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Recycling Market Development Zone Program

Are you a manufacturer that uses recycled materials to make new products or that converts them into materials that can be used to make other products? Do you need assistance in marketing your recycled-content products? Well, the the Recycling Market Development Zone(RMDZ) Program can help you!

Find out more about the program and the financial assistance it can offer.


The RMDZ Program provides incentives to businesses that:

  • Use recycled materials to make new products;
  • Prevent or reduce waste as part of their manufacturing processes;
  • Process or recondition (add value) a product to enable it to be reused again; or that 
  • Use anaerobic digestion to convert biodegradable feedstock such as food waste, green waste, and agricultural residuals into high value products, such as soil amendments, fertilizers, electricity, or renewable gas or hydrogen.

It combines recycling with economic development to foster new businesses, expand existing ones, and create jobs. 

Santa Barbara Regional RMDZ

The Santa Barbara Regional RMDZ is one of nearly 40 RMDZs in California and includes the County of Santa Barbara, encompassing the unincorporated areas of the County, as well as the cities of Buellton, Goleta, Lompoc, Santa Barbara, and Santa Maria.  If you have any questions about the RMDZ Program, please contact the Zone Administrator at the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce at

The following types of assistance are available:

RMDZ Loan Program

Low-interest loans with the following features are available to private businesses and nonprofit organizations that are located within the Santa Barbara Regional RMDZ:    

  • Fixed interest rate for term of loan;
  • Maximum loan term is 15 years, if secured by commercial real estate;
  • Maximum loan term is 10 years, if not secured by commercial real estate, and is based on the useful life of the asset(s) being financed; and
  • Loan will fund up to 75 percent of the direct costs for an eligible project or up to $2 million, whichever is less.

Funds may be used for:

  • Purchase of machinery and equipment;
  • Working capital;
  • Purchase of real estate;
  • Real estate improvements;
  • Refinancing of onerous debt that results in increased diversion; and
  • Financing of loan closing points.

The goals are to increase the diversion of non-hazardous solid waste from landfills and to foster market demand for secondary and postconsumer materials.

Examples of Eligible Projects

Eligible projects fall into one of three categories:

Waste Prevention

These projects change the way products are made or packaged to prevent or reduce solid waste.

  • Modifying equipment or processes to make products using less raw materials or packaging;
  • Changing to new equipment or machinery to reduce the waste generated.


These projects prolong the useful life of a product through the repair, reconditioning, washing, or treatment of a worn or used product that enables the product to be used again for its originally intended purpose.

  • Resurfacing or sawing reclaimed lumber from buildings to make decking and paneling;
  • Separating construction and demoliton debris and other salvageable items by material type for sale;
  • Cutting used textiles for use as industrial rags (e.g. for cleaning or painting).

Recycling, Composting, and Anaerobic Digestion

A manufacturer may produce a raw material/feedstock for use by another manufacturer that processes the material or that makes a final product.

  • Cleaning agricultural and commercial plastic film;
  • Making recycled-content plastic pellets, flakes, or chips;
  • Producing crumb rubber from recovered tires;
  • Making mulch or compost;
  • Manufacturing glassware (e.g. tableware, trophies, vases) from recycled glass;
  • Using anaerobic digestion to convert biodegradable feedstock, such as food waste and green waste, into high value products.

Technical Assistance

The following examples of technical assistance are available:

  • Finding sources of secondary materials and processes for a variety of material types, such as plastics, paper, construction and demolition debris, and tires;
  • Locating a site or property for a new business or for an existing business wishing to relocate;
  • Refering a business to other sources of technical information, including online sources of information, and to other state and federal programs; and
  • Identifying other potential funding sources.

Marketing Assistance

The following types of marketing assistance are available to businesses through CalRecycle:

  • Recycle Store, an on-line store to help a business sell its recycled-content products that are manufactured in RMDZs (;
  • Recycled-Content Product Manufacturers Directory, an on-line directory of manufacturers that make intermediate products for use in making final products and companies that make final products using recycled materials.  Manufacturers may have their products listed and searches may be conducted by product, company, or county (;
  • Referrals of businesses to industry-specific materials exchanges to assist them in locating specific feedstocks or in selling their products;
  • Links between zone businesses, where one company's products may serve as another firm's feedstock; and
  • Assistance to out-of-state businesses seeking to site in California to identify RMDZs that meet their selection criteria and to provide referrals to those zones.

Local Incentives

Depending on the jurisdiction, the following types of additional incentives may be available:

  • Relaxed building codes and zoning laws
  • Streamlined permitting processes
  • Reduced taxes and licensing and
  • Finding secondary material feedstock

More information

If you would like more information about the Santa Barbara Regional RMDZ Program, please contact the Zone Administrator, at To view a brochure on the Santa Barbara Regional RMDZ, please click on: RMDZbrochure final.pdf

To obtain information about the RMDZ program from CalRecycle's website, visit: