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 for New Construction and Major Renovations Version 2.2
Facilitate the reduction of waste generated by building occupants that is hauled to and disposed of in landfills.
Provide an easily accessible area that serves the entire building and is dedicated to the collection and storage of non-hazardous materials for recycling, including (at a minimum) paper, corrugated cardboard, glass, plastics and metals.
Coordinate the size and functionality of the recycling areas with the anticipated collection services for glass, plastic, office paper, newspaper, cardboard and organic wastes to maximize the effectiveness of the dedicated areas. Consider employing cardboard balers, aluminum can crushers, recycling chutes and collection bins at individual workstations 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.
This template is the flattened, public version of the dynamic template for this credit that is used within LEED-Online v2 by registered project teams. This and other public versions of LEED credit templates come from the USGBC website, and are posted on LEEDuser with USGBC's permission. You'll need to fill out the live version of this template on LEED Online to document this credit.
Documentation for this credit can be part of a Design Phase submittal.
During the final review of an older v2.2 project, MRp1 was rejected based on the "requirement" of 82 square feet of recycling space. There are a number of avenues we could pursue, however, the original approach was based on 82 square feet as a "recommendation". This particular building is not likely to generate enough waste to justify 82 sq ft being allocated to recycling.
LEEDuser (just above this thread) indicates that the values listed in the reference guide are "recommendations" and do not have to be met for the prerequisite to be successful. The third edition of the reference guide indicates they are minimums in the table, but the calculations section indicates they are guidelines. The reviewer on our project is dictating that the values are required.
Does anyone have experience with this conflict?
Tiffany - there has been a great deal of discussion about reviewer's comments under the 2009 versions of LEED. For examples, look under Schools-2009 MRp1: Storage and Collection of Recyclables
and CS-2009 MRp1: Storage and Collection of Recyclables. It seems that your "older" LEED project is being held to the more current review standard. I suggest you respond as the expert on your project and identify the type of users of the building, their staffing levels, and typical activities that generate the addressed recyclables volumes and defend your calculated space need. Make reference to studies that support your approach as part of your response to reviewer comments.
Thank-you for the suggestions. I think we can validate the existing space allocation using those details.
Sustainable Project Manager
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