Option to Revise

You may want to include this section in your ordinance to establish your commitment to tracking and evaluating the effectiveness of the ordinance, by stating up front that future revisions may be necessary to increase the rate of construction and demolition (C&D) diversion. For example, conditions may change over time, including markets for C&D material types, or changes in infrastructure for handling C&D materials, that could affect your anticipated diversion rate. You may also find after a year or so of implementation that your deposit amount was not high enough, as demonstrated by a high rate of noncompliance. Or, you may find that the threshold was set too high and you are not recovering as much C&D debris as you had anticipated, as too few projects are coming under the ordinance requirements.

Some cities and counties have procedural rules, or other concerns, regarding the amendment of ordinances once they have been adopted which make it important to expressly note in the ordinance that it may be amended in the future. This can be done very simply as in the case of the City of Oakland’s C&D ordinance (excerpted below). However, it may not be necessary at all. This issue varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, so you should check with your legal counsel for the appropriate phrasing for your community.

“Oakland Municipal Code:15.34.020. Purpose and intent. The purpose of these provisions is to prescribe requirements designed to meet and further the goals of the California Integrated Waste Management Act of 1989 Assembly Bill 939 and the Alameda County Waste Reduction and Recycling Act of 1990 (Measure D). These requirements shall apply to affected projects as specified in this chapter.

The intent of these provisions is to divert at a minimum fifty (50) percent of C&D debris from landfills; process and return the materials into the economic mainstream thereby conserving natural resources; and stimulate markets for recycled and salvaged materials.

The City Manager or his/her designee is authorized to develop guidelines to implement the requirements of this chapter, which may be amended from time to time. (Ord. 12253 § 1 (part), 2000)”

The City further states in the “Option to Revise” section (that they entitle “Evaluation”):

“Beginning January 2001, the City will evaluate the Construction and Demolition Debris Reduction and Recycling Ordinance to determine its effectiveness in reducing the amount of C&D Debris landfilled. In this determination, the City will consider issues such as the amount of C&D Debris landfilled, volume of Construction and Demolition activity, markets for C&D Debris, and other barriers encountered by Applicants. If the City determines the C&D Debris that was landfilled had the potential to be Recycled, Salvaged, or Reused, then the City may amend these provision and implement the necessary measures to Divert more C&D Debris.”

It is important to note that before you adopt a C&D diversion ordinance, you should investigate whether the sections you choose to include are applicable to your own jurisdiction’s needs. Adopting a sample ordinance that another jurisdiction developed based on its needs and stakeholder input, or adopting CalRecycle’s model ordinance, without adapting it to fit your own jurisdiction’s conditions, may result in a less effective C&D diversion program, and/or more staff time spent to revise your ordinance at a later date than might otherwise have been necessary.

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