This prerequisite is very easy to meet. You only need to provide one space to store recycling. You are not even required to have a specific square footage, although the LEED Reference Guide does provide recommended square footage based on building size (see table below). To size this space properly, also consider the building’s needs and recommendations from your recycling hauler.
Providing recycling bins for occupants in places like offices and kitchens is a good idea, but is not required for this prerequisite. Nor do you have to actually implement a recycling plan. You simply have to provide the area for centralized recycling collection.
When documenting this credit on LEED Online, you’ll simply write a narrative that details the size and accessibility of the recycling storage area, the expected volume of recycling and the frequency of pick-ups. Demonstrate that the area is located and sized properly.
You’ll also need to check a few boxes confirming that you’ve provided recycling space for corrugated cardboard, metal, plastic, glass and paper, and upload a plan showing the location of the recycling storage area.
Yes. The final collection point for the recycling can be outside your project boundary. With your documentation, show the location of the collection point, describe the process of how the recycling gets to that point including how access is provided for the required parties, and how you determined that it is large enough. You would still need receptacles inside the building at places like workstations and kitchen areas.
If the collection point serves multiple buildings, then LEEDuser recommends discussing in your narrative how you have determined that the space is sufficient to serve all the buildings.
Yes. As reinforced by LEED InterpretationLEED Interpretations are official answers to technical inquiries about implementing LEED on a project. They help people understand how their projects can meet LEED requirements and provide clarity on existing options. LEED Interpretations are to be used by any project certifying under an applicable rating system. All project teams are required to adhere to all LEED Interpretations posted before their registration date. This also applies to other addenda. Adherence to rulings posted after a project registers is optional, but strongly encouraged. LEED Interpretations are published in a searchable database at usgbc.org. #1803 made on 07/02/2007, "space must be provided in the building in anticipation of recycling resources becoming available in the future."
No. It's a good idea to do so, but it is not one of the required waste types.
Yes. The recommended figures are just that—recommendations. However, you should plan on being able to explain how the space is sufficient. The most common way to do this through a short narrative detailing the volume of recycling and trash per cycle based on how often it will be picked up or moved to a central storage location, such as larger dumpsters.
No, you don't need to. With an adequate description and reference to the municipal policy, the project should not need additional space dedicated because the collection system is adequate and suited to the project needs.
LEEDuser recommends providing a brief narrative that demonstrates you have estimated the volume following something like a Solid Waste Assessment. Resources such as those found at the California Integrated Waste Management Board can be useful. See case studies and approaches in the Establishing A Waste Reduction Program at Work participant's manual and in the waste disposal rates for Public Admin.
Plan to include an area for recycling storage. The architect needs to allocate this space and include it on project drawings. (See the Documentation Toolkit for a sample floorplan.)
You don’t have to devote a specific square footage to recycling, but the LEED Reference Guide provides the following recommended areas based on building size. (See table.) However, you will have to provide a narrative describing how the area's dimensions were determined, and following the LEED recommendations provides a good basis for this.
The most common obstacle with this prerequisite is finding space to allocate for recycling storage. A basement, parking garage, or loading dock is ideal.
Collection should be offered in areas that are convenient for occupants throughout the building, but this is not required for prerequisite compliance.
Many large scale and multi-building projects design a centralized collection area near a loading dock or in a common basement or parking garage.
This prerequisite usually is low- or no-added cost and is often standard practice.
Actually implementing a recycling program is not required, but if you don’t have one, you’re not realizing the environmental benefits of this prerequisite. (See the Documentation Toolkit for a sample recycling plan.)
Identify local hauling services and determine which is best for the building and occupants, and what types of materials the hauler will handle.
Single-stream (or commingled) recycling is usually easiest from the occupants' perspective, but it is not available everywhere.
Determine the required square footage of the storage space based on the LEED Reference Guide recommendations (see above), and estimated volume of waste generation and frequency of hauler pick-ups.
