Construction and Landscaping

construction demolition site with wood and lumber in dumpster

Construction and demolition (C&D) activities generate significant amounts of wood waste. With over 3.4 million tons of wood waste landfilled in 2018, it is roughly 8.6% of the state’s total disposal and the fifth most prevalent material type in California’s overall disposed waste stream.

Repurposing construction debris, including lumber, prevents wasteful decay in landfills where it converts into methane, a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change in California.

Nonhazardous lumber waste can be reused or recycled into new products like reused building materials, mulch, and compost that help conserve our limited water supply and other resources. With about half of urban water used for landscape irrigation in California, large water savings can be gained by efficient landscape design that utilize mulch and compost.

view of mulch around tree with Sacramento Capitol building in background
Landscaped bed with California native planets and mulch with a sprinkler emitting water

Existing state law and regulations already require jurisdictions to adopt in their municipal code and enforce the California Green Building Standards Code (CCR, Title 24, Part 11 – CALGreen) and the Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance (CCR, Title 23, Division 2, Chapter 2.7 – MWELO).

By January 1, 2022, jurisdictions are to specifically adopt an ordinance or other enforceable measure that requires compliance with specific sections of CALGreen and MWELO. This will support California’s efforts to reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants.

To assist jurisdictions, CalRecycle’s Model Enforcement Ordinance offers customizable language that is structured to fulfill SB 1383’s CALGreen and MWELO requirements.

Article 8 of the SLCP Regulations (CCR, Title 14, Division 7, Chapter 12) refers to the CALGreen and MWELO requirements. For these requirements, a jurisdiction is defined as “a city, a county, or a city and county”. The requirements do not apply to special districts that provide solid waste collection

SB 1383 & CALGreen

Construction Waste Diversion

  • Jurisdictions are already required to adopt CALGreen, Sections 4.408.1 and 5.408 in its municipal code. Projects requiring local construction permits are to divert from landfills at least 65% of the C&D materials generated at the project site.
  • The SB 1383 regulations require jurisdictions to have a mechanism by which they can enforce CALGreen’s 65% C&D debris recovery rate requirement. This ensures the maximum amount of organic waste commingled with C&D debris is recovered from building projects in the state.
  • CALGreen applies to various occupancies and building types. Refer to the summary table and FAQ for more information on CALGreen’s waste diversion requirements.
construction site with dumpster with wood waste

Space for Organics Collection

  • Jurisdictions are already required to adopt CALGreen, Sections 4.410.2 and 5.410.1 in its municipal code. It requires newly constructed non-residential buildings, certain non-residential additions and multi-family housing with ≥ 5 units to provide readily accessible areas that serve the entire building for depositing, storage and collection of non-hazardous materials for recycling, including paper, corrugated cardboard and other organic waste. The regulations require that jurisdictions enforce this space allocation guideline to ensure that the maximum amount of organic waste is recovered from multifamily residential and non-residential building occupants.
Dumpster enclosure


  • In its annual report to CalRecycle each jurisdiction must provide the number of C&D debris removal activities that complied with CALGreen’s minimum 65% C&D debris recovery rate requirement.

For more information on CALGreen, refer to the Building Standards Commission’s website.

SB 1383 & MWELO

Soil Amendment, Compost and Mulch

  • Jurisdictions are already required to adopt the MWELO, Sections 492.6(a)(3)(B), (C) and (D) in its municipal code. It applies to certain landscape projects as identified in Section 490.1.
  • The regulations require jurisdictions to have a mechanism by which to enforce:
    • the incorporation of soil amendments when planting;
    • use of compost for landscape installations with a minimum of four cubic yards per 1,000 square feet and a depth of six inches; and
    • application of a minimum three inch layer of mulch for planting areas.
woman spreading mulch around flower bed

Post-Consumer Organic Mulch Products

  • Jurisdictions are already required to adopt the MWELO, Section 492.6(a)(3)(G) in its municipal code. It instructs covered landscape projects to use organic mulch materials made from recycled or post-consumer goods over inorganic materials or virgin forest products.
  • The SB 1383 regulations require that jurisdictions enforce existing requirements regarding the preferential use of recycled and post-consumer organic mulch materials.
  • Using recycled and post-consumer compost and mulch materials may be an opportunity for the jurisdiction to help meet its SB 1383 procurement target. For example, a landscaper could act as a direct service provider and procure compost and mulch on behalf of the jurisdiction, provided all procurement requirements are met. For more information on procurement and product eligibility, visit the Procurement.
road center divide with trees and mulch


  • In its annual report to CalRecycle, each jurisdiction must provide the number of landscaping projects subject to the MWELO, Sections 492.6(a)(3)(B), (C), (D) and (G).

For more information on MWELO, refer to the California Department of Water Resource’s website.

Resources for Implementation

CalRecycle developed the following SB 1383 tools to assist jurisdictions successfully implement and enforce CALGreen and MWELO.

For more information contact: Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (SLCP), Organic Waste Methane Emissions Reductions,