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.)
Projects must provide enough space for the storage and collection of paper, corrugated cardboard, glass, plastic and metals.
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 New Construction and Major Renovations
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.
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.
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.
The following links take you to the public, informational versions of the dynamic LEED Online forms for each NC-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 can be part of a Design Phase submittal.
I have two hotel projects(190K & 98K) which will be filed as two separate LEED projects that have a combined cellar. As per reference guide sizing guideline, do I have to provide two individual centralized locations (275 SF minimum each) to meet credit intent, or can I provide one (500 SF) room to meet the prerequisite requirement for both projects?
I am working on a large development that has several buildings that are greater than 500,000 sf. Is there a good recommendation out there, in addition to the City of Seattle document, that clarifies how much recycling area I should set aside? For instance, I was hoping to be more specific than just 500 sf (as noted in the City of Seattle recommendation for projects over 200,001 sf). Also, the Reference Guide mentions that the City of Seattle has recommendations for commercial and residential spaces but the Table in the Reference Guide seems to just be for Commercial. Can someone help to point me in the direction of Residential guidelines for recycling?
Thanks so much!
I am usually able to find this information out by contacting the company that is responsible for picking up recycling in the area. They spend a bit of time with me discussing the size of the project, the use, the projected number of occupants and any unique aspects. Once they have this information, they then run some calculations and give me a count of bins or size of a larger bin and ideas for storage within the building. From what I've seen through my certifications and research, the USGBC doesn't seem to have a requirement for per person (if someone has seen a requirement somewhere, I'd love the link!), they just want to know that the Owner understands their waste stream and makes it easy to recycle/reuse.
Can the "dedicated space" be a space set aside in part of a bigger "back of house" service room (near loading dock)? Or does it actually have to be its own room with nothing else but collecting bins?
Michael, it does not have to be a dedicated room with four walls. It can be a dedicated space within a larger space. Something that you can show on your floor plan, and demarcate somehow.
We are pursuing LEED v2.2.
Our project have five separate residential building.
We will provide recycling area where each building entrance. But we don't know how much area is needed.
For LEED reference guide, it mention about commercial case only.
So, should I follow commercial case?
Please help me~~
Here's a California source that discusses residential generation rates...
You do not need to follow the LEED Reference Guide, but rather describe and defend your volume.
We planned to apply LEED for a factory which has a recycle yard. The yard is openned and will be used to sort the wast for recycling without any clear boundary of waste types. Will this comply with this credit.
If not, can we used the metal wire fence to create the 5-type waste zone which can be locked and secured. Will this help to comply?
It may be important to make recycling easier, and clearer, for building user's too. You should be able to identify on a floor plan where recyclables are collected on the interior, and then stored on the exterior. If the plan is for comingledA process of recycling materials that allows consumers to dispose of various materials (such as paper, cardboard, plastic, and metal) in one container that is separate from waste. The recyclable materials are not sorted until they are collected and brought to a sorting facility. recycling, there may be no need for fencing separating the types.
Has anyone found baseline data for amount of recycling generated in an office? To fill out the sample narrative provided in the Documentation Toolkit I have been looking for baseline numbers for recycling generated in an office (specifically a call center), such as pounds per employee per day. The CalRecycle website only seems to have data from the 1990's (http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/wastechar/WasteGenRates/Commercial.htm) and I am having a hard time finding another measured data on the amount of recycling or waste produced.
Yes the CalREcycle and other sources all use weight now - I remember in LEED v2 systems we had info on volumes broken down by all kinds of users like 1.1 cu ft paper/person/week. But I cannot locate my old reference materials ARGH! And the reviewer doesn't seem to see all the empty space in my hoteling office location available for future recyclable storage. The reviewer requests have become pretty frustrating on this subject given that we don't even have to provide the service...
Is there any reference about recycling area recommendation for general healthcare facilities in relation to square foot?, # of pacient?, health departments? or anyone has ever conduct calculations for waste stream for LEED HC (waste generation ratio). Thank you .
