California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) 

Integrated Waste Management Disaster Plan

Chapter 3: Debris Management Programs Checklist

Step 1: Make diversion programs a priority

  • Provide management support and resources.
  • Give management and staff authority to act to in a disaster/emergency.

Step 2: Become familiar with federal debris removal criteria and guidelines.

  • To increase your jurisdiction's preparedness.
  • Will likely determine the type and scope of debris removal and diversion programs to be established during the recovery phase.

Step 3: Develop a debris removal strategy.

  • Divide debris removal operation into two phases:
  • Phase I - emergency roadway debris removal
  • Phase II - public right-of-way debris removal and diversion program strategies
  • Coordinate removal of debris
  • develop initial assessment of disaster;
  • establish contracted work force for expeditious debris removal;
  • coordinate with transportation agencies to ensure traffic control measures expedite debris removal activities;
  • evaluate damaged utility systems, buildings, public facilities.
  • Develop debris management strategies
  • establishment of programs for recycling and reuse of the disaster debris; and
  • monitoring of removal and diversion activities.

Step 4: Identify project scope.

  • Define project area.
  • Determine if jurisdiction will remove debris from private property.
  • Develop an estimate of the types and quantities of debris to be removed.
  • Select temporary storage, recycling, and disposal sites.
  • Determine need for processing facilities.
  • Determine whether existing processing and disposal capacity is sufficient for expected volumes of debris.

Step 5: Select debris management program(s).

  • Select programs based on assessment factors
  • materials generated;
  • facilities available;
  • temporary storage areas;
  • haulers/processors, brokers;
  • processing requirements and barriers;
  • end-uses and markets for collected materials; and
  • local conditions.
  • Consider most frequently implemented programs
  • curbside;
  • building demolition; and
  • household hazardous waste.

Step 6: Set program goals.

  • Determine recycling rate.
  • Determine facility needs.
  • Estimate costs for diversion.
  • Increase private investment.
  • Save landfill space.
  • Do not charge tip fees.
  • Enforce illegal dumping ordinances or regulations.

Step 7: Identify labor needs.

  • Estimate staffing requirements for diversion programs as part of staffing needed for overall recovery programs.
  • List all possible sources for obtaining additional staffing
  • city/county staff from other agencies;
  • Human services agencies and non-profit organizations; and
  • volunteers.
  • Enter into mutual aid agreements before disaster for staffing assistance.

Step 8: Identify processing equipment needs.

  • Compile a list of processing equipment needed to support selected diversion programs.
  • Survey the following to identify the equipment available in the event of a disaster:
  • agency/department;
  • franchise hauler;
  • private sector; and
  • neighboring jurisdictions.
  • List equipment needed in addition to what will be available.

Step 9: Determine method of operation.

  • Who will implement program:
  • city/county staff;
  • special engineering organization (city/county);
  • contractor.
  • How will materials be collected:
  • curbside;
  • drop-off;
  • source separated;
  • bins;
  • roll-offs.
  • Determine how collection routes will be established.
  • Determine how materials will be identified:
  • geographic information system;
  • pick-up crews drive through neighborhood;
  • hotline for public.
  • Possible approaches:
  • contract language;
  • authorization letter;
  • recycling plans;
  • performance criteria;
  • monitoring and enforcement;
  • valid solid waste facilities permit.

Step 10: Adapt program length

  • Consider factors influencing program length:
  • FEMA timelines for completion of debris removal projects;
  • FEMA funding for programs in six month increments;
  • extent and severity of disaster;
  • time when residents/business receive insurance, FEMA and Small Business Assistance checks;
  • ability of contractors to keep up with demand for services;
  • delays in insurance, loan checks;
  • delays in repairs; and
  • extent of rebuilding.
  • Develop local criteria to determine if time extension or additional funding is needed based on:
  • daily loads;
  • tonnages;
  • number of demands for debris pickup from the public; and
  • number of requests for disaster-related building permits.

Step 11: Review funding options.

  • Identify local or private funds that can be used to start program until receive FEMA reimbursement.
  • Determine ability to use General Fund.
  • Evaluate possibility of acquiring a loan.
  • Explore use of private funds.
  • Prepare documentation re local policy for diversion/recycling.
  • City Council//Board of Supervisors resolution;
  • debris management plan;
  • ordinance.

Step 12: Establish public information program.

  • Set goals
  • advertise debris management programs to public;
  • educate residents and contractors about diversion programs.
  • Coordinate with city/county public information officer to develop awareness campaign:
  • newspaper ads;
  • doorhangers;
  • neighborhood newspapers;
  • TV/radio;
  • Good Year Blimp.
  • Establish public information or media center to handle debris questions from the public (mobile center).
  • Develop contact list for the media
  • Set up hotline for debris pickup and to answer questions about diversion programs.
  • Identify all target groups and where they reside.
  • Get maps from OES of geographic areas and languages spoken.
  • Determine need for interpreters and translators.
  • Check into sharing costs with neighboring jurisdictions for advertising diversion programs.
  • Develop Public Information Mutual Aid Agreement.

