How to Prepare a Waste Management Plan (WMP)

The following information pertains to construction and demolition projects in the unincorporated section of San Mateo County.

Please see update on WMP processing effective July 1st, 2016 in "Can I prepare the Waste Management Plan myself" section below!

When is a Waste Management Plan Required?

A Waste Management Plan (WMP) is required if your project consists of one or more of the following:

  1. Demolition work only as determined by the Building Official or designee
  2. The renovation, remodel or addition to an existing structure that increases the building's conditioned area, volume, or size or
  3. The construction of a new permitted structure as determined by the Building Official or designee

construction and demolition

Is there a fee?

Yes. As of April 26th, 2010, there is a $95 administrative fee added electronically by the County of San Mateo's Office of Sustainability (OS) when you file your Section One of the WMP. The County's Building Department collects this fee when you finalize your project.

What is the purpose of the Waste Management Plan?

A WMP is necessary to demonstrate compliance with County Building Regulations Section 9210 - Adoption Of 2016 California Green Building Standards Code (Building Regulations) that requires covered projects to salvage, reuse or recycle all inert solids (asphalt, brick, concrete, dirt, fines, rock, sand, soil, and stone) and at least 65% of all of the construction and demolition debris generated by the project.

Are there any fines involved?

As of April 1, 2012, there are fines involved for non-compliance with the diversion requirement.

Can I prepare the Waste Management Plan myself?

Yes. Effective July 1st, 2016, WMP applicants will have two options for submitting and processing their WMP.

  1. Online WMP Processing Using Accela
    The County recently launched an online system for processing your WMP. Using this new online system, you may now submit and obtain approval of your WMP, submit all supporting documentation, and track the information and documents that you submit, all from the convenience of your home or office, 24 hours a day.

    OS staff highly encourages all applicants to start utilizing the online system for WMP processing, as the in-person WMP servicing will be slowly phased out/reduced in the near future.

    To access the online system, please visit: https://aca.accela.com/smcgov. If you are a first time user, you will need to register to utilize this online system.

  2. Email
    You may email your WMPs and receipts/tags to sustainability@smcgov.org.

  3. In-Person WMP Servicing
    However, please note, that OS staff highly encourages all applicants to start utilizing the online system for WMP processing, as the in-person WMP servicing will be slowly phased out/reduced in the near future.

    For processing in-person, you can access the electronic printable version of the WMP at this website: http://www.recycleworks.org/pdf/WMPform_2016.pdf. Please fill out the relevant sections of the form (Section One or Section Two) and submit to OS staff with all necessary supporting documentation, if any.

You will need to get Section One and Section Two of the WMP reviewed and signed off by OS staff in order to receive your building permit and before final inspection, respectively, by the Building Department

If you have questions or need assistance, you may contact OS at 1-888-442-2666.

What is included in the Waste Management Plan?

Preparing the WMP consists of identifying the types of debris that will be generated by the project and identifying how all waste streams will be handled. To finalize the WMP, all receipts from reuse, recycling and disposal activities must be submitted.

Required:

  • All inert solids (asphalt, brick, concrete, dirt, fines, rock, sand, soil, and stone) must be diverted from disposal.
  • 65% of all construction and demolition materials (such as wood, metal, cardboard, green waste, gypsum, fixtures, etc.) must be diverted from disposal.

The Waste Management Plan includes the following:

SECTION ONE: Permit Application

  1. Salvage and Deconstruction: Identify the items you anticipate salvaging and the salvage company that will be used.
  2. Inert Solids: The Building Regulations require salvaging, reusing or recycling all inert solids. Identify inert solids that will be generated and identify how these will be diverted from disposal.
  3. Separation On-Site: 65% of materials must be diverted. Non-inert materials can be separated on-site for recycling and will count towards the 65% diversion requirement. Identify materials that will be separated on-site for recycling companies.
  4. Mixed Construction and Demolition (C&D) Debris: If non-inert materials are not separated on-site for recycling, or if the materials separated for recycling are not at least 65% of the total mixed debris generated, then mixed C&D must be taken to a mixed C&D sorting facility that will separate and recycle for you. Indicate the mixed C&D sorting facilities you intend to use.
  5. Disposal: Indicate what percentage of all debris generated will be disposed, what materials you expect to dispose of, and what facility(ies) you will use.
  6. Hauling of debris: Indicate how you intend to transport debris.

SECTION TWO: Final Project Approval

Section Two requires documentation of debris handling during your project and submittal of receipts, or equivalent documentation, demonstrating that you have diverted all inert solids and 65% of the construction and demolition debris to comply with the County's Building Regulations. The form has a place for you to keep track of the loads of debris from the project by noting each load and the quantity of the load in either tons or yards. Upon completion of the project, you have 30 days in which to submit Section Two with the required receipts, or equivalent documentation, and to sign an attestation that you have complied with the Building Regulations. Your project will not be finalized by the Building Inspection Section until this information has been submitted, reviewed and approved.

What recycling facilities should I use? Who do I call for assistance?

Mixed construction loads must be taken to one of the companies listed in the Mixed Construction & Demolition Guide. This guide includes a list of debris box companies that haul mixed C&D for recycling. Sorted recyclables can be taken to any of the recycling facilities in the Bay Area. To find out where to take different materials, check the Construction & Demolition Guide. Or you can search one category at a time in the Recycling Database. You can also call 1-888-442-2666 if you have questions.

Who reviews the Waste Management Plan?

Section One of your WMP should accompany your application for a permit. Section Two of your WMP should accompany your request for Final Project Approval. Both will need to be reviewed and signed off by OS staff prior to submittal for final approval to the Building Department.

What are the Consequences of Non-compliance?

The Building Regulations and the WMP have been developed to make the reporting easy and to offer many options for compliance. Assistance with questions is easily available at: 1-888-442-2666 or by email to sustainability@smcgov.org.

If your project is required to comply with the Building Regulations and you fail to turn in copies of receipts or equivalent documentation as requested, submit an inaccurate or incomplete final WMP, or submit a WMP that does not show compliance with the Building Regulations, a stop order may be issued on the job, your final approval may be delayed, you may be requested to provide additional information, and in some cases, may be fined or jailed.

Summary of the Process:

Section One of the WMP is prepared in advance of your project with your best estimates of debris that will be generated and how it will be reused, recycled or disposed in compliance with the County's Building Regulations. Section One of your WMP is submitted to OS and must be approved prior to issuance of your permit. A copy of your approved WMP will be provided to you. There may be additional recommendations that accompany the approval and there may be a request for receipts to be submitted during the project.

Section Two is completed during (or at completion) of your project detailing how debris was actually handled. Section Two along with the required receipts, or equivalent documentation, must be submitted and approved by OS staff prior to issuance of your Final Project Approval.