The city uses two ways of measuring waste generated by properties. A diversion rate is the amount of waste (cubic yards) that is recycled and composted over the total amount of waste (garbage, recycling, and compost). This measures how well a business or property is diverting material away from landfills. Pounds per person per day is a calculation that is used to see how much is thrown away. This is important because it shows how well a business or property is reducing the overall amount of waste.
The following are the requirements to be met by tenant Improvements of 10,000 or more square feet, first tenants in applicable zero waste nonresidential development projects, and new multifamily residential development projects to achieve zero waste by 2035. The city defines zero waste as 90 percent diversion from landfill.
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All newly constructed commercial and industrial buildings and tenants occupying a newly constructed building , commercial tenant improvements 10,000 square feet or greater , and multifamily residential development projects in the LS, O or R-MU zoning districts. If you have applied for a building permit as of January 1, 2017, you are required to complete the appropriate Zero Waste Occupancy forms and comply with the requirements for achieving zero waste.
If you are occupying a newly constructed building that is subject to zero waste requirements (in the LS, O or R-MU zoning districts) per an approved Zero Waste Management Plan, you are required to complete an occupancy zero waste management plan including agreement for future zero waste assessment(s). Your building owner/manager is required notify you if you are subject to these requirements, per the nonresidential development project requirements.
In 2016, the City Council adopted the General Plan Land Use and Circulation Elements and Zoning Ordinance Update (commonly referred to as ConnectMenlo) and subsequently rezoned properties in the Bayfront Area from M-2 (General Industrial) to O (Office), LS (Life Science), and R-MU (Residential, multifamily). The new zoning districts include robust green and sustainability requirements, including the requirement that projects prepare a zero waste plan, with the goal of achieving a 90 percent diversion rate for all nonhazardous materials. These requirements help applicants reach the city’s zero waste goal of 90 percent diversion by 2035 and the interim benchmarks to ensure that zero waste is achieved by 2035.
Each type of building (New nonresidential development projects, Tenant Improvements 10,000 or more square feet, First Tenants in Applicable Zero Waste nonresidential development projects, and New multifamily Residential Development Projects) are subject to different requirements including solid waste enclosure requirements, zero waste infrastructure, Zero Waste Baseline Assessment, and subsequent Zero Waste Assessments. For more information on specific required strategies, please refer to the forms below:
New nonresidential development projects
First tenant in an applicable zero waste nonresidential development project
Tenant improvements of 10,000 or more square feet
Multifamily development projects
Zero waste assessments are educational trainings where experts in zero waste implementation/compliance come to your business or building to provide recommendations on how to reduce overall waste and reducing the amount of contamination in your recycling and organics that you are diverting. All applicants must complete a zero waste baseline assessment to measure your current diversion rate, identify your pounds per person per day of waste disposed, and obtain a final report with initial recommendations for achieving zero waste in your business/building. You must schedule and complete your baseline zero waste assessment within 12 months of occupancy.
If you meet the zero waste benchmarks, you will not have to complete another full zero waste assessment. However, if you do not meet the benchmarks, you will be notified by the city and need to schedule additional zero waste assessments in years 2023, 2026, 2029, 2032, and 2035 to help you achieve zero waste by 2035.
On October 2, 2019, the City of Menlo Park release a public request for qualifications for professional zero waste assessment services. The City approved the following two firms who met the requirements of the RFQ and understand the requirements for the applicant’s zero waste management plans.Please contact firms directly for services and pricing related to zero waste assessments. The City shall have no liability or responsibility for the work performed by any of the firms listed.
Abbe and AssociatesRuthe Abbe, Principal415-235-1356
Cascadia Consulting GroupJulie Bryant, Co-Director510-838-7032Email
Julia Chang Frank, Co-Director510-838-7021Email
If you do not meet your zero waste benchmarks, you will be required to pay for additional waste assessments for further education, training and ways to improve your waste reduction and diversion rate.