Construction & Demolition (C&D) Debris Diversion Program

Effective January 1, 2017, a deconstruction survey is required on all single-family residences requesting a building demolition permit.


On October 24th, 2016, the Palo Alto City Council approved local amendments to the California Building Code that requires all single-family residential dwelling units required to obtain a demolition permit to complete a deconstruction survey provided by a third party approved by the Chief Building Official. The requirements reside within ordinance 5393.The survey shall include a list of materials that are reusable from the project, as well as the values of such materials. This information will be submitted as part of the Demolition Permit Procedures.

Debris Diversion Program

The City of Palo Alto’s construction and demolition (C&D) debris diversion requirements are located within Palo Alto Municipal Code (PAMC) Chapter 16.14 and are based on the California Green Building Code. All demolition permits (whole structure and interior non-structural) and all building permits with a valuation of $25,000 or greater are subject to the requirements. A minimum 80% construction waste reduction is required for all covered residential projects. A minimum 80% construction waste reduction is required for all covered commercial projects.

The specific municipal code sections that address debris diversion, as well as deconstruction and reuse of existing materials, are listed below:

Residential Projects (Single Family and Two-Family Residential Use)
PAMC 16.14.130: Section A4.105 Deconstruction and reuse of existing materials
PAMC 16.14.260: Section A4.408.1 Enhanced construction waste reduction

Commercial Projects (Commercial Uses and Multi-Family Residential Uses [with three or more units])
PAMC 16.14.370: Section A5.408 Construction waste, reduction, disposal and recycling
PAMC 16.14.130: Section 5.105 Deconstruction and reuse of existing structures

Green Halo Systems Debris Tracking Website
Construction and Demolition (C&D) Debris Diversion Program Handout

Description of Construction and Demolition (C&D) Debris Material Types

Contact Information

Contact C&D at (650)838-2828 or at

Click here for City of Palo Alto To view "real-time" debris diversion statistics visit the Palo Alto Waste Tracking Site.

House Deconstruction Videos:  Time-lapse videos of Palo Alto Single Family Residential Deconstruction.