposal rate to the 50 percent per capita disposal target will be useful for indicating progress. Jurisdictions and CalRecycle staff will be able to assess disposal trends over time.
    • In rare situations where population or industry employment are not adequate indicators to account for growth in disposal, CalRecycle may consider alternate factors on a case-by-case basis.

Jurisdiction Annual Report Frequency

Beginning with the 2008 measurement year, jurisdiction electronic annual reports will be due August 1st of each following year. For example, the 2008 annual report was due August 1, 2009.

CalRecycle Review Frequency

The initial review cycle will be based on each jurisdiction’s 2005/06 biennial review status:

    • 50 Percent Diversion or Above–four years for jurisdictions determined to be at or above 50 percent diversion, or that met their rural reduced goal in 2006 and have implemented their diversion programs.
    • Good Faith Effort–two years for jurisdictions determined to have been below 50 percent diversion in 2006, but that have implemented their diversion programs and have been determined to be making a good faith effort.
    • On a Compliance Schedule–as specified in compliance schedule.
    • At any time for jurisdictions determined to have performance problems.

In the future, CalRecycle review frequency may change if a jurisdiction’s status changes. The first two-year review was completed in 2011 after receipt and review of 2009 annual reports. The first four-year review will be completed in 2013 after receipt and review of 2011 annual reports.

Legislation, Statutes, and Regulations

Additional Resources

    • Disposal Data. CalRecycle’s Disposal Reporting System (DRS): Jurisdiction Disposal and Alternative Daily Cover (ADC) Tons by Facility web page is a portal to its on-line database of disposal amounts for all California jurisdictions.
    • Employment Data. The Employment Development Department (EDD) describes industry employment estimation methodology and use in its How Are Industry Employment Estimates Generated? webpage. Industry employment questions may be directed to EDD in three ways.
    • Population Data. Department of Finance (DOF) population estimate methodology and data considerations are discussed in its web page: E-5 Population and Housing Estimates for Cities, Counties and the State, with 2010 Benchmark. Population estimate questions may be telephoned to DOF at (916) 445-3878.
    • Local Government Data Reports provides information on Jurisdiction Diversion Program data, and jurisdiction Diversion/ Per capita Disposal Rate Report Data.
    • Understanding SB 1016: Solid Waste Disposal Measurement: Presentation at CalRecycle workshops that provided an overview of the new per capita disposal measurement system.
    • U.S. Census 2010 residence are summarized in Residence Rule and Residence Situations for the 2010 Census. Census questions may be telephoned to the U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division, at (toll-free) 1-866-758-1060.

For more information contact: Local Assistance & Market Development, or (916) 341-6199.