United States
                                  Environmental Protection
                            Solid Waste and
                            Emergency Response
           Spring 1990
                                         NBE39V  B m
Recycling  Makes the Grade in Schools
                   Education comes
                   in many forms.
                In  addition  to
                teaching  reading,
                writing, and  arith-
                metic, it can also
                give young people
the tools to meet society's challenges.
One of the lessons that schools can
teach is an increased awareness of the
environmental problems we face, and
how individuals of all ages can  work
together to meet these challenges.
   Many educators have already begun
imparting positive attitudes and  in-
creased awareness  of environmental
issues in their classrooms. To supple-
ment these efforts, EPA has developed
a comprehensive educational program
to promote recycling and waste aware-
ness in schools. This program, created
in conjunction with national education
and teacher associations, currently
consists  of five publications aimed
directly at students and teachers:

• Let's Recycle: A Curriculum  for
   Solid Waste Awareness (EPA/
   530-SW-90-005). Presents lessons
   and activities to teach students in
   grades K-12 about solid waste
   generation and management. The
   curriculum covers such  issues as
   the value of natural resources, the
   importance  of recycling, and the
   responsibility each person bears for
   the generation and disposal of his or
   her trash. It also teaches a variety of
   skills including science, vocabulary,
   mathematics, and creative writing.
• School Recycling Programs: A
   Handbook  for Educators (EPA/
   530-SW-90-023). Describes dif-
   ferent types of school recycling
   programs, along with step-by-step
   instructions on how to set up actual
   projects. It also highlights several
   success stories  from across the
   country and provides instructions
   for applying to the President's En-
   vironmental Youth Awards Pro-
   gram, which has honored several
   school recycling projects!

•  Adventures of the Garbage Grem-
   lin: Recycle and Combat a Life of
   Grime (EPA/530-SW-90-024). In-
   troduces students in grades 4-7 to
   the benefits of recycling through an
   engaging  comic book approach.
   Students are led on a lively adven-
   ture where they encounter the
   problems associated with garbage
   and watch their peers foil a scheme
   of the  "Garbage Gremlin" to make
   their school his new home. The "Gar-
   bage Gremlin" symbolizes the waste-
   ful habits in our society that we must
   work to recognize and overcome.

•  Ride the Wave of the Future:
   Recycle Today! (EPA/530-SW-90-
   010). A colorful poster designed to
   promote  recycling at  all  grade
   levels. A joint effort between EPA
   and the National Science Teachers
   Association, the poster appeared in
  ' the February issue  of The Science
   Teacher and can  be displayed in
   conjunction with recycling activities
   or used to help foster recycling.

H  Recycle Today! An Educational
   Program  for Grades K-12 (EPA/
   530-SW-90-025). Presents the
   goals and objectives of EPA's Recy-
   cling Program, and describes the
   four educational resources listed
   above in a concise pamphlet.

   EPA plans to begin distributing
these materials in April 1990, as part of
Earth Day activities. For more informa-
tion, write to Mia Zmud, Office of Pro-
gram Management and Support
(OS-305), U.S. EPA, 401 M Street, SW,
Washington, DC 20460.
 In this Issue
Recycling Makes the
Grade in Schools (p. 1)

Congress Sees a Bumper
Crop of Solid Waste
Management Bills (p. 2)

Loans Help Small Busi-
nesses Curb Pollution

A Look at Plastic Wastes

The Degradabie Plastics
Debate (p. 3)

Build Your Own Compost
Pile (p. 4)

Household Hazardous
Waste Management Con-
ference Hits Home (p. 5)

The SWICH Is On (p. 5)

New Standards for MSW
Combustors (p. 5)

Source Reduction "Til the
Cows Come Home" (p. 6)

New York Regional Office
Procures Reams of
Recycled Copier Paper

Putting Our Agenda Into
Action (p. 7)

Junk Your Junk Mail (p. 7)

Decision-Maker's Guide
and Peer Match Programs

Congress Sees  Bumper  Crop
of Solid  Waste  Management Bills
   The rapidly growing interest in source
   reduction and recycling has found a
voice at the national level. Members of
the Senate and the House of Repre-
sentatives have introduced over 100
new bills related to solid waste manage-
ment so far this session. In addition, on
February 26, Congress adopted a joint
resolution declaring April 1990 "Nation-
al Recycling Month."