Maybe you can find something useful here:
The healthcare industry is all over this! First, look at the 2010 Facility Guideline Institute which is the healthcare guideline book. If you're doing a Hospital in the US, you already have this book. Second, check out Practice Greenhealth and the old Green Guide for Healthcare may also have something (LEED HC pilot). The best thing is to work with the materials management people at the hospital and understand what their waste is currently, what their waste streams are and then ask about their red bag waste as a percentage of their total waste stream. (If this is high, then reducing this can produce the savings to implement something else waste related.) Instead of applying a generality, work with the hospital on where they are at now.
Are you at the planning stage or trying to prove that the current conditions meet the capacity of the expansion? Most facilities have a limited loading dock situation that is not being impacted by the expansion project. They also have more flexible haul contracts with their waste haulers. We've successfully used this to earn the pre-req in hospital projects.
Thank Susan , and thank you Nadia as whell , currently we are at the planning stage of the project trying to give a real projection of what magnitude of waste will be , and i have already check de FGI guidelines and the other webpages you recommend, but i have not work yet with the tips you gave me about fieldwork and haulers, that is going to be my next step.
I would like to know if you agree with me about using the following references for waste generation calculations i've found (Nadia links ) from www.calrecycle.ca.gov and other hospital studies:
hospitals produce 0.0108 tons/sq ft /year
33.8 pounds /bed/day
I hope this is a correct aproach.
I would like if it's possible to sort plastic waste with other banal (common? I don't know the english word) industrial waste ? Or do we need a specific garbage ?
Thank you in advance for your answer,
Héloïse COUVERT - ETAMINE
The more recyclables collection the better; you just have to affirm the minimum 5 types (paper, corrugated cardboard, glass, plastics, metals) are able to be collected. Comingling of recyclables is fine.
I was wondering if post industrial waste is included by default in the recycling plan required by the MR prerequisite. If it didn't, adding this waste to a comprehensive plan may be an option for an innovation in design credit, would you agree?
Nadia, a recycling plan is not required for MRp1 so any kind of plan already goes beyond the prereq.
Your best bet would be to use one of the LEED-EBOM solid waste management credits as a model, and either stick with the scope of one or more of those credits, or expand on it, using similar methodology.
Based on review of CIRs and the comments on this forum I think our approach to this prerequisite would be acceptable, but I thought I'd see if anyone else out there wanted to weigh in. The project is a multi-story adaptive reuseAdapted reuse is the renovation of a space for a purpose different from the original. apartment project with a very long footprint composed of a 6-story tower with two-story wings on either side. We plan to provide a centrally located recycling dumpster outside the building behind the tower (in the vicinity of one of the general waste dumpsters), with adjacent access from the building for all occupants. A collection bin would be provided for each apartment unit for collection of comingledA process of recycling materials that allows consumers to dispose of various materials (such as paper, cardboard, plastic, and metal) in one container that is separate from waste. The recyclable materials are not sorted until they are collected and brought to a sorting facility. recyclables, and the residents would take their bin when full to the central exterior dumpster, which would be picked up on a weekly basis. Does this approach meet the intent of the prerequsite? Any input is appreciated; thanks!
Sounds good to me. Our multifamily strategies are similar. Keep in mind for documentation that reviewers now are most interested in metrics and the collection process inside the building, not just the dumpster enclosure SF and location on site. They'll want to know how much volume of recycling is expected and how big the containers are, along with the process and frequency you've described above. We have been getting our volume estimates from the future waste vendor.
We are working with a University that collects everything but Glass however that is detailed out in the special circumstances. Without checking the box marked for "Glass" in the form, it is not recognizing compliance. Does anyone know if we need to just mark it and rely on the explanation in the dialog box for reviewer documentation? Otherwise, it doesn't appear that we can check the status as "complete" in order to submit.....
I think you have identified the correct process and necessary steps. Be sure your narrative is clear and mentions if co-mingled collection is occurring.
