Transformation Credit

Note: This page contains historical information from CalRecycle’s jurisdictional per capita disposal rate calculations, prior to 2023, that included a per capita diversion credit for disposal tons sent to an approved transformation facility. Per AB 1857, Garcia, Chapter 342, Statutes of 2022, the bill repeals the provision authorizing the inclusion of not more than 10% of the diversion through transformation.

For 2023 and subsequent years, CalRecycle’s compares reported disposal tons to population to calculate per capita disposal expressed in pounds/person/day. This new goal measurement system is described in CalRecycle’s Goal Measurement: 2007 and Later web page. Because the annual per capita disposal rate is based on disposal tons, any biomass will not be reported as disposal. In other words, there is no cap on the amount of material a jurisdiction can send to biomass. Therefore, sending material to biomass will help to reduce disposal. A Biomass Facility Diversion Claim Sheet is no longer required for submittal with the jurisdictional Annual Report.


Jurisdictions may claim transformation credits for the purpose of per capita disposal reduction starting in the 2007 report year. Transformation means incineration of solid waste to produce heat or electricity. Solid waste typically includes some organics. Operations that exclusively incinerate organic materials practice ” biomass conversion.” Biomass conversion does not count for per capita disposal reduction.


    • “Transformation” means incineration, pyrolysis, distillation, or biological conversion other than composting. “Transformation” does not include composting, gasification, or biomass conversion.
    • “Host county” is the county or California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle)-approved regional agency in which the transformation facility is located.
    • “Delivering jurisdiction” is the incorporated city, unincorporated county, or CalRecycle-approved regional agency which is the source of the solid waste delivered to a transformation facility.
    • “Class I Hazardous Waste Facility” means a facility permitted by the Department of Toxic Substances Control to accept and dispose hazardous waste as defined in California Health and Safety Code section 25141.

Requirements for Jurisdictions Claiming Transformation Disposal Deductions

Jurisdictions claiming the transformation credit must:

    • Indicate in their annual report that they will request a transformation diversion credit. The calculation under the new system (2007 and later per SB 1016) maintains the credit from transformation. However, the way the credit is calculated has changed. Under SB 1016, jurisdictions can claim no more than 10 percent of the average calculated per capita generation tonnage (in most cases, years 2003 through 2006).
    • To the greatest extent feasible, ensure that all recyclable materials are removed from their solid waste before it burns.
    • Send the portion of their solid waste claimed as transformation to one of two CalRecycle-permitted active facilities in California. Waste sent to any other facility cannot be claimed as transformation. These facilities are:

Transformation Facility Operator Requirements

    • Survey incoming waste to determine jurisdiction of origin, in accordance with Disposal Reporting System (DRS) regulations.
    • Report waste origin information to the host county in accordance with DRS regulations.
    • Maintain compliance with all applicable sections of state law and its operating permit regarding environmental performance.
    • Test ash from the facility quarterly; and if that ash is determined to be hazardous, send that ash to a Class 1 hazardous waste facility.

California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) Requirements

CalRecycle is required to determine that the:

    • Jurisdiction is implementing and will continue to implement all feasible source reduction, recycling, and composting measures or programs (must be done at a public hearing).
    • Transformation facility in question is in compliance with its permits and state law.

In addition, local assistance staff can provide assistance to any jurisdiction that wishes to calculate an annual diversion rate which includes transformation diversion credits.

Calculating an Annual Per Capita Disposal Rate Rate Which Includes Transformation

    • CalRecycle’s Recycling and Disposal Reporting System includes data on jurisdiction tons sent to permitted transformation facilities. Any jurisdiction claiming more transformation disposal reduction credit than the tonnage listed in RDRS must file a Report Year Disposal Modification Request, that documents additional transformation tonnage, along with its annual report.
    • Jurisdictions that use CalRecycle’s Electronic Annual Report (EAR) or online calculator to determine their per capita disposal rate should follow the directions in the online calculator. Local assistance staff are available to help jurisdictions use the calculators. Jurisdictions may take a per capita disposal rate credit that does not exceed 10 percent of the value of their percapita generation rate that was used to calculate their per capita disposal rate target. Jurisdictions may choose to allot all transformation tonnage as disposal and receive no per capita disposal reduction transformation credit. CalRecycle’s Goal Measurement: 2007 and Later webpage describes the details for 2007 and subsequent years.
    • Transformation diversion credits can account for up to 10 percent of a jurisdiction’s estimated report-year generation. The remaining diversion must come from source reduction, recycling, and/or composting.
    • The online calculator in the Electronic Annual Report will not validate any annual report in which a transformation diversion credit is entered that is greater than 10 percent of estimated report-year generation.

Legislation, Statutes, and Regulations


California Integrated Waste Management Act (AB 939, Sher, Chapter 1095, Statutes of 1989 as amended [IWMA])
Chapter 1355, Statutes of 1990 (Sher, AB 3992)
Chapter 736, Statutes of 1992 (Epple, AB 260)
Chapter 1292, Statutes of 1992 (Sher, AB 2494)
Chapter 1293, Statutes of 1992 (Sher, AB 3322)
Chapter 663, Statutes of 1993 (Sher, AB 54)
Chapter 1227, Statutes of 1994 (Sher, AB 688)
Chapter 343, Statutes of 2008 (Wiggins, SB 1016)
Chapter 342, Statutes of 2022 (Garcia, AB 1857)

Statute: Public Resources Code (PRC) Sections

PRC 40201, Definition of Transformation.
PRC 41783, Conditions and Requirements for Claiming Transformation Credit.
PRC 41784, Jurisdictions are Not Required to Use Transformation.
PRC 41786, Reduced Diversion (Disposal Reduction) Requirements for Jurisdictions with Long-term Contracts to Send Waste to Transformation.
PRC 44150, Permitting Requirements for Proposed Solid Waste Transformation Facilities.

Statute: Health and Safety Code (HSC) Sections

HSC 25141, Definition f Class I Hazardous Waste Facility
HSC 42315, Permitting Requirements for Solid Waste Transformation Facilities.


Title 14, California Code of Regulations (14 CCR), Chapter 9, Article 9.2, Section 18811: Disposal Reporting Requirements for a Transformation Facility.

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