Zero waste management plans

In 2016, the City Council amended the local zoning ordinance to create the LS (Life Sciences), O (Office), and R-MU (Residential Mixed-Use) zoning districts. These zoning districts include green and sustainable building requirements, including a requirement that projects in these districts develop a zero waste management plan. The goal of the zero waste management plan is to meet a waste reduction goal for the construction and occupancy phases of a building. These zero waste management plan requirements help applicants reach the city’s zero waste goal of 90 percent diversion by 2035.

The following benchmarks are designed to achieve zero waste by 2035.
  • 70% diversion AND 5.0 pounds per person per day by 2023
  • 75% diversion AND 4.0 pounds per person per day by 2026
  • 80% diversion AND 3.5 pounds per person per day by 2029
  • 85% diversion AND 2.0 pounds per person per day by 2032
  • 90% diversion AND 0.5 pounds per person per day by 2035

The requirements apply to the following applicants and/or tenants (or occupants) in LS, O and R-MU zoning districts:
  • New nonresidential development projects
  • All tenants in an applicable zero waste nonresidential development project
  • Tenant improvements of 10,000 or more square feet (in a building that does not have an applicable zero waste management plan)
  • New multifamily residential development projects

If you have applied for a building permit as of January 1, 2017, you are required to complete the appropriate occupancy phase zero waste management plan forms and implement the requirements to achieve the zero waste benchmarks outlined above. 

Applications for new construction (residential and nonresidential) are required to comply with zero waste requirements and prepare to meet future benchmarks.

Projects with a complete building permit application submitted before January 1, 2017 are not subject to the requirements. All projects with building permit applications in the zoning districts listed above submitted after January 1, 2017, are subject to these requirements.

For more information, please refer to the zero waste management frequently asked questions or contact the Sustainability Division.

New construction zero waste management plans


Please review the requirements for new nonresidential development projects.

Tenant improvements of 10,000 square feet or greater and zero waste tenants zero waste management plans


Please review the requirements for all tenants in an applicable zero waste nonresidential development project and tenant Improvements of 10,000 or more square feet.

Multifamily property zero waste management plans


Please review the requirements for multifamily residential projects in the R-MU-B zoning district.