Generally, single-stream recycling will require less space for the storage of recycling because you will only need to provide one bin as opposed to five bins for sorted recycling. Also, if pickups are more frequent, you’ll need less space. Check with your hauler for recommendations.
If recycling haulers in your area don’t recycle all of the required materials, design a collection area that can accommodate all items. You’ll meet the prerequisite this way, and be prepared for more comprehensive recycling if and when the service becomes locally available.
Although recycling is required by law in some cities, this does not exempt your project from providing the appropriate documentation for LEED.
Avoid problems by early planning to allow sufficient space for recycling storage areas.
It’s ideal to specify the inclusion of small recycling bins at every trash receptacle location, and larger bins to collect and store building-wide recycling. However, this prerequisite only calls for the centralized collection area. Small recycling bins scattered throughout the building are not strictly necessary for compliance.
Locate the recycling storage facility in an area that is easily accessed by building occupants, maintenance personnel, and recycling haulers. Many projects choose to include a collection area on each floor of the building, and have the maintenance staff bring all recycling to a main storage area.
Locate multiple, small collection areas throughout the building. For example, locate a paper recycling bin near fax and copy machines or by workstations, and glass, plastic, and paper recycling bins in kitchen areas.
You can choose to locate the recycling storage area away from the building or outside the LEED site boundary. You will need to provide a detailed narrative describing how recyclables from the building will be taken to this main storage area.
For residential buildings, consider including a space in each unit for individual recycling collection as well as a chute or collection area on each floor.
Consider including cardboard balers and other waste management tools that will help to reduce the volume of recycling.
Projects have the chance to earn IDc1: Innovation in Design either through a comprehensive recycling plan including electronics and other hard to recycle items, and showing an actual reduction in waste; or through a comprehensive composting program (either onsite or hauled away) that shows reduction in waste.
Consider stacking the recycling bins if floor area is limited.
Verify that the recycling storage area is included on project drawings.
Write a narrative that describes the recycling storage area, accessibility, frequency of pickup, and volume of the space. You will also need to describe how the area’s dimensions were determined. See the Documentation Toolkit for a sample narrative.
Upload documents to LEED Online. This may include a project drawing showing the location of recycling areas if it is not clear on the images that are uploaded as part of the overall LEED submittal. See the Documentation Toolkit for an example.
If you decide to implement a recycling plan, ensure that regular recycling pickup is included as part of the janitorial contract.
Ensure that recycling bins have been installed.
Get the most value out of your recycling program by offering employee environmental awareness training and discussing ways to reduce trash and recycling.
If pursuing EBOM certification, consider pursuing the following credits:
Train maintenance personnel on proper recycling methods, such as what materials need to be separated or commingled, and in what bins.
Excerpted from LEED 2009 for Core and Shell Development
To facilitate the reduction of waste generated by building occupants that is hauled to and disposed of in landfills.
Provide an easily-accessible dedicated area for the collection and storage materials for recycling for the entire building. Materials must include at a minimum paper, corrugated cardboard, glass, plastics and metals.
Designate an area for recyclable collection and storage that is appropriately sized and located in a convenient area. Identify local waste handlers and buyers for glass, plastic, metals, office paper, newspaper, cardboard and organic wastes. Instruct occupants on recycling procedures. Consider employing cardboard balers, aluminum can crushers, recycling chutes and other waste management strategies to further enhance the recycling program.
The California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB) offers information about waste reduction, recycling and solid waste characterization, as well as generation rates for offices, schools, and residences.
Earth 911 offers information and education programs on recycling as well as links to local recyclers.
You will be required to upload to LEED Online a project floorplan, like the approved sample shown here, showing recycling storage and collection areas.
You are not required to follow through with a recycling program to earn this prerequisite, so it is not necessary to document one for LEED as shown in this sample recycling plan. However, implementing a recycling program is only logical, once you have done the work of allocating space for it.
To document this credit, you'll be required to write a narrative like this sample describing the recycling storage area, accessibility, frequency of pickup, and volume of the space. You will also need to describe how the area’s dimensions were determined.
