Zone Administrators

Zone administrators (ZA) are RMDZ contacts at the local level. The following provides resources for zone administrators and discusses their responsibilities.

Program News...

  • It is our pleasure to invite you to the next CalRecycle Zone Works Training Workshop on Wednesday and Thursday, December 13-14, 2023 in Sacramento. For questions, please contact Frank Severson.
  • The RMDZ CEQA Tool Kit is a series of web pages designed to guide a potential or existing zone through the CEQA process.
  • Interest Rate: Generally, 4.0 percent, but may be adjusted based on the loan applicants ability to repay and creditworthiness.

Create a network of economic development and recycling professionals.

One of the first things a zone administrator should consider is establishing a network of economic development and solid waste professionals to support zone activities. You or your predecessors probably started creating these relationships when putting together your zone application. Economic development professionals are experienced in business recruitment, marketing, financing options, and siting assistance. Solid waste professionals are familiar with local recycling efforts, waste stream characteristics, materials in need of local markets, and contracts which may be in place and affect the availability of recovered materials. Regardless of whether the zone administrator is housed in the solid waste or economic development department, coordination between the two departments is crucial.

Establish measurable objectives for your zone.

Your original zone application discussed zone-specific objectives. You should review these objectives and revise them as necessary. Your objectives should merge both business and market development goals and include targeted industries and feedstocks. Establishing measurable objectives helps to maintain focus on key activities and provides the basis for evaluating progress.

Serve as a central contact point for zone issues.

The zone administrator is the central contact point for zone issues. This is particularly important for multijurisdictional zones. In addition to referring businesses to the applicable Zone Administrator, CalRecycle staff distributes important information, such as ongoing program updates, tools and other resources. It is the responsibility of the zone administrator to share information and leads with others on the zone team and to serve as a partner to assigned CalRecycle zone liaison staff.

Submit annual progress reports to CalRecycle.

Regulations require zones to submit annual progress reports to CalRecycle. Currently, these reports are due at the end of the first quarter of each calendar year. At a minimum, the reports will include the names and addresses of recycling-based manufacturers that you assisted, businesses that were actually sited during the specific reporting period, and the types and amounts of postconsumer waste materials that were used and diverted from the landfills. This information is invaluable in helping CalRecycle track the effectiveness of the zone program.

In addition, the report should include proposed marketing and outreach activities. Starting in May 2009, submissions of the annual progress reports occurred online through the Zone Information Reporting System’s (ZIRS) web application. Zone administrators or approved zone representatives can access ZIRS with a CalRecycle WebPass. Please contact your zone liaison for further questions.

Market the zone to businesses.

As a zone administrator, one of your primary tasks is to identify recycling-based manufacturers and processors in your zone and to inform them about what your zone has to offer. It is also valuable to provide this information to businesses outside of your zone that may be interested in relocating within your zone. Your original zone application included a marketing plan, which should be implemented and updated as needed.

Provide businesses with siting assistance.

Businesses interested in moving into your zone will likely need assistance in finding a site and learning about any permit requirements. Zone administrators should be able to “hold their client’s hand” through the siting process. This may include providing listings of available buildings and land, arranging tours, and serving as a liaison to local government agencies regarding any required permits. You may also link them with realtors, bankers, etc.

Help manufacturers locate feedstock.

As you meet with manufacturers, they may request assistance in finding a reliable and consistent source of feedstock. It is useful to be familiar with the recycling infrastructure within your zone in order to identify feedstock sources. The zone administrator or a member of your network should be familiar with the waste characterization of the area and know whether certain material types are available. Your CalRecycle zone liaison can also provide general waste characterization information for feedstock in your region.

Be familiar with financing options and services available to businesses.

A zone administrator should be familiar with the local resources that provide information about federal, state and local financing available to businesses. In addition, you will want to refer businesses to free or low-cost counseling services, such as those offered by the Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) and the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE). Zone administrators may want to familiarize themselves with various loan and grant programs offered by CalRecycle.

Be familiar with the RMDZ loan program.

The primary financial resource CalRecycle offers to zones is the low-interest RMDZ loan program. While the program fills a vital niche in financing recycling businesses, it may not be a viable option for all the businesses you are likely to encounter. It is essential that you, as a zone administrator, understand CalRecycle’s lending criteria, project qualification criteria and loan approval process. Eligibility criteria for the loan program are reviewed annually by CalRecycle. When the criteria are approved by CalRecycle, this information is issued to all zone administrators and other interested parties. Zone administrators play a crucial role in accurately and positively characterizing the program, both for what it can and cannot do.

Screen and refer prospective loan applicants to your RMDZ loan program representative.

As a zone administrator, you are frequently the first point of contact with businesses in your zone that are interested in applying for an RMDZ loan. You should conduct an initial screening of the business, which typically includes a site visit, to determine if the project meets program qualification criteria. Your CalRecycle zone liaison/loan program representative is available to assist you in this activity. Once screened, the next step is to refer the applicant to a loan program representative to determine the financial eligibility of the project.

CalRecycle supports zone administrators in several ways.

  • RMDZ CEQA Tool Kit. A series of web pages designed to guide a potential or existing zone through the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) process.
  • ZA Handbook. A manual describing resources available for and responsibilities of the zone administrator.
  • Expansion/Renewal Handbooks. Detailed instructions on either of these.
  • Technical assistance and loans.

For more RMDZ information and resources, please contact your zone administrator.


For more information, contact