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Mayor Jerry Sanders kicked off a city program today that aims to spur the recycling of construction debris such as asphalt, lumber and concrete.

The city of San Diego will now require builders to pay a deposit when doing construction, which would be refunded if they recycle half of the project’s debris.

Construction debris constitutes about 35 percent of the waste dumped annually at the Miramar Landfill, which under best-case scenarios will close in 2015. The recycling program aims to extend the dump’s life.

In 2005, the City Council approved an ordinance that would require homebuilders and others to recycle the debris. But the requirement was contingent on a debris-recycling facility opening inside city limits. The council approved a facility at the Miramar Landfill and the city’s Environmental Services Department selected a contractor to build it — but never approved the contract. The facility was never constructed.

Waste-hauling company Sanco, however, operates a facility in Lemon Grove.

ROB DAVIS

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