California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) 

Facility Information Toolbox (FacIT)

Statewide Quick Facts

The Statewide Quick Facts page contains summary information and highlights of the FacIT facility inventory and capacity projection model for California's solid waste handling, recycling, and market infrastructure. The data estimates represent a “snapshot in time” of conditions based on 2009 data.

Three Key Findings from the Facility Inventory Analysis:

  • At the Statewide Level There is Currently Ample Disposal Capacity

    At the statewide level there is currently ample disposal capacity available for solid waste at municipal solid waste landfills, construction and demolition/inert landfills and transformation facilities. There is nearly 50 million tons of annual disposal capacity available for additional disposal, over and above the 33.2 million tons per year that were disposed in-state in 2009. Less than 400,000 tons of solid waste was exported out of state in 2009, and this amount could easily be handled by California facilities if needed.

  • At the Statewide Level, Intermediate Processing Capacity is Sufficient, but Organics Management is Tight

    In the FacIT system, intermediate processing involves size reduction and preparation of materials for sale or shipment to end markets.  Intermediate processing facilities include:

    • materials recovery facilities and paper stock processors which process mixed recyclables,
    • organics management facilities including composters and chip & grind facilities which process organic material and
    • construction & demolition processing facilities which process construction and demolition materials.

    At the statewide level, the amount of additional available capacity for recyclable material processing and construction and demolition processing is estimated to be almost double the amount of the current processing throughput. The additional available capacity for organics management is about only one-third more than is currently processed in the state.

  • Capacity at California Recycling Manufacturing Facilities is Generally Insufficient

    The capacity of recycled product manufacturing facilities in California is generally insufficient to handle the volume of processed recyclables (paper, glass and plastic) produced by intermediate processors (i.e., materials recovery and paper stock processing facilities). This means that California will be strongly dependent on foreign export markets to absorb future increases in recycled feedstock materials.

Statewide Capacity Projection Model Results

The FacIT Capacity Projection Model can generate a wide range of results for many different theoretical user-defined scenarios, at the statewide, regional or county levels. The following are two high-level conclusions that can be drawn from the model scenarios.

  1. Disposal Rates Could Take Several Years to Rebound to Pre-Recession Levels

    Waste disposal statewide dipped markedly beginning in 2007, and this trend continued through 2009 and into 2010. An econometric projection of future disposal using published estimates for economic activity and population growth shows that, holding current diversion rates constant, statewide total disposal levels will only slowly rebound and might not exceed pre-recession levels until beyond 2020. At local and regional levels, the details of these trends will vary; the general trend will hold true for most areas of the state.

  2. At the Statewide Level and for Most Counties, There is Generally Ample Disposal Capacity to Cover Expected Needs

    Disposal capacity statewide is currently projected to be sufficient through 2025, even assuming high disposal projections in 2025. The remaining lifetime capacity would still remain at 10 times the projected total annual disposal. Available capacity on an annual basis (i.e., based on permitted maximum input quantities) at landfills and transformation facilities is still well above the estimated 2025 annual disposal amount.

Last updated: February 8, 2013
Facility Information Toolbox (FacIT),