The following links take you to the public, informational versions of the dynamic LEED Online forms for each CS-2009 MR credit. You'll need to fill out the live versions of these forms on LEED
Online for each credit you hope to earn.
Version 4 forms (newest):
Version 3 forms:
These links are posted by LEEDuser with USGBC's permission. USGBC has certain usage restrictions for these forms; for more information, visit LEED Online and click "Sample Forms Download."
Documentation for this credit is part of the Construction Phase submittal.
We heard that LEED allows an ID credit for implementing a comprehensive waste management program.
We are thinking about collecting and send to recycling electronics, tonners, printing cartridges, and also collecting and sending to proper disposal mercury lamps, button type batteries, regular batteries (nickel cadmiun and cellphones).
Does anybody have any experience about a comprehensive recycling program being allowed to be documented as an ID credit?
Thank you very much.
As you can see from the two longer threads here, several of us are struggling with the issue of dedicated recycling areas inside the building vs. collection areas outside the building for Core & Shell projects with no tenants identified and no common area spaces. There is no indication of this distinction in your Birds Eye guidance above. Yet the CIRCredit Interpretation Ruling. Used by design team members experiencing difficulties in the application of a LEED prerequisite or credit to a project. Typically, difficulties arise when specific issues are not directly addressed by LEED information/guide you reference clearly refers to "space being provided in the building".
NC/CS systems of the past have only been interested in the exterior enclosure. That has changed. The credit form clearly is asking for descriptions of interior spaces and anticipated volumes and the lease agreement is clearly negated as a way of compliance.
Can LEED User provide some guidance on this? This is after all a Prerequisite issue.
If you had a tilt-up, cold dark shell, distribution warehouse that could have 1 tenant or as many as 4 tenants, how would you address interior spaces and anticipated volumes narratives and floor plan uploads? Or would you just assume that all these explicit requirements on the C&S credit form are not actually necessary in this case and use Special Circumstances to explain that you obviously can't supply this much like an executed lease agreement?
Michelle, the one Interpretation we reference above does say "in the building," but I think that's misleading in reference to your question because it's answering a different question. I wouldn't take it too literally in reference to a question of whether collection can be outside the building.
Basically, per the first FAQ above, LEED would like to see some collection points within the building, but the location of the dedicated space is somewhat flexible as long as it is a workable solution for the project.
With reference to the earlier thread that Lisa Fabula commented on, I thought her advice was good, and do you have any review comments or GBCI feedback that has brought this question up again?
I think in your situation I would prefer to be able to include some specifics in my LEED Online documentation—acknowledging that you don't know who the tenant will be, but demonstrating that you've thought through how to approach these requirements, no matter what kind of tenant(s) you get. A narrative with some drawings showing what the solution would be for a single distribution tenant vs. four diverse tenants, for example.
Given the important of prereqs and the uncertainties you're feeling here, I wouldn't hestitate to contact GBCI directly and ask what they are expecting in the situation.
Thanks for the quick response. It's easy to say don't take it too literally, but in your post and Lisa's, you are both indicating that you do think some kind of effort needs to be put into showing some differentiated space inside an open unbuilt out warehouse which would be dedicated to recyclable collection. And substantiating the size of that space with some kind of information relative to "potential" tenants and "potential" configurations.
Since there are no actual requirements to meet in terms of sizing even if you do know who the tenant is, on what basis would anyone evaluate the information I provide?
My question is about meeting the prerequisite but also about time and money spent on metrics for metrics sake. Yes, I could create possible scenarios and indicate possible solutions purely for the sake of LEED compliance. But this would simply be an excercise. Like most things in C&S, we do not have control over this aspect of the building's use unless we put it in the lease agreement. Yet the lease agreement approach is precluded for this measure.
I guess it's pretty hard to put something in the lease that doesn't have any specific requirement to meet. And I'm back to square one. I will take it up with GBCI reviewers and post the outcome. Thanks for the perspective and the patience.
