There are times when an applicant for a covered project anticipates circumstances that will make it more difficult, if not impossible, to comply with the construction and demolition (C&D) diversion requirement. This possibility is often provided for in a C&D ordinance, and would include a description of the process an applicant would use to request an exemption or reduction in the required diversion rate. Usually the applicant and compliance official negotiate a more feasible and reduced diversion rate, and that reduced rate is included in the waste management plan (WMP). There are different ways to provide for exemptions in your ordinance:
- If you have both a diversion requirement and a deposit requirement in your ordinance, include a section that exempts a project from both the diversion requirement and the deposit requirement. If a project were exempt from one, it could automatically be exempt from the other.
- Include a section that allows for either a partial or complete exemption from the diversion requirement.
- Include a section that allows for either a partial or complete exemption from the deposit requirement; the Alameda sample ordinance provides a good example of deposit exemptions.
- Include a section that lists projects that are exempt from the ordinance itself (or include such a list in a “threshold” or “covered project” section).
Example circumstances that could be considered a basis for exempting a project from the diversion requirement, and/or a deposit requirement, because they could lower the feasibility of achieving the diversion rate, include:
- Lack of storage space onsite.
- Contamination by hazardous substances.*
- Low recyclability of specific materials.
*Information is available on CalRecycle’s Construction and Demolition web page on the challenges to recycling posed by hazardous substances that are sometimes found in C&D waste, such as asbestos and lead-based paint.