Demolition permit with recycling and deconstruction requirements

Minimum reuse and recycling requirements apply to demolition waste when you demolish a house built before 1950. Additionally, a deconstruction requirement applies when you demolish a heritage listed house, or a house built before 1910.

You may choose to voluntarily meet minimum reuse and recycling requirements if your house was built in or after 1950.

The City wants demolition materials to be dealt with in a responsible manner: reusing as much as possible, recycling as much as possible, and disposing of hazardous materials properly.

Use the tabs below for the requirements, application forms, and fees for demolition permits with recycling requirements. 

Waste compliance fee

Starting April 1, 2016, you need to pay a $350 non-refundable waste compliance fee as part of your demolition permit to ensure that Green Demolition Bylaw compliance reviews are done promptly. The refundable green demolition deposit will decrease to $14,650. Learn more in the Fees and deposits tab below.

Deconstruction: case studies for maximizing salvage

We strongly encourage projects to consider deconstruction rather than demolition. Deconstruction involves the stripping and dismantling of the building to maximize salvage for reuse. Salvaged materials can be sold or donated (which may generate tax credits). Fully deconstructed projects can achieve a 95% or higher diversion rate.

There are typically four steps of deconstruction:

  1. Assessment and quote, salvage, and abatement
  2. Interior stripping
  3. Exterior/structure deconstruction
  4. Excavation and site cleaning

See what deconstruction can look like with these Vancouver case studies :

Other permits you will need

Apply for your building or development permit first.

Plan to recycle and reuse materials

You will be required to complete a:

  • Recycling and Reuse Plan when you apply for your building or development permit
  • Recycling and Reuse Compliance Form when demolition is complete
  • A wood salvage report for demolition of heritage listed, or pre-1910 houses

You will not be able to request a building inspection(s) until a recycling compliance report has been submitted if your project includes a requirement to recycle material from the demolishing of an existing building(s).

Minimum reuse and recycling rates

The minimum reuse and recycling rates are measured by weight as follows:

  • Houses built before 1950: 75% of materials by weight, excluding hazardous waste
  • Houses built before 1950 and deemed character houses by the City: 90% of materials by weight, excluding hazardous materials

Unsure whether your home is a character house?

Homes located in zones with the possibility of conditional floor area need a character assessment done to determine the recycling rate, even if the development application is outright.

Applications with no potential conditionality don't currently need a character assessment – they'll have a 75% recycling and reuse requirement applied.

Still unsure? Contact the Development and Building Services Centre at 604-873-7611.

Deconstruction requirement

The minimum wood salvage requirement is three metric tonnes for:


How to dispose of specific materials

How to salvage and reuse materials

Find local contractors and facilities


  1. Prepare the following items:
    Item Notes
    Demolition checklist (153 KB) Application checklist for all required plans and documents. Find required forms
    Site profile form (BC Ministry of Environment) (50 KB) Complete the form using the guidance on completing site profile forms (BC Ministry of Environment) (310 KB) . If your project is exempt from completing a site profile, complete the site profile exemption declaration (50 KB)
  2. Submit the completed forms, supporting drawings, and permit fees listed in the Fees tab to the Development and Building Services Centre in person.
  3. The City reviews your development or building permit application for environmental considerations and impact on trees (both on City and private property).
  4. Receive your salvage and abatement permit.
    • Start removing non-structural salvageable building materials and hazardous building materials.
    • Track all work related to reuse, recycling, or disposing of building materials.
    • Keep your receipts.
  5. Have a qualified professional complete the Hazardous Materials Report Form (1.6 MB)
  6. Pay all deposits and fees at the Development and Building Services Centre, including the $14,650 green demo deposit (refundable if you meet the requirement).
  7. Receive your demolition permit(s) and begin taking down the house.
    • Track all work related to reuse, recycling, or disposing of building materials.
    • Keep your receipts.
  8. Complete the Recycling and Reuse Compliance Report (280 KB) with receipts that show where the materials were taken.
    • Email the report and receipts to as soon as possible to help the City process your building or development permit without delays.
  9. We verify, calculate, and return the appropriate refund.
    • The refund is automatically returned by mail to the person who paid it.
    • Make sure the City has an up-to-date address on file (particularly if you used the address of the now-demolished house).
    • If you haven't received your refund within four weeks of your building permit being issued, contact

Permit fees

The cost of a demolition permit has four components:

  1. Demolition permit fee
  2. Building permit fee
  3. Cost-of-work fee, based on the estimated retail cost of the demolition work.
  4. Demolition waste compliance fee ($360)

 These amounts only apply to the demolition permit itself. Other permits or licenses must be paid for separately, at the appropriate counter or department. The fees schedule has more information.

You pay the fees when you apply for the permit. You can pay by cash, cheque, debit, or credit.

Green demolition deposit and demolition waste compliance fee (starting April 1, 2016)

A $14,650 deposit will be required when you apply for a demolition permit with minimum reuse and recycling requirements.

The deposit will be refunded if the reuse and recycling requirements are met. To learn more, read how we review recycling and reuse compliance reports  (380 KB).

If the requirements aren't met, some or all of the deposit won't be returned in accordance with Appendix C of the Green Demolition Bylaw  (243 KB).

The $360 demolition waste compliance fee is a non-refundable fee to ensure that Green Demolition Bylaw compliance reviews are done promptly.

Where the rates are set

Minimum reuse and recycling rates for houses are set by the Green Demolition Bylaw (created July 22, 2014, and amended on February 23, 2016 and May 16, 2018). The bylaw supports the City's Greenest City Action Plan and Zero Waste 2040 Strategy.

Zero Waste Vancouver

We are building a zero waste strategy as an extension to the Greenest City Action Plan. Our goal is to become a zero waste community by 2040.

Using traditional demolition methods, approximately 40-50% of materials are recycled from houses. The recycling requirements applied to demolition permits are important for moving Vancouver towards becoming a zero waste city.

Metro Vancouver initiatives

Metro Vancouver's Integrated Regional Solid Waste and Resource Management Plan requires municipalities to improve recycling rates of demolition and construction waste, which makes up more than 36% of material going to the landfill.

Metro Vancouver's Integrated Solid Waste and Resource Management Plan targeted 80% diversion of construction and demolition waste from the landfill or incinerator by 2020.