Step 13: Develop monitoring and enforcement program.

  • Garner the support and cooperation of those in authority to institute the monitoring program.
  • Dedicate sufficient resources to ensure program success.
  • Develop methods to monitor and enforce recycling and diversion guidelines.
  • Establish guidelines for compliance and incorporate as part of contract.
  • Develop tracking system to verify amounts and types of materials diverted and disposed to document FEMA reimbursement and to calculate recycling rates.
  • Special monitoring issues:
  • site delays;
  • overweight trucks;
  • excessively wet debris; and
  • excessive dirt.

Step 14: Identify program barriers.

  • blockage of major transportation corridors;
  • closure of recycling or disposal facilities;
  • lack of funding;
  • lack of temporary storage areas (see Chp. 4);
  • illegal dumping at temporary storage areas (see Chp 4);
  • limited markets for targeted waste types;
  • limited contractors available;
  • residents, businesses, and other governmental; agencies cleaning up independently of the city/county-sponsored program;
  • liability in carrying out program;
  • waste generated as a result of rebuilding ;
  • non-disaster waste;
  • source separation vs. commingled waste;
  • lack of mixed waste facilities; and
  • coordination with CalTrans.

Step 15: Develop a contingency plan.

  • Provide temporary storage of the collected materials.
  • Develop policy to deal with putrescibles and with waste from the public until a diversion program is implemented.
  • Make arrangements with neighboring jurisdictions or, if applicable, private landfill owners to use their facilities.
  • Develop alternate transportation routes.
  • Develop policy on how to fund programs initially until state and federal funding becomes available.
  • Prepare list of contractors in the area who have the abilities and equipment to handle the work and can respond in an emergency.
  • Prepare list of pre-qualified contractors to expedite the contracting process.
  • Develop agreement with franchise hauler to handle the influx of disaster debris.
  • Write disaster clause into the franchise agreement.
  • Add provision in debris removal contracts requiring the contractor to develop markets for recycling and reuse for collected materials.

Step 16: Pursue regional coordination.

  • Coordinate diversion programs with neighboring jurisdictions.
  • Share costs in implementing diversion and public information programs.
  • If coordinating program with neighboring jurisdiction(s), check with FEMA and OES to determine how program will be reimbursed.

Step 17: Develop incentives for diversion.

  • No tipping fee, or reduced tipping fee, for recycling/reuse.
  • Non-compliance fee for disposing of disaster debris: hauler, landfill, processor.
  • Local ordinances requiring applicants for permits for new construction and demolition to submit a waste management plan showing materials to be diverted or salvaged.
  • Issuance of new construction and demolition permits with list of recycling facilities attached.
  • Establish priority of siting new recycling facilities over permitting new disposal facilities.
  • Institute ban on landfilling of, or adding surcharge to, reusable or recyclable materials.

Step 18: Set up accounting/tracking system for debris programs.

  • Verify payment to haulers, facilities.
  • Document recycling rates.
  • Satisfy state and federal reporting requirements and establish an audit trail.
  • Prepare program documentation - evaluate recycling rate and operational issues.

Step 19: Develop a training program.

  • Write program guidelines.
  • Train contractors and haulers re diversion program guidelines.
  • Develop guidelines for private haulers.

Step 20: Set up records retention system and archives.

  • Include the following in a records retention system:
  • A filing system organizing records from program inception to completion.
  • Guidelines for:
  • agency to have long-term custody of records,
  • who will manage the filing system and records retention database, and
  • who will arrange access to the records for future auditors and program staff after program completion.
  • Guidelines for the types of records that will be retained and those that can be recycled at program completion.
  • Space requirements and plans for long-term storage of archives.
  • Computerized records retention system to track location of materials for future audits.

Step 21: Prepare a final report of program activities and results.

  • May be required for FEMA reimbursement.
  • Allows jurisdiction to evaluate program success and areas for improvement.
  • Crucial for future disaster debris planning purposes.
  • Examples of types of information to include in report:
  • program goals;
  • operational approach;
  • recycling and disposal facilities used;
  • program monitoring;
  • recycling rates;
  • program costs for tipping fees;
  • landfill space savings;
  • tonnage and percentage of materials sent to source separated and mixed waste facilities;
  • tonnage and percentage of materials recycled and disposed of;
  • recycling rates by material type;
  • programs costs by ton (recycling vs. disposal;
  • demonstrated program effectiveness; and
  • lessons learned and areas for improvement.

Table of Contents | Return to Chapter | Return to top

Last updated: November 16, 2004
Disaster Preparedness and Response
Office of Public Affairs: (916) 341-6300