Regional Agencies


Cities and counties may join together to form “regional agencies.”  Regional agencies can report disposal numbers as one entity.  Regional agencies may prepare a single set of waste management planning documents, report to CalRecycle as one entity, and jointly implement diversion programs.


  • “District” means a community service district or sanitary district that provides waste management services.
  • “Joint Powers Authority” (JPA) means two or more public agencies jointly exercising any power held in common, if authorized by their legislative or other governing bodies, as outlined in the California Government Code (CGC) sections 6500 et seq.
  • “Jurisdiction” means a city, county, or a regional agency with the responsibility for meeting Integrated Waste Management Act requirements.
  • “Regional agency” (RA) means a legal partnership of two or more cities or counties, formed with CalRecycle approval, designed to meet Integrated Waste Management Act [IWMA] requirements.  An RA may also include one waste management service district.  Please see CalRecycle-approved list of regional agencies and members.
  • “Rural regional agency” means an RA formed by jurisdictions that meet the rural criteria specified in Public Resources Code (PRC) sections 40183, 40184, 41787.1, and 41787.2.  Rural RA may request CalRecycle to approve a reduction in per capita disposal rate requirements and/or a streamlined waste management planning element.

Benefits of a Regional Agency

  • May save time by eliminating individual jurisdiction annual reports and waste management plan elements (for example, annual reports, source reduction and recycling element [SRRE] revisions, and household hazardous waste element [HHWE] revisions) submitted to CalRecycle.
  • May enhance opportunities for efficient diversion programs by allowing jurisdictions to work together and take advantage of economies of scale.
  • May provide potential cost saving if one agency manages solid waste contracts and projects.
  • May increase disposal report accuracy by limiting disposal misallocation to individual  jurisdictions.

Process for Forming a Regional Agency

Jurisdictions form an RA by first creating a JPA as outlined in CGC sections 6500 et seq.  If jurisdictions already belong to a JPA for a specific purpose, such as funding landfill closure costs, the existing JPA may be expanded to meet RA formation requirements, or an entirely new JPA may be established.

CalRecycle must review and approve the JPA agreement for the JPA to be considered an RA.  The JPA agreement must meet, at a minimum, the following six provisions of PRC section 40975:

    1. List member jurisdictions and describe the RA, including the name and address of the RA.
    2. Describe the method by which any civil penalties imposed by CalRecycle will be allocated among the member jurisdictions.
    3. Describe a contingency plan that shows how each member jurisdiction will comply with the planning and waste diversion requirements if the RA is terminated.
    4. Describe the duties and responsibilities of each member jurisdiction demonstrating how each will comply with the planning and waste diversion requirements of PRC sections 41780–41786.
    5. Describe the source reductionrecycling, and composting programs to be implemented by the RA. These programs must be at least as comprehensive and effective in meeting diversion requirements as those that each member jurisdiction has proposed in its individual source reduction and recycling element as specified in PRC sections 41780–41786.
    6. Describe additional information that may be needed by the RA members.

Considerations in Forming a Regional Agency

  • When forming an RA, many jurisdictions have chosen to incorporate their pre-existing SRREs and HHWEs as part of the JPA.
  • Some RAs use a simple method that allocates compliance penalties based upon size or waste generation of the member jurisdictions.
  • Some RAs track member jurisdictions activities so that CalRecycle compliance penalties may be assigned.  CalRecycle compliance orders may include a detailed list of specific jurisdiction tasks and responsibilities. In making a determination of individual jurisdiction fault, the RA may use the CalRecycle compliance order. If penalties are to be allocated by fault, the JPA should state the process that will be used.

Additional Information

The local assistance staff  provides technical assistance and model RA agreements.  If you have any questions about regional agencies, contact your Local Assistance and Marketing Development staff  representative.

Legislation and Statutes


Chapter 1292, Statutes of 1992 (Sher, AB 2494)
Chapter 1169, Statutes of 1993 (Sher, AB 440)
Chapter 1227, Statutes of 1994 (Sher, AB 688)
Chapter 21, Statutes of 1996 (Sher, AB242)
Chapter 600, Statutes of 1999 (Chesbro, SB 515)


Statute: California Government Code Section

CGC 6500 et seq., Joint Exercise of Powers Act

Statute: Public Resources Code Sections

PRC 40970 et seq., Regional Agencies
PRC 40183, Definition of Rural City
PRC 40184, Definition of Rural County
PRC 41780 et seq., Source Reduction and Recycling Element
PRC 41787 et seq., Rural Assistance