California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) 

Facility Information Toolbox (FacIT)

FacIT History/Publications

This page lists descriptions of and links to the historic design and development documents for the FacIT project (formerly known as the Recycling and Waste Management Infrastructure Project).

The California Integrated Waste Management Board (now known as the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery or CalRecycle) contracted with consultants in July 2008 to develop the Facility Information Toolbox (FacIT) Project, a disposed and recycled materials facilities information system for use by CalRecycle staff and the general public.

Project responsibilities were shared among the CalRecycle Knowledge Integration Section, the CalRecycle Information Technology Services Branch, and R.W. Beck/SAIC as principal contractor. The FacIT team received input from a government and industry expert Technical Advisory Committee that assisted with the project design, goals and data sources and from many stakeholders from government, industry and the environmental community.

The main goals of the FacIT Project as described in the approved Scope of Work were to:

  • Analyze the solid waste infrastructure information needs of major stakeholder groups.
  • Develop a comprehensive inventory of California’s disposal, recycling, and market infrastructure, including landfills, primary processors (such as transfer stations, material recovery facilities, and compost processors), secondary recycled materials processors and manufacturers, and emerging technology facilities. Targeted material types are the major materials in the municipal and commercial waste stream.
  • Enhance CalRecycle’s existing information on solid waste facilities and activities with more detail about materials handled, volumes, and other operational factors.
  • Launch a new webpage within CalRecycle’s existing website that provides easy access to information on all identified California waste management and recycling facilities, with regionally aggregated summary statistics and maps showing facility locations.
  • Develop a computer model to plan for future facilities by projecting estimated disposal amounts, and calculating potential disposal and recycled materials processing infrastructure capacity gaps to 2025 under a range of different assumptions and scenarios.
  • Design a flexible and scalable system that could accommodate additional materials and facility types in the future.
  • Establish a process for regularly updating the information database, model and webpage.

Process

Based on the project goals in the contract scope, the team developed a set of draft “Vision Papers” outlining a preliminary design for the Facility Information Toolbox including definitions for the facilities, material types, and key data fields to be used in the system; the identity of data sources and a data gathering approach; an outline of the key elements of the Capacity Projection Model; and a broad design for the FacIT webpage that would allow public access to the results.

The project team then posted the draft Vision Papers to the CalRecycle website and used them as the basis for a systematic effort to assess the perspectives of different stakeholder groups on the project, mainly regarding the type of information that should be provided and how it could best be delivered. The assessment included:

  • Informing more than 11,000 existing CalRecycle stakeholders about the project via email, inviting them to review the Vision Papers, and soliciting feedback through an online opinion survey. This resulted in approximately 200 completed survey responses.
  • Conducting more extensive personal or phone interviews with 28 stakeholders representing a wide range of government agencies and private sector companies involved in waste management and recycling.
  • In-depth briefings and discussion meetings with CalRecycle executive management, CalRecycle operations management and staff, and the project’s Technical Advisory Committee members.

In general, the User Needs Assessment Report results tended to corroborate the original project goals and approach outlined in the draft Vision Papers. More than 50 percent of survey respondents rated as “very important” the goals of improving CalRecycle’s infrastructure inventory information system, launching a map-based inventory webpage of facilities, and establishing a system to regularly update the infrastructure inventory. A slightly smaller percentage of survey respondents, 37 percent, indicated that developing a model to estimate future waste generation and facility needs was “very important.”

Based on the Needs Assessment feedback and continuing research and discussions between CalRecycle staff/management and the contractor team, a series of briefing papers outlining a framework for the Facility Information Toolbox system design was completed. This was used as a blueprint for completing the remainder of the project, with modest refinements being made as needed as the project evolved.

CalRecycle's Knowledge Integration Section and Information Technology Services Branch then used the consultant’s final framework report as a basis for further refining, correcting and designing the FacIT inventory, model and website.

Facility Inventory

In an effort to keep the data system manageable, the facility inventory focused on gathering only a limited number of priority data elements for each facility. Because of the project’s focus on analyzing capacity gaps, the targeted data fields pertain mainly to facility activities, materials and capacity amounts. The extensive data-gathering approach was to first develop a draft database from a wide range of secondary data sources, and then to contact the facilities to have them review, adjust, and verify their data.

The Capacity Projection Model

The primary purpose of the Capacity Projection Model is to provide a tool for projecting future capacity gaps at disposal facilities over a 15-year planning horizon, based on forecasted disposal tonnages and a variety of user-defined scenarios. Forecasts for future disposal use high, low and baseline growth assumptions. Model users can define the geographic area to be modeled (which can be any county or combination of counties, four pre-defined regions, or statewide and whether they want to use the low, high or baseline projections for future disposal). The model outputs summarize these material flows and provide an analysis of potential facility capacity gaps. A Facility Equivalents Table has the average facility size data for each activity type allowing users to estimate the number of facilities that might be needed to fill the capacity gaps.

Ongoing Development

CalRecycle staff will continue to work on adding new features to the FacIT website; create a link to our site and check back periodically for improved data and tools. FacIT was designed so it can be expanded to accommodate more facilities, activities and materials in the future. FacIT depends on our users to help keep the data accurate and up to date. We welcome your help and your suggestions for improving the FacIT tools, data and the website.

Project Development Documents

FacIT Project Executive Summary – A brief look at the highlights of the project development process and major findings as prepared by CalRecycle staff. For more information on the FacIT Project Executive Summary, please email FacIT@calrecycle.ca.gov.

FacIT Project Full Report – the project consultant’s full history of the project and their recommendations for a project framework, with multiple appendices. These original recommendations were further refined and used by CalRecycle staff to build the FacIT facility inventory, capacity projection model, and website. For more information on the FacIT Project Full Report, please send an email to FacIT@calrecycle.ca.gov.

User Needs Assessment Report summarizes the design ideas and advice collected early in the project from a wide range of waste industry and CalRecycle staff stakeholders who guided the design process for data collection, modeling and web display.

Last updated: February 8, 2013
Facility Information Toolbox (FacIT), http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/FacIT/
Contact: FacIT@calrecycle.ca.gov