Model Construction and Demolition (C&D) Diversion Ordinance


The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle)has developed a model construction and demolition (C&D) diversion ordinance, as required by Senate Bill 1374 (Kuehl, Chapter 501, Statutes of 2002), to assist jurisdictions with diverting their C&D waste material. Specifically, CalRecycle was directed to:

“…Adopt one or more model ordinances, suitable for modification by a local agency, that the local agency may adopt that will require a range of diversion rates of construction and demolition waste materials from 50 to 75 percent, as determined by CalRecycle, and as measured by weight.”

Jurisdictions are not required to adopt their own C&D ordinance, nor are they required to adopt CalRecycle’s model ordinance as their own by default. However, SB 1374 also added a new set of circumstances (related to C&D waste diversion) to those previously included in Public Resources Code section 41850 that CalRecycle shall consider when determining whether to impose a fine on a jurisdiction that has failed to implement its Source Reduction and Recycling Element (SRRE). Those circumstances are the following:

  • If a jurisdiction has been issued a compliance order for failure to implement its SRRE and
    • it has failed to meet the requirements of that order; and
    • it has reported to CalRecycle that C&D waste is at least a moderately significant portion of its waste stream;
  • Then CalRecycle shall include in its consideration whether the jurisdiction has taken any action to divert that C&D waste, including
    • adopting its own C&D diversion ordinance,
    • adopting CalRecycle’s model ordinance, or
    • implementing another program to encourage or require the diversion of C&D waste.

How the Model Ordinance Was Developed

CalRecycle staff developed the model ordinance based on feedback solicited from local government, building industry representatives, C&D recyclers and waste management companies, and on C&D diversion ordinances already being implemented by jurisdictions.

The most typically used sections in existing ordinances have been incorporated into the model ordinance, making the model a composite of ordinances reviewed. The model is quasi-modular in format so that you may pick and choose which sections of the model you want to include in your own ordinance. CalRecycle adopted the model ordinance at its March 16, 2004, CalRecycle Meeting (Agenda Item #13). It has since been updated to reflect the California Green Building Standards Code’s (CALGreen) waste management requirements.

Local Government C&D Diversion Information

CalRecycle has an existing Web page on C&D recycling that includes useful information related to contractors and C&D waste diversion. The C&D Informational Guide provides information to jurisdictions and general contractors on methods and activities to divert construction and demolition (C&D) materials.

Public Workshop

CalRecycle staff conducted a public workshop on C&D diversion ordinances on July 8, 2004 in Sacramento. Two panels composed of local government and industry representatives with expertise in C&D diversion ordinances shared their insight and experiences. The workshop was broadcast over the Web.

Presentations made at the workshop are listed below as downloadable files. (Please notice file sizes.)

The workshop transcripts and the July 8 C&D Workshop audio (00:03:14:00) are also available.

C&D Forum: Closing the Loop on C&D Materials

CalRecycle staff conducted a C&D Forum: Closing the Loop on C&D Materials on May 31, 2006. The purpose of this forum was to share information on C&D diversion as it relates to creating infrastructure and markets for C&D materials.

Two panels of experts spoke on the following:

  • Local governments’ experiences with creating and/or using infrastructure to divert C&D waste.
  • Industry and local government perspectives on issues related to creating markets for C&D materials, as well as an example of reusing C&D materials on site.

Video presentations of the speakers are also available.

C&D Resources

Below are selected links on C&D diversion that may help your jurisdiction “close the loop.”

C&D Informational Guide C&D Ordinances from California Cities and Counties

For more information contact: Local Assistance & Market Development,