Senate Seeks Solid Waste Solutions
   In the Senate, attention has focused
on two bills introduced by Senators Max
Baucus and John Chafee.
   The Baucus bill would  establish a
national waste prevention and manage-
ment policy for all types of waste, giving
highest priority to source reduction and
recycling, and require states to develop
solid waste management plans consis-
tent with this policy.  It would also set
national goals for waste reduction (10
percent within 4 years) and recycling
(25 percent within 4 years, 50 percent
within 10); establish a National Packag-
ing Institute to develop standards for
packaging and to encourage their use
through public education; and provide a
10 percent price preference for federal
procurement of recycled products. In
addition, the bill would establish new
requirements  for solid  waste in-
cinerators, restrict solid waste exports,
require permits  for solid waste treat-
ment and disposal facilities, and allow
forthe prohibition of products containing
hazardous substances from  in-
cinerators or landfills.
   The Chafee bill focuses on source
reduction and recycling  of solely
municipal waste. The bill would establish
an Office of  Waste  Reduction within
EPA, set forth detailed state planning
requirements; establish grants, low-in-
terest loans,  and loan guarantees to
promote source reduction and recycling;
and prohibit the permitting of new in-
cinerators unless their capacity leaves at
least  50 percent of the waste stream in
the proposed service territory available
for waste reduction and recycling.

Cleaning Up in the House
   The farthest reaching bill regarding all
types of solid waste has been introduced
by Representative Thomas Luken in the
     Over 100 solid waste bills have been
introduced in Congress so far this session.
House. It would establish a national policy
for solid waste management that gives
preference to waste reduction and recy-
cling, encourage  markets for recycled
products, and tighten standards for dis-
posal of municipal solid waste. The bill
would also give EPA authority to promul-
gate waste reduction regulations, such as
specifications for product design and
composition, process modification, and
                                materials substitution. In  addition, it
                                would allow states to ban the importa-
                                tion of solid waste if they have an ap-
                                proved EPA waste management plan
                                and are implementing it, and would es-
                                tablish a $7.50 fee on each ton of virgin
                                material used in 12  industrial cate-
                                gories, providing  a $300 million Recy-
                                cling Assistance and  Solid Waste)
                                Management Planning Fund.
  Loans Help Small Businesses

  Curb Pollution

                                      Small businesses seeking compli-
                                      ance with federal, state, or local
                                   environmental regulations now have
                                   a new source of assistance thanks to
                                   the U.S. Small Business Administra-
                                   tion (SBA) Pollution Control  Loans
                                   (PCLs).  This program, authorized
                                   under the Small  Business Act,
                                   provides loans to small businesses for
                                   financing the planning, design, or in-
                                   stallation of pollution control facilities.
                                      "Under this new program, the SBA
                                   can and will guarantee bans to af-
                                   fected small businesses of up to one
                                   million dollars," says Karen  Brown of
                                   EPA's Asbestos and Small Business
  ~             !                    Ombudsman.
                                      PCLs may be used to fund any
  "pollution control facility," which the regulations define  as any facility  "likely to
  help prevent, reduce, abate or control noise, air or water pollution or contamina-
  tion..." or to be used "forthe collection, storage, treatment, utilization, processing
  or final disposal of solid or liquid waste." Funds for "resource recovery"
  (recycling) facilities may also be authorized, if an appropriate environmental agency
  can verify the usefulness of the project for pollution abatement.
    To be eligible for a PCL, a small business must be independently owned and
  operated, not be  dominant in its field, and be able to meet SBA's credit and
  collateral criteria. Applicants must provide plans or specifications for the proposed
  facility, as well as realistic cost estimates  detailing how the project will be
  completed with available funds. The application should also include copies of
  any regulations that pertain to the project.
     For more information about the program and application procedures, contact
  any regional, state, or local SBA off ice or the Office of Small and Disadvantaged
  Business Utilization (703)557-1938.
   "Under this new
 program,  the SBA
      can and will
 guarantee loans to
    affected small
businesses of up  to
one million dollars,"

A  Look  at  Plastic Wastes
  If Hollywood ever makes a sequel to
  the  movie, The Graduate, Dustin
Hoffman might well be advised that in-
stead of "plastics," the future is in "plastic
waste." Since 1950, the use of plastics in
products and packaging has increased
over 10 percent annually. Plastic wastes
currently make up approximately 7 per-
cent of the municipal waste stream by
weight, but from 14 to 21 percent by
   EPA recently released  its Report to
Congress on Methods to  Manage  and
Control Plastic Wastes. Mandated by the
1987  Plastic  Pollution Research  and
Control Act, the Report assesses the en-
vironmental, technical, and policy issues
related to plastic waste disposal, includ-
ing plastics in the marine  environment,
and outlines  a number of initiatives to
minimize the impacts associated with,
disposal activities.
   The Report analyzes three alterna-
tive management practices for plastic
wastes: source reduction, recycling,
and the use of degradable plastics.
media attention, the environmental
benefits of these plastics have not been
proven. While EPA does not believe that
these materials will reduce the landfill
capacity problem, certain specific ap-
plications may be beneficial (see article
       Only about 1  percent of  all plastics are
                      currently recycled.
   Source reduction can reduce the over-
all toxicity and volume of plastic wastes,
although the Report cautions that replac-
ing plastics with alternative materials may
not always yield desired results.
   Soda bottles and milk jugs are the
only plastics commonly recycled today,
with about 20 percent being recycled.
Only about 1 percent of all plastics are
recycled, however. A major hurdle to
widespread plastics recycling is the lack
of a means to sort a mixture of plastics
into single resins, but technologies cur-
rently under development should be
able to overcome this barrier.
   While  degradable plastics  are
receiving a great deal of public and
below). More information is needed be-
fore such use can be promoted, however.
   The Report  also analyzes plastic
wastes in the marine environment. A
large  number of seal, turtle, and bird
species have been harmed due to en-
tanglement in fishing nets, ropes, bev-
erage container rings, and other plastic
items, or after ingesting plastics. Also,
plastic wastes washing onto beaches
have  had economic repercussions in
some communities due to cleanup
costs and  lost  tourist  revenues. The
Report concludes with EPA's agenda of
objectives and action items to continue
to address issues  associated with
plastic wastes.
The Degradable Plastics  Debate
        Wouldn't it be great if solid waste
        would just vanish? Such is the
        implied promise of degradable
 plastics—products would be used and
 then just disappear. Degradable  plas-
 tics sound ideal, but the reality is much
 more complicated.

 What Are Degradable Plastics?
   "Normal" plastic products degrade
 very slowly. To  increase degradation,
 some manufacturers have added a sun-
 sensitive component to their plastic
 products and packaging that triggers
 physical disintegration when exposed
 to sunlight (photodegradation). Another
 technology involves adding a  natural
 polymer, such as cornstarch or vege-
 table oil, that degrades when exposed
 to microorganisms in the appropriate
 environment, resulting in smaller pieces
 of plastic (biodegradation).

 Of Cabbages and Carrots
   There is a popular theory that the
 more our garbage degrades, the  more
 room there will be in landfills for addi-
 tional refuse. In truth, researchers have
 found that degradation in landfills oc-
 curs very slowly due to lack of sunlight
 and oxygen. Cabbages  and  carrots
 have been unearthed in landfills that are
 still recognizable after many years of
 burial. Thus,  degradable  plastics will
 have little, if any, effect on landfill opera-
 tion or space.
   The same is true for combustors. In
 most cases, waste will be combusted
 before any degradation begins, so
 degradable plastics will have little or no
 impact on combustion.
   Degradable plastics also do not re-
 duce the volume  or toxicity of waste
 produced. In fact, some degradable plas-
 tics contain more material than "normal"
 plastics. Since adding degradable com-
 ponents can weaken the strength of  a
 plastic product or package,  manufac-
 turers may design thicker items (with
 more plastic) to compensate.
   In addition, recyclers  fear that
 degradable plastics will complicate or
prevent recycling of plastic wastes into
new products that perform well. As
more is learned about how degradable
plastic bags work, however, they may
prove useful in collecting and compost-
ing yard waste.

Potential Benefits
    If they perform  appropriately,
degradable plastics may help reduce
risks to wildlife and aesthetic damage
from items such as six-pack beverage
rings, cups, and wrappers. There is,
however, some concern as to whether
the smaller bits of plastic resulting from
degradation may pose a  continuing
threat to wildlife. Additionally, there is a
question as to  whether degradability
might  encourage littering. EPA  has
raised these issues with manufacturers
of degradable plastics and is hopeful
that its research and that of the plastics'
industry will provide answers to these

    Reusable News answers the questions asked most frequently of EPA's
    RCRA Hotline.  In recent weeks, the pile of unsolicited catalogues,
advertisements, and coupons that comes to our homes, otherwise known
as "junk mail," concerned many callers.

Q: May consumers shred their "junk mail" and add it to a.compost pile?

A: EPA is not currently recommending consumer composting of junk mail.
Shredded junk mail may be acceptable compost material, but little is known
about how inks on the paper may affect the quality of the compost. The best
way to get rid of junk mail is to stop it at the source. You can do this by writing
to the Direct Mail Marketirtg Association (see article on page 7). Any junk mail
you might still receive should be recycled if your program accepts it.
                                                                       Build Your Own
                                                                       Compost Pile
The following publications are available at no charge from the EPA RCRA Hotline.
CaH (800)424-9436 Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. EST.  .

Methods to Manage and Control Plastic Wastes - Executive Summary
(EPA/530-SW-89-051 A). An overview of a report exploring the environmen-
tal, technical, and policy issues related to plastic waste disposal. (Ask the
Hotline how to receive a full copy of the report.)
Decision-Maker's Guide to Solid Waste Management (Volume I)
(EPA/530-SW-89-072). A guidebook designed to  help  local  and state
decision-makers understand and evaluate their current waste management
America's War on Waste (EPA/530-SW-90-002). An environmental fact
sheet describing EPA's completed publications, current activities, and future
activities related to municipal solid waste management.
Office Paper Recycling: An Implementation Manual (EPA/530-SW-90-
001). A comprehensive guide describing all  aspects of setting up an office
paper recycling program,  including finding markets, developing a collection
system, and educating employees.

Sites for Our Solid Waste: A Guidebook for Effective Public /nvo/ve-
menf (EPA/530-SW-90-019). A guidebook for developing a municipal solid
waste facility siting strategy that involves the community.
Plastics: The Facts About Production, Use, and Disposal(EPA/530-SW-
90-017A). A fact sheet reviewing major uses of plastics and impaicts of
The Facts About Plastics In the Marine Environment (EPA/530-S W-90-
017B). A fact sheet summarizing the main sources and impacts of plastics
found in the ocean.
Plastics: The Facts on Source /?ecfucf/on(EPA/530-SW-90-Ol7C). A fact
sheet describing the possibilities for source reduction of different types of
plastic products.
77ie Facts on Degradable Plastics (EPA/530-SW-017D). A fact  sheet
outlining the information  currently available on degradable  plastics, their
uses, and impact on humans and the environment.
The Facts on Recycling Plastics (EPA/530-SW-90-017E). A fact  sheet
summarizing the opportunities available for recycling plastics, and the
current state of plastics recycling technology.
     Yard wastes, primarily leaves and
     grass clippings, currently make
     up  approximately 18 percent of
the municipal  solid waste  stream
nationwide, though that  amount
varies from  region to region and by
time of the year. Yard wastes are easily
composted into a humus-like soil amend-
ment for lawns or gardens.

   To make a compost pile:

•  Clear a 3-foot square i level area of
   sod and grass.      \

•  Construct a bin out of [chicken wire,
   scrap wood, or cinder blocks. The
   bin should have one side that can be
   opened for easy access.

•  Place coarse  brush at |the bottom of
   the pile to allow air to circulate in the
   bin.                !

•  On top of the brush, create a 6- to
   10-inch layer of plant  material, in-
   cluding grass clippings  and  leaves.

•  Add a  few inches of alfalfa meal or
   cat litter to help absorb odors.

•  Follow this with a 2- to 3-inch layer
   of soil or manure.

•  Repeat this layering sequence, alter-
   nating  between the plant  material
   and soil, until the pile is 4 feet high.

•  Keep the pile moist and turn with a
   pitchfork every  few weeks to dis-
   tribute  air and moisture. The pile will
   feel hot, and  worms may be seen;
   these are signs that the natural com-
   posting process is working.

   In most climates, the compost is
done in 3 to 6 months when it becomes
a dark crumbly material that is uniform
in texture. Spread  it  in the garden, on
yard beds, or under shrubbery.  You can
also use the compost as potting soil.

Peer  Match Programs  Lend  a Helping Hand
     As officials grapple with solid
     waste issues in their com-
     munities, many are finding
they need more information or practi-
cal experience to  help them  make
decisions. Now there are programs
that can help. EPA currently sponsors
three programs for officials facing
solid waste decisions.
   Two of them, the Peer Exchange
Program and the Public-Private Part-
nerships Program,  were initiated
and are run by the International City
Management Association (ICMA).
The two programs provide assis-
tance  in solid waste management,
ground-water protection, and waste-
water  treatment.  The  Peer Ex-
change Program  matches  com-
munity leaders with their "peers"
(local  decision-makers from other
communities) who have successful-
ly dealt with these  issues.
   The Public-Private  Partner-
ships Program provides advice to
local government officials on
developing a working relationship
with private  sector corporations.
Community officials are welcome to
apply for assistance under either of
these  programs. Anyone with
relevant experience can also get in-
volved as an advisor. Call (202) 289-
4262 or write to ICMA, 777  North
Capitol Street, NE, Washington, DC
   The most recently established
program,  administered  by the
Governmental  Refuse Collection
and Disposal Association (GRCDA)
and the National Recycling Coalition
(NRC), is  the  Peer Match Pro-
gram.  This program matches offi-
cials needing assistance with their
peers in government, academia, or
the field of solid waste.
   The Peer Match Program pro-
vides technical assistance in many
areas of waste management, includ-
ing planning,  implementation
mechanisms,  institutional  ap-
proaches, source reduction, collection
and transfer,  recycling, composting,
combustion (incineration and waste-
to-energy), and land disposal. Assis-
tance comes in a variety of forms,
including site visits, written correspon-
dence, telephone conversations,
referrals, library resources,  and the
personal experience of members of
GRCDA and NRC. If you need assis-
tance with solid waste management, or
would  like to become involved in this
program, write to the Peer Match Pro-
gram,  P.O. Box 7219, Silver Spring,
Maryland 20910, or call (800)456-
  It A-Peers  To  Be a Match!
      The ICMA Peer Exchange Pro-
      gram  has made several
      matches in the area of munic-
  ipal solid waste management.
    Last year, a 10-town regional
  authority  in northeast Connecticut
  (serving a population of over 70,000)
  needed assistance in developing a
  waste disposal and  reduction
  strategy for rural communities. The
  program matched the authority with
  Buck's County, Pennsylvania, which
  has developed and implemented an
  integrated waste  management
    In  October 1989, the authority's
  regional recycling coordinator,
  senior planner, and  president
  traveled to Buck's County and met
  with the  county's waste manage-
  ment team. The 2-day exchange in-
  volved tours of the county's landfill
  and methane recovery site, recycling
  center, and various recycling
  programs. The group also met with
  the private corporation assisting in
  the county's recycling efforts.
   The  GRCDA/NRC  Peer  Match
 Program  is also, quite a match-
 maker. Recently, Jack DeBell helped
 the State  University of New York,
 College at New Paltz, establish a
 campus recycling program.  DeBell
 runs a campus recycling program at
 the University of Colorado and has
 over 13 years experience designing
and implementing recycling pro-
grams. The College at New Paltz had a
pilot recycling program underway, and
was interested in promoting recycling
on campus. DeBell toured the campus,
gave a presentation on how to make a
campus recycling program  work, and
evaluated a proposal to promote a per-
manent program.

           A User's  Manual to MSW  Management
                                                       he problems that challenge decision-makers in the
                                                       field of municipal solid waste management are more
                                                       complex than ever before. For example,; in the next
                                                   few years alone, thousands of landfills will close—either
                                                   because they are full or because they do not meet the strict
                                                   standards set for their design and operation. At the same
                                                   time, the nation will continue to generate more and more
                                                   municipal solid waste.                   I
                                                      We are, however, witnessing the birth of innovative
                                                   solutions to these problems in communities across the
                                                   nation, solutions that combine planning, foresight, and
                                                   cooperation among all the different groups involved. To
                                                   keep decision-makers informed of these new! techniques
                                                   and approaches, EPA has  published an update to the
                                                   Decision-Maker's Guide to Solid Waste Management.
                                                      Originally published in 1976, the guide has successfully
                                                   aided many communities in managing their waste. Due to
                                                   the multi-faceted nature of today's evolving waste manage-
  ment technology, this edition of the Decision-Maker's Guide has been subdivided into two manageable volumes.
    Volume I contains information designed to help policy-makers understand and evaluate theircurrent waste rnanagement
  problems; it also presents possible solutions and describes the interrelationships between various waste rr)anagement
  options. Volume II, which will be issued later in 1990, will contain detailed information directed at managers responsible
  for implementing and integrating the chosen waste management approaches.

    Contents of the Decision-Maker's Guide to Municipal Solid Waste Management (Vol. 1):

                          1.   Integrated Waste Management
                          2.   Factors Affecting Municipal Waste Decisions
                          3.   Local Municipal Waste Management
                          4.   Collection and Transfer
                          5.   Source Reduction                       .                :
                          6.   Recycling
                          7.   Composting
                          8.   Municipal Waste Combustion
                          9.   Land Disposal .
                          10. Special Wastes
                          1.1. Public Education and Involvement
                          12. Financing and Revenues
                          13. Conclusions
To receive a copy of the Decision-Maker's Guide to Municipal Solid Waste Management, fill in this coupon and send it to U.S.
EPA (OS-305), 401 M Street, SW, Washington, DC 20460:

   Name	-	

   Number of Copies (up to 5)

Household  Hazardous Waste
Management  Conference
Hits Home
   Audiotapes and proceedings of the
   fourth annual conference on
household hazardous waste manage-
ment (HHWM) are  now available
from Dana Duxbury & Associates.  Ac-
cording to Duxbury, one  of  the
conference's  key  organizers,  the
overwhelming  message from its 300
participants is that awareness of
and participation in HHWM efforts
continues to grow.
   'The increase in household hazard-
ous waste programs has been ex-
ponential over the past few years," she
says. 'There is a growing awareness of
the need to remove the toxic com-
ponent from  the  muncipal waste
stream." Duxbury also noted a recent
trend  toward  permanent  collection
facilities in addition to a substantial in-
crease in 1-day programs.
   The HHWM conference, held last
November in Orlando, Florida, focused
on four major topics: reducing the toxic
component of HHW; educating the public
 about  household hazardous waste
 management; maximizing participation
«in HHWM efforts; and providing infor-
 mation on the "how-to's" of setting up
 and running a household hazardous
 waste management program.
   The conference included sessions
 devoted to used oil, paint, and pes-
 ticides—the three "big ticket" com-
 ponents of the household hazardous
 waste stream—and a session on lead,
 cadmium, and mercury from household
 and car batteries, and fluorescent
 tubes. Other sessions emphasized
 ways in which consumers could con-
 tribute to source reduction by buying
 nontoxic goods, and industries could be
 encouraged to reduce or eliminate the
 toxicity of their products.
   Total Number of HHW Collections Per Year
273 296
93 f~1
2 7 31 n
,=*», rr-n Fx™q \ I I M 1

   1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 19881989
    This year's conference is scheduled
 to be held in November in San Francis-
 co,  California.  For more information,
 contact Dana Duxbury & Associates at
 The SWICH Is On

    The Governmental Refuse Col-
    lection and Disposal Associa-
 tion  (GRCDA)  is  currently
 developing the Solid Waste Infor-
 mation Clearinghouse (SWICH)
 through a  grant from EPA. The
 Clearinghouse,  which will collect
 and disseminate information on all
 aspects of solid waste manage-
 ment, will be fully operational this
    GRCDA is currently seeking
 additions to the Clearinghouse
 library, which will be housed in its
 Silver Spring,  Maryland, head-
 quarters. Any documents, video-
 tapes, computer programs, or
 abstracts are welcome, and will
 become permanent items in the
 collection. Individuals may use this
 library, or access  the Clearing-
 house through a toll-free number
 or an electronic bulletin board,
 both of which will be available later
 this  spring. For now, individuals
  may call the SWICH librarian at
    SWIGH offers a great opportunity
 for the exchange  of cutting-edge
 technology, management ex-
  perience, meeting announcements,
  and regulatory information. Please
  help make  the SWICH complete by
  sending copies of your solid waste
  management  publications to:
  GRCDA, SWICH,  P.O. Box  7219,
  Silver Spring, MD 20910.
 New Standards for  MSW Combustors
    EPA estimates that 10 to 15 percent
    of municipal solid waste is now in-
 cinerated. To ensure the  effective
 operation of MSW combustors and the
 protection of human health and the en-
 vironment, appropriate standards are
   Last December,  EPA Administrator
 William Reilly issued a proposed
 regulation to control emissions from all
 new and existing MSW combustors.
 The New Source Performance Stand-
 ards (NSPS) and Emission Guidelines
 (EG) will impose requirements in six
 areas: fuel cleaning; good combustion
 practices;  paniculate emissions; or-
 ganic emissions, including dioxins and
 furans; emissions from acid  rain-
 producing  chemicals  such as sulfur
 dioxide; and nitrogen oxide emissions.
    The fuel cleaning requirements, in
 particular, will have important implica-
 tions for recycling of municipal solid
 waste. They  require operators to
 separate a minimum of 25 percent of
 recyclables from the waste stream, in-
 cluding all household batteries. Al-
 though the rule does not stipulate that
these materials be recycled, the source
separation requirements  should en-
.hance and encourage recycling efforts.
Source separation may occur at the
facility, at a transfer station, or at drop-
off centers or curbside recycling
programs. The proposed rule also
prohibits the combustion of lead-acid
   Final promulgation of the proposed
NSPS and EG is scheduled for Decem-
ber 1990. For more information, contact
Steve Levy of  the  Municipal Solid
Waste Program at (202)382-4745.

 Source Reduction  "Til  the Cows  Come Home'
     Where betterto target source reduc-
     tion than toward those items that
 Americans very  regularly throw out?
 The Schroeder Milk Company of St.
 Paul, Minnesota, is one of several com-
 panies that are responding to just that
 idea by providing milk in returnable
 high-density polyethylene  (HOPE)
 plastic containers.  Because each of
 these reusable containers is used 50
 times, 50 single-use containers would
 be thrown away for every 1  reusable
 container that enters the waste stream.
   The reusable milk containers carry
 a refundable deposit of 40 or 50 cents
 each. But the milk itself is about 8 to 16
 cents per gallon cheaper. The con-
 sumer, therefore, has an economic as
 well as environmental incentive to pur-
 chase milk from companies like
 Schroeder. At the  same time, the
 retailers are eager to stock milk in
 reusable containers because it attracts
 both the environmentally aware and the
budget conscious consumer. Finally,
the burden of managing a refund system
has been minimized for the retailer
because the reusable jugs are collected
and returned to the milk supplier in the
same crates in which they arrived. Be-
cause these crates take up the same
space whether full or empty, the retailer
does not need to provide additional
space to make the program work.
   Once returned to the milk supplier,
the reusable jugs are sterilized, tested
for contamination, and  refilled by
methods approved by the Food and
Drug Administration. Sensors in the
production  line  monitor each jug for
evidence of nonfood material.  If any is
found,  the jug is  immediately
   Once the jugs are refilled, the
whole process takes place again, and
again, and again...until the jugs are
worn out. Then they are collected for
recycling, giving them yet another life.
New York Regional Office Procures
Reams of Recycled Copier Paper
    While purchase of recycled paper is
    becoming more common, use of
copier paper with recycled content is not
as widespread. That may soon change
in EPA's Regional Office in New York,
however, due to the success of a  pilot
program using recycled copier paper.
   Under the program,  this Regional
Office (which covers New York, New
Jersey, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Is-
lands) is implementing federal procure-
ment guidelines by buying recycled
copier paper, letterhead, and interoffice
memo paper. Desmond Baumann, a
member of the Regional Recycling
Committee, researched sources of
recycled copier paper with the help of
Susan Becker,  RCRA  Environmental
Scientist.  Paper samples from several
vendors were obtained  and tested on
copiers for static, moisture content,  and
dust. All of the samples were found to
be satisfactory.
  The office obtained a waiver from
the General Services Administration
(GSA), which sets federal acquisition re-
quirements, to order 2,800 cases of high-
speed copier paper with  a  recovered
material content of 50 percent (90 per-
cent of this amount is pre-consumer
waste and 10 percent  post-consumer
waste). The GSA waiver  requires the
office to monitor and report the effective-
ness of the recycled paper, and so far
there have been no complaints.
   The office has also arranged to buy
recycled letterhead and memo paper
through the Government Printing Office.
In addition, it produces interoffice memo
paper by cutting in half paper that has
been copied on only one side.
   A final  element of this recycling and
reuse effort is a new program for recy-
cling aluminum cans. There are now
eight drop-off points for cans throughout
employees' offices. The  cans  are
donated to "We Can," an organization
that uses the proceeds from  aluminum
can recycling to assist the needy.
The Mathematics
of Waste Savings
    programs like Schroeder's
    "can have a tremendous im-
     pact on the amount of waste
generated. Consider this example
of the  waste produced  by two
families who consume the same
amount of milk. One family uses
Schroeder's reusable 1/2 gallon
HOPE containers weighing 0.35
pounds each; the other uses typical
disposable HOPE jugs weighing
0.11 pounds each. For every  25
gallons of milk consumed, the first
family produces just 0.35 pounds of
waste,  whereas the other family
throws away 50  milk jugs and
generates 5 pounds of waste.
   If consumers buy 250,000 units
of milk in reusable containers each
month,  the  savings increase ex-
ponentially. If these were all single-
use containers, 27,500 pounds of
HOPE waste would be generated.
Instead,  waste from these retur-
nable  containers is only 1,750
pounds. This is a Deduction  of
waste at the source of over 25,000
pounds per month! Over 150 tons
per year! These figures don't even
account for the fact that many of the
reusables are actually full gallon
containers, resulting in bigger net
waste reductions.   i

Putting Our Agenda  into Action:
Source Reduction and Recycling
   Source reduction and recycling help
   prevent many of the problems as-
sociated with municipal solid waste, in-
cluding the pressing need to site new
landfills and combustors. Source reduc-
tion involves reducing the amount of trash
produced, reducing the toxicity of waste,
or providing a  longer useful life of
products. Recycling involves not only col-
lecting  and separating recyclable
materials, but  ensuring that these
materials are processed into new goods,
marketed, and reused by consumers.
   In the Agenda for Action, EPA set a
goal for the nation to reduce and recycle
25 percent of our garbage by 1992. To
help the nation meet this goal, the
Municipal Solid Waste Program is under-
taking a number of projects, including:

• Issuing grants to the Coalition of
   Northeastern Governors  and the
   Conservation Foundation which  will
   be used to evaluate source reduction
   opportunities  in the nation.

• Holding annual household hazardous
   waste conferences to promote source
   reduction  and proper collection
 Junk Your Junk Mail

   The daily delivery of "junk mail" can fill
   up home and office waste baskets at
an astounding rate. If you have made
just one mail order purchase, chances
are your name is being added to com-
puterized mailing lists at businesses and
organizations around the country.  By
contacting the Direct Marketing Associa-
tion and informing them that you would
like to  remove  your name  from such
mailing lists, you may reduce the amount
of junk mail you receive by up to 50
percent. Send requests to:

   Direct Marketing Association
   Mail Preference Service
   11 West 42nd Street, P.O. Box 3861
   New York, NY 10163

   Or, call the Mail Preference Service
at (212-)768-7277. You can also write
directly to the companies sending the
material to remove your name from their
existing lists.
and handling of these wastes, in-
cluding reuse where feasible.

Preparing reports examining pos-
sible economic incentives for source
reduction, such as volume-or weight-
based fees and taxes.

Identifying toxic substances entering
the waste stream, and exploring po-
tential substitutes.  A report entitled
Characterization of Products Con-
taining  Lead and Cadmium in
Municipal Solid Waste in the United
States was released last year.

Developing outreach documents,
such as brochures related to environ-
mental shopping, and fact sheets on
diapers and disposable plastics.

Expanding EPA's program to en-
courage  federal procurement of
goods made with recycled materials.
EPA has established a procurement
hotline, conducted outreach to federal
agencies and vendors  of recycled
products, and plans to conduct a na-
tional series of workshops on the
procurement program.
Establishing the Recycling Advisory
Council, which is being organized
by the National Recycling Coalition.
The Council will explore various
recycling and marketing issues.

Preparing market development
studies for aluminum, glass, paper,
tires, and compost, which will pro-
vide a base of information forunder-
standing  market fluctuations, as
well as for expanding and improving
these markets.

Supporting various group's (includ-
ing the  Environmental Defense
Fund, the U.S. Forest Service, and
the U.S. Conference of Mayors) in
using radio, television, and print ad-
vertising to foster recycling.

Developing  manuals, training
materials, videos, and other tools
that federal agencies, and ultimately
state and local agencies, could use
to promote and effectively conduct
office paper and other commodity
Did You  Kfiow..-

Americans discard roughly 240 million tires
annually, approximately one per person per year.
And,  since there is no easy way to dispose of
them, an estimated 2 to 3 billion used tires are
currently stockpiled  in the United  States.

Kids Keep America


T hanks to over 50 fourth graders, the
 I neighborhoods near  Farmington
Woods Elementary School in Gary, North
Carolina, are virtually litter-free  and
recycling fever is spreading through the
town. With the help of two teachers, the
students launched a successful recy-
cling and litter prevention program that
went on to win a national Keep America
Beautiful Award. Their efforts will be
acknowledged at the  first U.S.
Municipal  Solid Waste Management
Conference  this June. The pilot  pro-
gram is being continued in this year's
fourth grade and is serving as a model
for other schools.
   Simple in concept, the program
does not require much money to operate,
and  relies on voluntary participation by
students, teachers, and parents. Every
week, each student picks up litter in the
area, and goes to  10 homes,  collecting
recyclables from residents. The recydables
are then gathered together and sold to a
   The  program has helped raise en-
vironmental consciousness in both the
school and  the community. With the
recycling proceeds, last  year's class
joined environmental organizations,
adopted whales and manatees, and pur-
chased classroom supplies. As a result
of the class project, the community's at-
titudes about the problems of solid waste
changed from 'there's nothing you can
do about it" to "there's something we all
can do."
  i 'his conference is for pec pie   I
  L who make things happen in   i
solid waste management. Loral,   i
regional, state and international
participants will share their ex-
periences and successes. Mcijor   '
conference topic areas are:      I
» Integrated Solid Waste        |
  Planning                   i
» Source Reduction and Re jse
* Recycling and Composting
* Combustion
* Land Disposal
* Public Involvement and        \
  Education                 i
* Special Wastes              i

  To be a speaker or participant   j
contact: First U.S. Confereice   j
on Municipal Solid Waste Man-   I
agement, c/o GRCDA, P.O. Box
7219,  Silver  Spring,  MD
20910, 800/456-4723 (Lynda   !
Cook), FAX 301-589-7068.

vvEPA                  \

SPONSORED BY THE U.S.          \

  Solid Waste


     June 13-16, 1990
Ramada Renaissance Tech World
      Washington, DC
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