Local governments are required to develop comprehensive solid waste management plans. These plans serve as a guiding document for local governments' solid waste programs, including detailing all existing solid waste handling facilities within a county (or city planning independently) and 20-year estimates for needed future solid waste facilities. The plan also provides detailed information on recycling programs, waste reduction, reuse strategies, and schedules for program implementation.
Local governments are also required to plan for reducing small-volume hazardous materials and wastes, or moderate risk wastes. These plans are known as local hazardous waste management plans and have separate requirements from local comprehensive solid waste management plans. As cities and counties implement and update their solid waste plans, some have chosen to combine the two plans or simultaneously revise their local hazardous waste management plan.