Construction and Demolition (C&D) Waste Reduction and Recycling Requirements

Construction and Demolition Waste

According to California’s 2008 Statewide Waste Characterization Study, Construction and Demolition (C&D) materials account for almost 22 percent of the waste stream.  During construction booms in some California regions, C&D wastes have been found to approach higher percentage of landfill contents.

Much of the waste materials generated from construction and demolition can be recycled.  Numerous facilities in the state process C&D for recycling and accept materials including lumber, drywall, metals, masonry, brick, concrete, carpet, plastic, pipe, rocks, dirt, paper, cardboard, and green waste related to C&D projects.

CALGreen Requirements on C&D Waste

Effective January 1, 2011, California’s Green Building Standards Code (CALGreen) required the diversion of at least 50 percent of the construction waste generated during most “new construction” projects (CALGreen Sections 4.408 and 5.408). Subsequent amendments have expanded upon what types of construction are covered and, effective January 1st, 2017, the required diversion rate was raised to a minimum of 65%. That means, on certain construction and demolition projects, at least 65% of the generated waste has to be reused, or recycled. CalRecycle website describes the current requirements. 

City of Laguna Niguel includes C&D management requirements in all of its construction project contracts. The City requires contractors to report on the project’s waste management status, including meeting the diversion rate requirement, before final approval of the projects.

Construction and demolition projects, which apply for a permit from the City, are reviewed by the City staff to identify if the project is subject to the 65% diversion requirement.

The applicable categories of projects are:

  1. All newly constructed building and demolition projects which require a permit.
  2. Non-residential: All permitted additions and alterations.
  3. Residential: All permitted additions and alterations that increase the structure's conditioned area, volume or size.
  4. All demolition only projects.

If a project falls into one or more of the above listed categories, the permit applicant is provided with options to meet the 65% diversion requirement. For more information about the options please see the City’s C&D waste management packet here.

CR&R Environmental Services is the City’s only authorized franchised hauler of C&D waste. Please visit CR&R website here for more information on their services to construction projects in Laguna Niguel.

Universal Waste on Construction Projects

CALGreen has certain requirements for Universal Wastes (UW) in certain categories of projects. UW from construction projects could include batteries, e-waste, lamps, cathode ray tubes/glass and aerosol cans and are required to be disposed of properly and diverted from landfills. The CALGreen UW requirement is applicable on the following categories of projects:

  • non-residential additions of 1,000 ft2 or greater, and/or
  • building alterations with a permit valuation of $200,000 or above.

To comply with the CALGreen requirements, on this category of projects, the City requires that on one of the first three pages of the construction drawings submitted to the City there must be a list all UW materials that need to be diverted from a landfill, and the UW processing facility where the materials will be disposed.