Developers & Contractors

Recycling & Zero Waste

Whether you are developing a plan or preparing for demolition and construction, we have the tools and guidelines to help you meet Recycling & Zero Waste requirements for your residential or commercial project.  The purpose of these requirements is to ensure:

Trash and Recycling Enclosures

Plan for enough space for trash, recycling and compost containers that are accessible and conveniently located for users and collection vehicles.  Don't forget to add space for restaurant tallow services if needed. 

Keep in mind that State law requires all communities to divert at least 50 percent of their waste from the landfill by waste reduction, recycling, and composting activities.  The State has identified that the lack of space and convenient access is a significant impediment to meeting this mandate.

The handout below has been developed to help you design and build an enclosure that helps our community meet the minimum 50 percent diversion requirement.

Space & Access Requirements Handout


Turning Template for Collection Vehicles

The widths and radii provided in this template is the minimum requirement for collection vehicles at all properties.  Plan for a 43 foot turning radius and a commercial flange on all properties.  This will also provide the needed space for parcel delivery trucks and moving vans.


Although other departments may have lesser requirements, remember that collection vehicles service properties weekly or more frequently and often under full load.  Collection vehicles are larger and heavier than other vehicles, including fire trucks, and need a wider turning radius.  


Turning Template


Waste Tracking Requirements

The City has adopted the California Green Building Code for the recycling and salvage of construction and demolition (C&D) debris. The information below will help you understand what is required, who can collect wastes, and how you can maximize recycling of your project.

Green Building Code Projects – 65% Diversion Required

If your project is subject to the Green Building Code (ask Building Division), you must recycle and/or salvage for reuse a minimum of 65 percent of nonhazardous construction and demolition waste.  Documentation of this diversion is required or a final building inspection will not be scheduled.  See How to Track Your Waste below. 

Demolition Only Projects ≥ 5,000 SF – 50% Diversion Required

If your project involves demolition only and is 5,000 square feet or more, you must recycle and/or salvage for reuse a minimum of 50 percent of nonhazardous waste as required by the City’s Construction & Demolition Ordinance.  Please note that the 5,000 square foot threshold includes all phases of a project and all related projects taking place on a single or adjoining parcel.  Documentation of this diversion is required or a final building inspection will not be scheduled.  See How to Track Your Waste below.


Maximize Diversion – Roll Off Boxes – 78% Diversion Achieved

If your project involves roll off boxes, you must use the City's exclusive hauler, Recology.  These boxes are hauled to the SMaRT Station which has a 78 percent diversion rate.  No documentation is required--weight tags are automatically uploaded in the City’s online waste tracking system for you.  Separate boxes for yard trimmings and cardboard are available at a discounted rate which can further increase diversion.  Also, only Recology boxes may be placed in the street (with an encroachment permit from Land Development).  
For more information, see documents below or contact Recology.  See also Exclusive Franchised Hauler - Warnings & Exceptions below.

How to Track Your Waste

There are three simple steps to tracking your waste using our online waste tracking system.  Some steps must be completed before certain stages of the building permit process.  See below for more information and links, and download the Construction & Demolition Waste Tracking Requirements (pdf).

Create a Waste Management Plan

Visit to create an account and submit your plan prior to demolition or prior to building permit approval.  There is no fee for this service.

Upload Weight Tags
  • Roll Off Boxes
    Recology weight tags will be uploaded for you into the City’s Waste Tracking System.  All boxes are recycled at the SMaRT Station and achieve a greater than 65% diversion rate (currently 78%).  Remember, that Recology is the City's Exclusive Hauler subject to certain exceptions for self-hauling.
  • Self Haul
    Be sure to obtain and save the weight tags from the recycling or disposal facility.  You will need to upload them to the City's Waste Tracking System.  Visit to upload your tags.  
Submit for Final Approval

When your project is complete and all weight tags have been uploaded, submit your Final Waste Management Plan prior to scheduling your final inspection.  Remember, you will not receive a final building inspection until your final plan is approved.


Building Division (Green Building Code)
(650) 903-6313 •

Land Development (Street Encroachment Permits)
(650) 903-6311 •

Planning Division (Enclosure Materials)
(650) 903-6306 •

Recycling & Zero Waste (Enclosure Guidelines, Waste Tracking System, Exclusive Hauler Requirements)
(650) 903-6311 •

Recology (Roll-off boxes, Scheduling Collections)
(650) 967-3034 • 


Warning & Exceptions

The City Council has designated Recology as the exclusive hauler for recycling or debris roll-off box services in our community.  No other hauler may be used.  There are exceptions for certain materials:           

• Construction and Demolition Debris generated at a Premise by a construction, remodeling, or demolition services business and hauled from the Premise by the business as an incidental part of a total service provided by that business (e.g. roofer or landscaper).  Such materials shall be transported in vehicles and containers owned or leased by the business providing the total service, using its own employees and not any subcontractor, affiliated company, or third party.  The vehicle used to transport materials must be on the State of California Motor Carrier Transport Registry in the name of the business providing the total service as proof of compliance.

• The materials are sold or donated to a charitable organization, hauling service or recycling processor, provided that no compensation of any kind is given to such entity for any purpose, including, but not limited to:  (1) sorting of materials, collection, storage or disposal; (2) materials transport (hauling); (3) disposal of processing residues generally or as a deduction from the sale of recyclables; or (4) consultation or management services, provided incidentally or as part of an overall service (e.g. side agreements).  Materials must be source-separated in open containers (not compactors).  Hauling service must first obtain a non-exclusive collection agreement from the City and a business license.

Visit Debris and Recycling Box Services.