The lack of specificity of the MPp1 requirements is a double-edged sword. Let us know how it goes.
I got a response from reviewers on this issue.
"In the case of a cold, dark warehouse we do not have any requirements as to how this must be physically accommodated inside of the building. We do require that recycling be addressed in tenant guidelines and that if they design/construct an exterior recycling or trash storage area that it be large enough to accommodate reasonable expected needs for recycling purposes.
They cannot build an area for trash only without accommodating recycling.
I agree that there is no benefit in creating possible interior plans. If they are not designing/building the exterior trash/recycling enclosure they are likely to have identified a couple of possible locations for it (as it simply must be
accommodated somewhere convenient on site), so it seems likely that they could call out possible locations for the enclosure and speak to the fact that it is large enough to accommodate both trash and recycling."
So despite the language on the form and a mandatory requirement for a floor plan, it is still the outside enclosure that is the focus of this credit.
I am trying to determine how many pounds of recycling waste per day my building will generate. Any specific formula to use? It is a 55,000 sq ft office building.
There are some good resources from state studies - like...
...but no known formulas.
Consider checking with recycling vendors in your area who may be able to provide weights from experience.
Additional waste reduction strategies that may help reduce the overall size/weight of anticipated collection are addressed here...
Any ideas why the Lease Agreement cannot be used for this prerequisite? Like others here, our building is an empty warehouse with no TI work. The client doesn't want to specify an interior or exterior space, but rather leave it flexible to meet a future Tenant's needs in the Lease Agreement. Constructing a recycling room just to be torn down, trashed, and rebuilt elsewhere during TI makes little sustainable sense to me.
I haven't heard of any other strategy, other than including the required storage area, working here. Consider that it is a dedicated "Area" not necessarily a separately built room. I have seen this type of storage built in under a counter or in the same room as bicycle storage, for example.
Could this be as simple as designating an open "area" on the open floor plan as recycling storage? We have no interior rooms or walls in the Core & Shell scope - would the reviewer accept this sort of submittal? We plan to include the requirement in the Lease Agreement anyways, because future tenants may choose to move the dedicated area.
We have the same question! Curt, have you had any response?
We submitted using the Lease Agreement despite the credit template's directions not to. I will respond when we get comments (a few more weeks away).
Hi Curt, sorry to bother you, have you had any response yet?
We just received comments, and no, the Lease Agreement is not allowed. However, the reviewer suggested we set aside exterior space (a truck dock, in our case) for our recycling storage area. This way a room would not have to be constructed, and in reality, tenants would bring their recyclables to a dumpster anyways. The layout will involve a trash and recycling dumpster side by side.
Great news Curt, thank you for your quick reply!
I am confused on how to document the floorplan requirement for this prerequisite. We have an exterior centralized location that I've marked on the site plan, but this is a core & shell space with no TIs at all, so I'm not sure what I'm supposed to mark on a floorplan. Our floorplans are entirely blank (no offices, no interior walls, no nothing beyond stairwells and restrooms.) It would be sad if I had to pay my architect to draw a floorplan just for this.
Sara, there is no specific requirement for interior plans that indicate the location of decentralized collection of recyclables. The intent of the credit is for the facility managers to have a plan for implementing recycling while making it easy for tenants to participate to the maximum level possible. Indicating the location of the centralized collection area on the exterior plan and provided a narrative description of the types of recycling addressed with a local hauler is adequate. See the Recycling Area Narrative sample under Documentation Toolkit for guidance.
Hi Sara and Lisa,
This is my question, too. And actually there is an explicit requirement on the credit form for the interior issues. "A floor plan highlighting recycling storage areas is required to document prerequisite compliance." This statement is entirely separate from the required narrative.
We have always interpreted this credit as being about the outside trash/recycling enclosure for the building. Yet the operational issues of collection amounts and frequency has crept into NC and CS, not just CI.
How are you responding to these parts? Are you just talking about the exterior enclosure in the narrative and adding some generalities about possible tenants to address volume and frequency? What are you uploading for the floor plan required?
