Archive for March, 2016

Austin TX Includes Construction & Demolition Recycling in its Zero Waste Goal

Posted on March 21, 2016

The City of Austin continues to advance a variety of initiatives toward its Zero Waste Goal.  Included in this ambitious goal is the recovery and recycling of Construction & Demolition (C&D) materials. 

Late last year the Austin City Council approved the Construction and Demolition Recycling Ordinance and Administrative Rules to increase reuse and recycling of materials from construction and demolition projects.  The ordinance is modeled after the City’s Green Building efforts and is consistent with the City’s Zero Waste goal and the Austin Resource Recovery Master Plan

A key addition is the term “Qualified Processor”.  A Qualified Processor means a facility that has Registered with the City of Austin and has been determined to meet the qualifications listed in Section 15-6-161 Qualified Processor Requirements.  We are pleased to note that facilities certified by the Recycling Certification Institute (RCI) automatically meet the City of Austin’s requirements to be approved as a Qualified Processor. 

There is a bonus for RCI-Certified facilities, namely, LEED projects using these facilities are eligible to receive an extra Pilot Credit point.  This is important for Austin because they know RCI-Certified facilities have been audited and certified to pass the vigorous requirements of the CORR Protocol, thereby increasing the confidence in the recycling reports of these facilities.  CORR is the only ISO-level protocol for verifying C&D recycling rates to have been developed in collaboration with a cross-section of representatives from the building and construction industry, haulers, recyclers, and government under the guidance of the USGBC.

Austin’s ordinance goes into effect on October 1, 2016.  Contractors who submit a building application for more than 5,000 square feet of new, remodeled or added floor area must either 1) Reuse or recycle at least 50 percent of the construction debris from the project, or 2) Dispose of less than 2.5 pounds of material per square foot of floor area.  At the conclusion of an affected project, the contractor must report to the City the quantity of materials landfilled and the quantities reused or recycled.

There are penalties included in the ordinance for non-compliance.  Some projects may not be able to meet the ordinance requirements and they may request a waiver.  However, projects that do not meet the requirements and do not have a waiver are subject to a Class C misdemeanor. 

Questions about Austin’s C&D Ordinance may be sent to 

We thank the City of Austin and Austin Resource Recovery for their support of verified recycling rates and congratulate them for their leadership and accomplishments in Zero Waste.