California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) 

Local Government Construction and Demolition (C&D) Guide

Diversion Requirement Exemption

There are times when an applicant for a covered project anticipates circumstances that will make it more difficult, if not impossible, to comply with the construction and demolition (C&D) diversion requirement. This possibility is often provided for in a C&D ordinance, and would include a description of the process an applicant would use to request an exemption or reduction in the required diversion rate. Usually the applicant and compliance official negotiate a more feasible and reduced diversion rate, and that reduced rate is included in the waste management plan (WMP). There are different ways to provide for exemptions in your ordinance:

  • If you have both a diversion requirement and a deposit requirement in your ordinance, include a section that exempts a project from both the diversion requirement and the deposit requirement. If a project were exempt from one, it could automatically be exempt from the other.
  • Include a section that allows for either a partial or complete exemption from the diversion requirement.
  • Include a section that allows for either a partial or complete exemption from the deposit requirement; the Alameda sample ordinance provides a good example of deposit exemptions.
  • Include a section that lists projects that are exempt from the ordinance itself (or include such a list in a “threshold” or “covered project” section).

Example circumstances that could be considered a basis for exempting a project from the diversion requirement, and/or a deposit requirement, because they could lower the feasibility of achieving the diversion rate, include:

  • Lack of storage space onsite.
  • Contamination by hazardous substances.*
  • Low recyclability of specific materials.

*Information is available on CalRecycle’s Construction and Demolition web page on the challenges to recycling posed by hazardous substances that are sometimes found in C&D waste, such as asbestos and lead-based paint.

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Last updated: May 18, 2005
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