There was 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. about this- #1803 "Given the location and infrastructure of your project,you will not be required to collect these materials that you cannot recycle. However, it should be noted that even if recycling does not exist [...] in the geographical area, space must be provided in the building in anticipation of recycling resources becoming available in the future. Please be sure to include a narrative with your submittal describing your recycling efforts[...]"
In the floor plan, is it required to document the recycling areas as paper, corrugated cardboard, glass, plastics and metals specifically or just designating as recycled areas in floor plan will be suffice for submission for this credit. Please let me know.
It's in your best interest to be as specific as possible with your documentation. That being said, if you're using co-mingled recycling, then you wouldn't need separate collection areas anyway.
How do we address the expected volume of recycling for the building question? This is a question we received recently on a design review, and I'm not certain how to address. Are there any good references? Or should it be a general statement that 'recycling receptacles have been provided to meet the expected needs of the occupant, collection frequency or the size of bins may be addressed for any additional or reduced needs'...
We have come across this same issue lately and it seems some reviewers/cases do want specific volume/capacity approximations.
If the hauler can't give a volume approximation, a way you might be able to do it (not sure if easiest or best at all) is a combination of resources from California Integrated Waste Management Board (Diversion % by Industry Groups http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/Publications/Disposal/34106006.pdf and Disposal Rates by Biz http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/wastechar/DispRate.htm ) along with a Volume-to-Weight Conversion http://www.recyclemaniacs.org/doc/measurement-tracking/conversions.pdf
It seems there should be a better resource out there?... would like to know as well if anyone has used!
Is this credit specifically for office waste or all waste streams?
I’m working on a large industrial factory building, and whilst the operator has a policy of recycling materials from the manufacturing process this is a very different process to the occupant-led recycling facilities and plan.
Would in internal layout drawing need to show the recycling areas on the factory floor?
The prerequisite requires a description and drawing that shows the "dedicated recycling storage areas" that are used to collect "paper; corrugated cardboard; glass; plastics; metals"; this may be quite different than the manufacturing process that reclaims pre-consumer material for reuse/recycling.
Our project is a campus of buildings in a remote, isolated hotel resort. Employees live within the LEED boundary. We will have a centralized storage area within the LEED boundary. We will document this with the plan and volume calcs based on occupancy of resort and employees. According to your synopsis above, this shoudl be sufficient. I want to make sure that we do not also have to supply designated storage areas within each individual building.
Depending on the size of the individual buildings, the reviewers may require you to provide designated storage areas with individual buildings that generate a large volume of waste. A main guest lodge with kitchen and dining facilities, for example, would probably need to have its own designated storage area. For other buildings the most important thing is to provide a narrative describing the waste management plan that explains how recyclables are being separated from other waste, collected on site, stored, and then where they go.
Since guest rooms or small outbuildings are probably maintained by housekeeping staff, it might be acceptable to have two labeled waste bins in a room - one for all recyclables, and one for other landfill trash. The narrative will need to describe who collects these, how often, where they are taken, how they are sorted and stored, etc.
Which size would be this? We have a similar situation as Kenneth's - 8 residential towers on a campus, a central restaurant buildings that serves these towers, and a central gym also. I'm wondering now if our resturant will need oits own designated storage area...
LEED for Schools requires a project to divert yard clippings from landfills. Is the same true for LEED BD+C 2009?
Joanna, that was true in earlier versions of LEED for Schools but is no longer the case in LEED for Schools 2009 MRp1, or in other BD+C systems.
Can we count space for collection of recyclables inside the dwelling units towards the SF for recyclable storage; reducing the overall size of the central storage?
Follow-up - If the answer is yes to part one of this question:
Is one cabinet or “bin” within the units enough?
Jean, there is no specific requirement for square footage to meet the MRp1 requirements. The recommendations shown above are recommendations, but not binding.
The proper course is to allot enough square footage so that your building's recycling program will be effective. That will be your own judgement call. If all the recycling from the individual units winds up in the central location, I would hesitate to reduce its size, though, since the in-unit bin space is not performing the same function as the central space.
