Construction and Demolition Debris Recovery Requirements

Construction & Demolition Ordinance
San Francisco Ordinance No.27-06
which took effect on July 1, 2006 enacted a new Chapter of the Environment Code (Chapter 14) and made amendments to the Building Code, the Health Code and the Police Code in order to establish a comprehensive program to effectuate the City’s goals.

Which projects are affected by the Construction and Demolition (C&D) Ordinance?
This ordinance affects all construction projects such as new construction, remodels, tenant improvements, repairs, deconstruction and full or partial demolitions.

What does the Construction and Demolition Ordinance require?
The C&D Ordinance requires that all C&D debris materials removed from the project are properly recycled or reused.  By law, no C&D debris can be taken to landfill or put in the garbage.

What is Construction and Demolition (C&D) debris material?
C&D debris includes building materials and solid waste generated from construction and demolition activities including, but not limited to, asphalt, concrete, brick, rock, soil, lumber, gypsum wallboard, cardboard and other associated packaging, roofing material, ceramic tile, carpeting, fixtures, plastic pipe, metals, tree stumps, and other vegetative matter resulting from land clearing. It does not include food waste, hazardous materials or refuse.

How should C&D debris material be handled?
C&D debris material source-separated by material type at the construction or demolition site for reuse or recycling (such as metal, wood, drywall, cardboard, concrete, etc.) must be taken to a facility that reuses or recycles those materials. The ordinance requires that all mixed C&D debris must be transported off-site by a Registered Transporter and taken to a Registered Facility. By law, no C&D debris can be taken to landfill or put in the garbage.

Click here for lists of Registered Transporters and Registered Facilities. 

What is a Registered Facility?
Any facility that accepts mixed C&D debris material from San Francisco must be registered with San Francisco’s Department of the Environment. The Registered Facility must have applied for registration and demonstrated that it processes (sorts) mixed C&D debris and achieves an overall minimum recycling rate of 65%. Facilities that accept only clean, source-separated materials for recycling (such as wood, dirt, metal and cardboard) are not required to register with the City.        

What’s involved in becoming a Registered Transporter?
A Registered Transporter Application must be completed and submitted to the Department of the Environment for review and possible approval. The applicant must agree to comply with all aspects of registration and the C&D ordinance. There is no charge for registration, and it must be renewed every two years.

Are there any exemptions from using Registered Transporters?
Besides hauling source-separated materials for reuse and recycling, the only exemptions from registering as a transporter are: a) property owners who remove C&D debris with their own vehicles, b) those who transport less than one cubic yard of C&D debris, or c) haulers whose vehicles have no more than two axles and no more than two tires per axle. All property owners and non-registered transporters hauling mixed C&D debris material must still comply with all aspects of the C&D ordinance.

Are there special requirements for full demolition of existing structures?
Full demolition of an existing structure requires that a Demolition Debris Recovery Plan (DDRP) be submitted to and approved by the Department of the Environment before a Full Demolition Permit (Form 6) will be issued by the Department of Building Inspection. The DDRP must demonstrate how a minimum of 65% of the material from the demolition will be diverted from landfill.

Click here for the Demolition Debris Recovery Plan (DDRP) form. 

What are the penalties if someone doesn’t comply with the ordinance?
Any person or company found in noncompliance with the ordinance may incur substantial civil and/or criminal penalties, including fines and suspension of their registration.

Where can I find supporting documents?
For supporting documents, go to the Construction and Demolition Forms and Resources.

See Construction and Demolition Resources here.