California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle)

Permit Toolbox: Permit Types/Tiers

Full Solid Waste Facility Permits

This page provides information and resources for "full" solid waste facility permits.

Please note that other local, state, or federal agencies may also have regulatory authority over solid waste facilities. Also, all statutory citations refer to the California Code of Regulations (CCR) unless otherwise indicated.

Note: This page has been updated to reflect the Permit Implementation Regulations effective April 13, 2007.  Newly inserted text is shown with a shaded background.

What is a full permit?

Public Resources Code (PRC), Sections 44001 and 44002, state that

  • " person shall operate a solid waste facility without a solid waste facilities permit..."
  • "...any person who proposes to become an operator of a solid waste facility shall file with the enforcement agency having jurisdiction over the facility, or the board if there is no designated and certified enforcement agency, an application for a solid waste facilities permit..."

"Solid Waste Facility" includes a solid waste transfer or processing station, a composting facility, a transformation facility, and a disposal facility. Section 40194 of the PRC (Definitions) 

Until CalRecycle's tiered regulatory structure became effective in 1994, there was a "one-size-fits-all" permit applied to all facilities. There are now five tiers, including the original "full" tier which provides the greatest level of review and oversight. Permit tiers include:

Also see the fact sheet, Who Needs a Permit.

What types of facilities are required to obtain a full permit:

The following types of facilities are currently required to obtain a full solid waste facilities permit prior to commencing operations:

See the Tiered Regulatory Placement Chart for a comprehensive list of facilities and operations that have been slotted into the permit tiers.

Full permit application processing requirements

The process and timelines for processing a full solid waste facility permit (SWFP) are described in:

Operator and Applicant Filing Requirements

Title 27, Section 21570 identifies the requirements for preparing and submitting a complete and correct application, which initiates the process of obtaining or revising a permit.

Also see the Full Permit Application and Permit Package Checklist ("The Laundry List").

Note: The application form needs to be updated to include "modified permit" as a type of application. Updating the application form, which is located in the Appendices of Title 27, will require the regulations to be amended in a separate new rulemaking that could take some time. In the meantime, to submit an application for a modified permit, applicants may change the CIWMB E-1-77 form before submitting it to the LEA by crossing out "revision" under "Part 1.C.2." of the form and writing in "Modification."

Local Enforcement Agency (LEA) Processing Requirements

Title 27, Section 21650 identifies the responsibilities of the LEA for receipt and review of the complete and correct application, and for writing and issuing the permit.

Also see the LEA Full Permit Tasks and Timelines Table and Writing a Solid Waste Facility Permit. (Updated January 13, 2011)

A Solid Waste Facility Permit  template/form is available for use by LEAs.

Note: Effective April 13, 2007, Title 27 Sections 21660.2 and 21660.3 require enforcement agencies to notice and conduct an informational meeting for all new and revised full solid waste facilities permit applications after accepting the application package as complete and correct and within 60 days of receipt of the application by the EA. Section 21660.3 also requires enforcement agencies to notice all modified full solid waste facilities permit applications after finding the permit application complete and correct and within 60 days of receipt of the application by the EA. [More...]

Public Participation Tools are now available on LEA Central to assist LEAs with the informational meeting component.

California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery

Title 27, Section 21685 identifies the roll of CalRecycle for new and revised solid waste facilities permits and the roll of the Board's Executive Director for modified solid waste facilities permits for final review and concurrence in, or objection to, the issuance of the permit.

Permit requirements unique to the full permit tier

  • The full permit application process is described in Title 27 of the California Code of Regulations (CCR) rather than Title 14 for other tiers.
  • New and revised full permits require the LEA to notice and conduct an informational meeting.
  • Modified permits require the LEA to notice the LEA's preliminary determination to modify the permit.
  • Full permits contain site-specific LEA (or EA) terms and conditions (rather than standardized conditions for other tiers).
  • The application submittal package ("laundry list") requires more information.
  • The review/processing timelines are longer. 
  • Certain insignificant changes can sometimes be approved through an RFI amendment or modification to the permit.

The Permit Task/Tiers Chart illustrates the major differences between the full, standardized, registration, and notification permit tiers.


Last updated: January 7, 2016
Permit Toolbox,
Kevin Taylor: (916) 341-6582