Presumably the actual collection point will be a recycling dumpster (or dumpsters) outside the building - so a central collection point inside the building would not make sense unless there were one for trash as well - which there is not (this is a four story 16-unit mixed-use building). So I guess the ultimate question is whether or not the collection must be in a centralized location inside the building irregardless of building type to meet the preRequisite?
Jean, when documenting this credit on LEED Online the first thing you'll be asked for is this following narrative:
"Describe the dedicated recycling storage areas in the project building. Include the size of the area, accessibility, and expected volume for the building, as well as collection frequency. Demonstrate that recycling storage areas are appropriately sized and located. Please refer to corresponding reference guide for guidelines on size of recycling storage areas."
To answer your question, I would say no, a centralized interior location is not required by the credit, but you will have to justify your system and reasoning in this narrative.
Tristan - so a separate dumpster outside the building for recycling would qualify, as long as it is appropriately sized?
I am working on a project in a city with no recycling pick-up service, and the LEED Reference guide says that the project should still provide adequate space for future recycling efforts.
Therefore, if I put those two things together, will it be sufficient to provide an empty paved spot next to the garbage dumpster for the future recycling dumpster? All we would need is a site plan showing the potential location of the recycling dumpster (and won't need an interior recycling room). Of course, we would still have the narrative to justify the sizing. Do I understand this correctly? Thank you.
Pete, this approach sounds reasonable to me. Note that the documentation asks not only about size but also location. I think you would want to show (probably in a narrative) that a recycling program in the building would work with the outside dumpster, i.e. that occupants could reasonable access it. If there is some indoor collection point(s), all the better.
Also note that the MRp1 credit language calls for space supporting the collection and storage of several types of materials. A single dumpster seems to assume that the future recycling pickup service would be comingledA process of recycling materials that allows consumers to dispose of various materials (such as paper, cardboard, plastic, and metal) in one container that is separate from waste. The recyclable materials are not sorted until they are collected and brought to a sorting facility., which may not be the case.
So, your approach does sound reasonable, as I said, but I would make sure to really think through all the credit requirements.
i m working on a 50 floor residential high rise building i im finding a problem in finding a way to allow for the segregation of teh recyclables so.i m thinking of providing a garbage room on each floor with a garbage chute and a central collection areas in the ground floor.my questions are:
1-do i need to provide garbage chute for each recyclable like for paper one garbage chute,for metals one garbage chute throwing to the related bin in the central room.
2- or shall we contract with a company who will collect the garbage from one central garbage chute where they will segregate the garbage in the bins.
3- or is there any other ideas to segregate the recyclables by the occupants in acceptable way
please note we are talking about high rise building and if it snot practical for the occupant to throw his segregate bags in the central room
can anyone help me
I would suggest:
1) One main garbage room, with space to store, sort recyclables and normal garbage - groundfloor or basement depending on access.
2) Per Floor, assuming each floor has a tee kitchen...
2.1) Bin for normal rubbish - in teekitchen
2.2) Bin for co-mingled plastics, packaging, glass, metals - in tee kitchen
3) In office spaces, paper bins
4) Either dedicated garbage elevator terminating in / next to main garbage room
x1 garbage shoot for co-mingled recyclables and Paper (using plastic bin liners should keep these seperate); x1 for normal rubbish; for glass ...bring glass down by hand (simply because I imagine a 50 floor fall for anything glass will result in SMASHING).
5) Contract company to pick up a) co-mingled recyclables for off-site processing b) pick up paper waste c) pick up glass waste (maybe with a)) and d) pick up normal rubbish.
...I'm no Architect. I would get some proper reading on how to plan these.
Is there a hauler you can contract with who will take single-stream or comingledA process of recycling materials that allows consumers to dispose of various materials (such as paper, cardboard, plastic, and metal) in one container that is separate from waste. The recyclable materials are not sorted until they are collected and brought to a sorting facility. garbage from the building, and sort it in an off-site facility? If so, you would simply use a single chute for all waste, including space in the basement to collect it, and haul it off-site.
LEED does not require you to segregate recyclables, as long as they can be collected and later recycled.
Sustainable Project Manager
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