An upload will be required and it needs to have a call-out for recyclables collection location. I think you are getting hung up on the "interior" and "floor plan" concepts which may be not appropriate for C&S. Though the standard language says "A floor plan highlighting recycling storage areas is required to document prerequisite compliance.", to me, this does not require the collection area to be interior. A site plan with exterior collection identified has worked in my experience.
As to providing the narrative with "generalities about possible tenants" volume, this element has become heavily reviewed. I think each project has to definitively describe and defend how they arrived at their volumes, to determine space areas, as each project is unique due to activities and local services.
Thanks for the response. I do tend to be literal but I agree that the volume issues are being heavily reviewed on all our varied projects. And the two elements together are what has led to my confusion about the floor plan vs. the site plan approach.
Our project is a speculative warehouse C&S. No tenants are currently known or contemplated. The space could have 1 or as many as 4 future tenants. I have absolutely no way to describe or defend volumes at all. All I would have done in the past is show the outside trash enclosure and size.
Other than to say that the size of the outside enclosure is based on the overall size of the warehouse and local jurisdication, what else could I possibly say about unknown tenant volumes?
I think you are the expert on your project and can identify the type of tenant you are targeting, their staffing levels anticipated from your experience and planning, and even the tenants typical activities that generate the addressed recyclables. No LEED Reviewer can know better about your project that you, so be confident, and clear, and you should not have to "defend".
I appreciate the optimism, Lisa. Our warehouse projects span quite a range of different potential tenant types from manufacturing to distribution to storage. All with very different profiles.
As you say, we are the experts on our project and what makes sense or doesn't in terms of information to require or provide with respect to an issue like this. I'll be sure and post the results of review comments. Thanks.
We are working on a retail/office CS project (2.0) and are looking at placing the recycling outside adjacent to the dumpster area, as the interior common areas don't accommodate all tenants very well. Is this acceptable? The building falls within the 5001-15,000sf, so the recommended recycling area is 125sf. If we can place it outside, does this 125sf area still apply, or will having the bin area achieve our prerequisite? And finally (yes, this is my first LEED project) do we need bins for all 5 non-hazardous materials, or can any of the materials be collected together? Thanks for any newbie help the community can offer.
Mark, you are on the right track. Please note that the sizing chart is just a guide and your project should can determine what's appropriate by working with your local haulers and other advisors. The intent is to have a plan that provides viable interior collection/storage and easy exterior storage/pick-up. You need to address the 5 specific types of recyclables stated in the credit language, but comingling of recyclables is common. Checkout the Documentation Toolkit section for samples of each element of prerequisite compliance.
Does LEED require some extra recyclng/collector space for office building projects with restaurants, as it is i.e. in BREEAMBuilding Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method, the first widely used green building rating system, developed in the U.K. in the early 1990s, currently used primarily in the U.K. and in Hong Kong. ?
BH, there is no specific area requirement for any specific building type in LEED.
If a project is implementing a trash compactor as an alternate method, will this comply with the prerrequisite requirements?
David, it's hard to see how a trash compactor would satisfy the prerequsite, which is about providing facilities for recycling. What did you have in mind?
I don't see a requirement in the Reference Guide or on the template for 'signage' on MRp1 recycling containers. Am I missing that requirement or is signage more of a convenience than a requirment --for users and vendors to avoid resorting or contamination? Thanks again, John
John, I'm not aware that there is a requirement relative to signage. This seems to fall more under implementation of a recycling plan, which is an important practice but not part of the credit requirements.
Sustainable Project Manager
Do you know which LEED credits have the most LEED Interpretations and addenda, and which have none? The Missing Manual does. Check here first to see where you need to update yourself, and share the link with your team.
LEEDuser members get it free >
LEEDuser is produced by BuildingGreen, Inc., with YR&G authoring most of the original content. LEEDuser enjoys ongoing collaboration with USGBC. Read more about our team
Copyright 2013 – BuildingGreen, Inc.