The Construction and Demolition (C&D) Recycling Ordinance requires affected construction and demolition projects to divert construction and demolition debris from the landfill. General contractors must reuse or recycle at least 50% of the construction and demolition debris from affected projects.  Alternatively, they can landfill less than 2.5 pounds of debris per square foot of floor area. To prove compliance, the contractor must report the tons of debris reused or recycled and the tons landfilled in a recycling report.

Which projects are affected?

Construction projects

Building permits for more than 5,000 square feet of new, added or remodeled floor area are affected by the ordinance.

Commercial demolition projects 

Commercial and multifamily demolition projects of all sizes are affected by the ordinance.

Who is responsible?

General contractors with affected construction and demolition projects within the City of Austin are responsible.

It's important to work closely with your subcontractors licensed hauler(s), and the processors and/or reuse facilities receiving the construction and demolition debris to meet the ordinance requirements.

What do I need to do?

1. Recycle construction and demolition debris

General contractors with affected projects must do at least one of the following:

  • Divert at least 50% of the construction and demolition project debris from the landfill OR
  • Dispose of no more than 2.5 pounds of construction and demolition debris per square foot of permitted floor area in the landfill.

It's important to plan ahead to successfully meet the C&D Recycling Ordinance requirements.

Set your team and site up for success at the beginning of your project. General contractors can meet the recycling requirements by reusing C&D material on site, sending separated materials to reuse facilities, sending mixed materials to C&D processors or a combination. Visit the best practices for construction and demolition sites page for more information. 

There are several options for hauling and processing construction and demolition debris. Find a licensed hauler and/or processor for construction and demolition debris or use the Austin Reuse Directory to find where to donate, resell, recycle and repair items.

2. Track and log weight tickets throughout project

  • Before work begins, talk with your subcontractors, licensed hauler(s), and the processors and/or reuse facilities receiving the construction and demolition debris. Confirm they will provide you the tonnage information about your construction and demolition debris recycled and landfilled. 

  • Throughout the project, track all weight tickets to track your recycling and landfilling rates. Use this weight ticket summary spreadsheet (.xls) to calculate the tons landfilled and tons diverted.

3. Submit a recycling report

General contractors with an affected project must submit the required recycling report online when a final building inspection is requested. This report must show how many tons of construction and demolition debris were recycled and landfilled during the project.

Licensed haulers and facilities receiving the construction debris can provide the tonnage information a general contractor needs to complete the recycling report. Learn how to submit the required report.

When you're ready, get started on your report: 

Blue button that says start recycling report

Ordinance exemptions

The ordinance exempts excavated soil, stone, land-clearing debris, special waste and hazardous material, including asbestos and materials containing lead. General contractors should ensure those materials are handled in accordance with appropriate local and state regulations.

Non-compliant projects

If a general contractor is unable to meet the recycling requirements for an affected project, the contractor can request a waiver through their online recycling report. The contractor must provide evidence that there was a good faith effort to meet ordinance requirements or the waiver request may be denied. 

A general contractor whose affected project does not meet the recycling and reporting requirements, and who does not have an approved waiver is in violation of the Construction and Demolition Recycling Ordinance (Austin City Code Chapter 15-6) and may result in a follow up by the Commercial Compliance Unit. The general contractor may also be subject to a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by fines up to $500 per day, per offense.