Debris Cleanup

Every year, California faces the threat of devastating wildfires that have the potential to claim lives, destroy property, and harm the environment. These disasters often create a significant amount of debris, which can include ash, metal, concrete, building materials, contaminated soil and hazardous materials. Disaster debris must be removed and properly managed to reduce threats to public health and safety, protect the environment, and help communities recover and rebuild.

California’s Consolidated Debris Removal Program is implemented under the leadership of the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) and local governments.

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Contractors and Subcontractors

For information about current contract solicitations and other opportunities with CalRecycle on debris removal and related projects, visit our Contracts page.

California Launches 2020 Wildfire Debris Cleanup Statewide
Due to the regional diversity of wildfire-impacted communities in 2020, the state-managed debris removal program consists of four operational branches, which include:

FACT SHEET: What you need to know before you return to your property

CalOES: Wildfire Recovery Resources

General Information

CalRecycle is often tasked with organizing, managing, implementing, and overseeing debris removal operations in support of local governments. CalRecycle oversees and manages contractors to conduct debris removal at no out-of-pocket cost to property owners. To participate, homeowners must grant cleanup crews access to their properties by returning signed right-of-entry agreements to their local governments.

HHW debris removal

Order of Operations

The state-managed debris removal program has two phases: 1) The removal of household hazardous waste, and 2) The removal of other fire-related debris.

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Car burned in wildfire

Resources for Homeowners

CalRecycle has prepared resources and guidance to help affected residents with information about wildfire debris management and disposal, household hazardous waste collection and storage, and wildfire debris/ash cleanup and disposal.

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Debris cleanup crew

Resources for Jurisdictions

Depending on the circumstances and extent of damage caused by a wildfire, local government jurisdictions develop a coordinated approach to fire debris cleanup.

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Current Wildfire Debris Cleanup Projects

Cal OES has tasked CalRecycle to manage wildfire debris removal operations throughout the state. Find more information about the debris removal effort and additional resources for wildfire survivors on the following local recovery website: