United States
             Environmental Protection
             Administration and
             Resources Management
                                        October 1990
Developing A Comprehensive
Federal Office Recycling
                                          Printed on Recycled Paper

                             WASHINGTON, D.C.  20460
                                                                     OFFICE OF
                                                                   AND RESOURCES
      The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published various
documents covering the waste management crisis facing this country.
Developing A Comprehensive Federal Recycling Program is produced by
the Office of Administration and Resources Management primarily for
government agencies.  The purpose of this document is to develop a
broader understanding of the term "recycling program".   Recycling must
include education, collection,  marketing, procurement, monitoring and
evaluation. This document stresses the importance of each of the activities
in establishing and maintaining an effective program.

      While this is not a detailed operating manual, it does outline the
necessary steps for designing and implementing a comprehensive office
recycling program in a federal agency.  Flexibility is a key factor when
designing a recycling program.  A program that works for a large agency
located in or near a major city with good markets for recylables, may have
to be altered for a small agency located away from a major city.
Mandatory recycling laws,  such as the one covering all commercial and
federal buildings in Washington, D. C., will also impact the scope,
priorities and timing of your  program.

      Finally, we wanted to share with you our experience and information
and to encourage you to get involved. Recycling is the "right thing to do"
if we are to conserve our natural resources and preserve our land for
future generations.

      We have provided an Information Sheet at the back of this
publication.  Please use  it to let us know about your accomplishments.  We
wish you every success in your recycling efforts.
                       Charles L. Gri
                       Assistant Administrator

. . . 3
Monitoring and Evaluation
Phase I - Getting Started
Phase 2- Program Development
Phase 3- Maintaining Your Program
• • .5
• . 43
Appendix A
Appendix B
Information Contacts
Appendix C
RCRA Procurement Guidelines
Appendix D
Handling Requirements for Recyclable Materials
Appendix E
Introduction . . . . . 1
Waste Reduction

Office Recycling - Why Should My Agency Get Involved?
Through the early 1980s, solid waste management programs in the United States relied heavily on
traditional waste disposal methods such as landfills and, to some extent, incineration. As a consequence,
the environment and the economy were affected by contamination from under-designed and poorly
located landfills and by losses of valuable land and material resources. Early conservation and recycling
regulations written in the 1970’s and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) amendments
of 1984 called for a new direction in managing solid and hazardous waste including source reduction,
resource conservation, and recycling. However, national attention has been focused on the more
threatening hazardous waste management issues. Intensified problems with managing solid waste have re-
focused the nation’s attention on the importance of waste minimization, recycling and conservation.
Government leaders and representatives from all sectors of our society have come to realize that success in
protecting the environment requires not only sound management of wastes and pollutants, but also an
absolute reduction in the amount of waste generated.
Recycling, therefore, has moved to the forefront as an environmentally protective, technically
feasible, cost-effective approach to solid waste management. In 1989, the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) published its “Agenda for Action,” a plan for addressing the nation’s waste management
issues. The plan was produced with the help of a consortium of leaders representing state agencies, local
governments, industry, other Federal agencies, and environmental organizations. Waste reduction and
recycling are two of the top priorities in the plan. This plan calls for at least a 25% reduction by 1992 in
the volume of solid waste currently disposed in landfills by enhanced source reduction and recycling
There is a groundswell of recycling activity at the grassroots level, evident by the formation of
numerous voluntary programs and a push to make recycling the public policy. By the end of 1989, at least
38 states and hundreds of local governments had enacted recycling laws. Furthermore, federal agency
offices located in some of these states and local jurisdictions, such as those in the District of Columbia,
must comply with the recycling ordinances of those jurisdictions.
Because office recycling is recognized as an important opportunity for furthering waste reduction
aims, the Federal government increasingly has taken steps to set up and facilitate recycling programs in its
offices nationwide. Various agencies have initiated recycling programs and formed interagency
committees to promote recycling activities. For example, EPA, the General Services Administration
(GSA), the Department of the Interior (DO!), the Department of Energy (DOE), and the Government
Printing Office (GPO) have shared information and jointly designed procedures to promote recycling
achievements. This handbook was prepared by the EPA Office of Administration and Resources
Management, Facilities Management and Services Division, as a continuation of these efforts.
Other EPA agency offices have produced materials focusing on specific aspects of recycling. The
EPA Office of Solid Waste (OSW’), for example, recently updated its implementation manual on recycling
high-grade office paper. The OSW manual provides extensive technical and programmatic detail on high
grade office paper recycling. Because much of the information can be adapted to organizing a
comprehensive office recycling program, you will fmd direct references to the manual in this handbook.
Furthermore, Appendix A lists additional reference materials available through other Federal, State, and
local agencies, and private organizations. Appendix B lists contacts for recycling information.

How Can This Handbook Help Me Design And Implement A Comprehensive Office
Recycling Program?
This handbook is designed to help you:
• Identify the basic recycling program components necessaly for a comprehensive office
recycling program.
• Understand the factors to consider when putting program components into place.
• Develop a step-by-step plan for designing and implementing a comprehensive office
recycling program in your agency.
A key aspect of this handbook is its emphasis on flexibility and being able to adapt to
changing conditions. The technology and procedures for recycling are still in the
developmental stage.
The content of this handbook includes:
• An Overview of the basic components of a comprehensive office recycling program,
and the procedural steps involved in program design and implementation.
• Detailed Program Components, including a defmition, design options, special factors
to consider when designing the component, people who should be involved in designing
and implementing the component, tips on how to design and implement the component.
• Implementation Suggestions, which include procedural steps for designing and
implementing the entire program.
Where appropriate, the handbook uses a question and answer format to guide you through the pertinent
If you are responsible for designing and implementing a
comprehensive office recycling program at your agency, you may find it
useful to read the entire handbook sequentially. If, on the other hand,
your agency’s program is already operating, individual chapters may
provide you with ideas for fine-tuning your program.

A comprehensive recycling program consists of five basic, interrelated components:
• Education: Agency staff are prepared for the initiation of the recycling program,
encouraged to participate, informed of program achievements, and asked for ideas on
improving the program or broadcasting information.
• Collection: Recyclable materials are separated, gathered, and stored for iransport from
your agency.
• Marketing: Contracts to sell the recyclable material are identified and secured.
• Procurement: Contracts to buy agency supplies made from recycled materials are
identified and secured. External procurement by State and local agencies using Federal
funds, or by Federal agency contractors are monitored.
• Monitoring and Evaluation: Each facet of the program is surveyed, measured, and
then rated to assess efficiency and progress, enabling agency leaders and staff to see
program strengths, accomplishments, and weaknesses.
Each component is essential to a comprehensive recycling program but must be custom-tailored to your
agency’s unique characteristics and needs.
What Is A Comprehensive Office Recycling Program?

Why Are All Of The Components Important?
Education is crucial to initiate and support a behavioral change. Research demonstrates that
people tend to change behavior when it is clear how the change serves our best interest or that of our
children, and when new behaviors are easy to adopt. An ongoing education component of your recycling
program provides this needed information. Without a strong educational component, your recycling
effort will be invisible, participation in it will be weak, and the program will suffer or fail.
Collection is necessary to remove recyclable materials from the waste stream.
Marketing returns the recyclable materials to the economy where they become raw materials for
new products or alternative products.
Procurement distinguishes recycling programs from collection programs. As the component that
completes the recycling loop, procurement builds demand for the recyclable materials you collect. Failure
to procure recycled materials eventually leads to a collapse of the system because of over supply. Many
areas of the U.S. currently are experiencing a severe weakening of the newsprint market due to over
Monitoring and Evaluation keeps the program on track. By assessing where you are, where
you want to go, and how you will measure your progress, and then performing regular checks, you can
keep your recycling program attuned to your agency’s needs, market conditions, and program objectives.
Who Is Responsible For Designing And Implementing A Comprehensive Office
Recycling Program?
Recycling is a multi-faceted effort involving the agency’s top managers, building management
staff, program managers, procurement staff, public information specialists, volunteers — in short — your
entire agency and the contractors who support your çfforts.
To design and implement a program that fits your agency and receives the support necessary for
success, strong intra-agency cooperation is needed. Many agencies have launched successful recycling
programs based on the strength of volunteer commitment. Most recycling program representatives report,
however, that dedicating at least part-time staff to the effort pays high dividends in terms of the time and
effort saved in launching and maintaining a program. In particular, agency representatives stress the
importance of a recyding coordinator who can help organize a recycling committee and direct
personnel in performing the many individual functions that comprise recycling program components.

What is education?
I •I
What education options exist?
What factors should I consider in designing my
agency’s education component?
Who is responsible for designing and implementing
my agency’s educatioB component?
How do I design and implement my agency’s
education component?
What Is Education?
Education for your agency’s recycling program is a planned, ongoing, and multi-faceted
information exchange that involves agency-wide staff, recycling and other agency program
leaders, and top managers within your agency.
A planned effort is important because it enables you to take stock of the:
• Awareness and commitment your agency staff have regarding recycling.
• Information needed throughout the agency to encourage staff participation.
• Audiences existing within your agency.
• Messages and channels you can use to reach those audiences.
The time spent planning who you want to reach, and how, will pay off in an educational effort that
encourages participation, promotes the success of your recycling programs and builds satisfaction in the
Experienced recycling coordinators stress that an ongoing educational program is a must; that it
simply will not be sufficient to broadcast information about recycling once or even infrequently.
Once you have interested your co-workers in recycling, you need to maintain their interest by
designing a multi-faceted educational program. From memos to recycling events and awareness weeks,
you can plan a variety of techniques that pay off with recycling participation and create a positive
environment and esprit de corps in the agency.

Finally, agency-wide involvement in designing and implementing your educational program is
as important as agency-wide involvement in recycling itself. As you plan your educational efforts, consult
people from all sectors of the agency. They are important in shaping the type of information you need to
convey. Equally important, everyone from your agency’s top executive to entry-level staff should bring
visibility to your agency’s recycling program. And don’t forget to include recycling in your new employee
orientation, it’s important to get new employees involved in the program immediately. EPA has prepared a
brochure on recycling in the agency that is distributed to all of its new employees, which enables education
to begin on an employee’s first-day on the job.
Interacting with agency staff to organize and
convey information on
What Education Options Exist?
The Chart on the following page illustrates a variety of educational techniques and their
applications according to various agency characteristics.

Reflects agency policy, can reach
every employee inexpensively

Good initial/supplemental commun-
ucation, NOTE insufficient motivators
as sole communication tool
D Creates interest, pictures and
‘ words strengthens information
conveyance; can be transported;
offers ranne of cost

Attention-holders for limited time
periods, depending on style, content;
should be circulated around
2 weeks prior t
start and
2 weeks prior t
start and
ention- tting, quucl iy
distributed for announcements,
pictures and words informative
D. jnstraUons High powered for interest
Show and Tell enables exchange of information
Good opportunity to obtain feed-
back on program
2 weeks prior tc
start and
Start +
lngtw ctlonat Staff can refer to repeatedly,
Matetlals equips employees to participate
Handbook, and to train others to participate

Good attention-getters, high
creative potential
Agency Can convey detailed explanation
Newsletters that can be referred to
repeatedly, illustrates program
Lends credibility to program, vaned
messages can be conveyed in
regular publication
2 months prior
r hly
Adds diversity, good
PA attention-getter
Ann x noeents
Voice feature plus other tech-
niques stimulates interest
2 weeks prior Ii
start and
per ,cg jucally
B Good to gain/illustrate program
participation; promotes good spirit
Helps program visibility and pos-
itive image
1 month prior t
start and
Spec I E
Promotes good spirit, promotes fun
Awareness Week
Good capability for creating in-
terest, involving agency-wide
support, attracting volunteers,
promoting recycling, and convey-
ing wide range of information
Start and
Creates high interest, can impart
tedla detailed information
Provide capability for wide dis-
Start and
Good to demonstrate management
SPeeches support, foster participation
Strong leadership and effective
speaking can invigorate the prog-
COflfereflCe st Excellent source of ideas,
information exchange
Early and
as Needed

What Factors Should I Consider In Designing And Implementing My Agency’s
Education Component?
Consider the awareness and commitment to recycling that exists among staff and managers in your
agency. Their attitude and involvement plays a crucial role in helping you decide the educational approach
your agency will take in promoting recycling.
For example, if your recycling organizers and top managers agree, that the agency’s goal will be to
show leadership in recycling efforts by recycling the majority of materials in the waste stream, this implies
certain educational messages. Agency values implicit in these objectives are pride of leadership, ambitious
effort, and environmental conservation. If your agency is small, efforts to rally staff participation around
these values can include frequent small gatherings for demonstrations, activities, or audio-visual
presentations on recycling. Having top management behind your recycling efforts, can mean that your
agency director contributes regularly to or is an active spokesperson for agency recycling efforts.
A small office also might link recycling efforts with other offices or departments. This would
imply ongoing communication with staff and program leaders in these agencies to develop appropriate
messages regarding the recycling program, including status reports on the project The following chart
provides additional examples of how various factors can shape your recycling program’s educational
Program Objectives:
Expand agency’s margiflal, Initiate development of multi-faceted
voluntary recyclmg ogram to communication strategy identifying opinion leaders
full4 led ged agy-wide throughout agency and current impediments to
recycling popularity
Agency Charactenstics:
20 story urban headquarters
office with ten regional facilities
of 40-50 staff members
Organize headquarters recycling committee; establish
contacts in each regional office; prepare agency-Wide
news article announcing plans to expand recycling,
and explaining recycling concepts
Commitment to Recycling:
Motivate core group and top
agency director, otherwise you
will have unfamiliarity with
recycling concept
Engage agency director to meet with recycling
program leaders at headquarters and in each
region; broadcast director’s position on recycling;
discuss recycling education concepts with
program directors and staff throughout agency

Who Is Responsible for Designing And Implementing My Agency’s Education
Regardless of the size of your agency, you will have diversity among your staff and probably
among the programs handled by the agency. In order to reflect that diversity, it is best for more than one
person to work on education. Three to seven people can best stimulate creativity, enable good ouireach
within the agency, and divide up the responsibilities. When you set up your recycling program
organization, select people who are interested and who will plan to devote regular time to the recycling
effort. Developing ongoing communication and good rapport with people throughout this network from
the start will lay invaluable groundwork for your recycling committee’s ongoing efforts. Your education
subcommittee can benefit if you:
• Involve as many employees as possible. This not only will ensure diversity in
what and how you tell employees about recycling, it will catalyze agency-wide support and
participation in your program.
• Stress volunteerism. Use periodic recruiting campaigns to enlist volunteers and even
more importantly, publicize the contributions to recycling achievements made by
Recycling is, in a real sense, an activity that appropriately involves your entire agency, therefore your
educational activities should have the broadest outreach possible.
How Do I Design And Implement My Agency’s Education Component?
To design and implement your educational program, you will need some basic and important tools
which best can be thought of in terms of:
• Who - should relay and receive information? One of the recycling committee’s
first responsibilities will be to develop a network of communication by identifying:
- The formal and informal communication paths within the agency, for example, the
agency’s organizational structure, ongoing staff meetings, newsletters, or
procedures for distributing memos.
- Key contact personnel such as the agency’s top managers, information office staff,
program directors, facilities service directors, waste management staff, grants
administration, and procurement staff.
- Various audiences within the agency, for example, program divisions, technical
staff, administrative staff, support services staff, clubs or social organizations
within the agency.
• What - needs to be said about recycling? This is where your education
subcommittee or staff analyzes your agency’s overall and specific objectives, the status of
your recycling program, needs that staff can fill to help the program succeed, and the
agency audiences. This analysis tells you what messages to convey.

How to best spread the word? The education techniques chart presents a variety of
communication techniques or channels. Your education committee or staff, no
doubt, will create many more which fit your agency. Deciding upon your techniques will
involve a bit of research to determine:
- Available funding for education materials.
- Scheduling requirements for broadcasting information or planning events.
- Procedures necessaiy to produce and coordinate multi-media events.
When - should you schedule your educational activities? The educational
campaign for your recycling program needs to begin well in advance of your first collection
day. The education subcommittee should begin its work at the start of your recycling
program effort. One of the first activities should be to let the agency know that the
recycling project is under way and that it is backed by the agency’s top management. With
respect to procurement, schedule recycling orientation sessions with procurement staff well
in advance of the commencement of the fiscal year when your grants and contract schedules
will be determined.
The “why” of your tool kit already has been established by your agency’s commitment to recycling.
Working with the rest of these tools should help your staff set realistic goals and effectively focus their
In addition, you may find a few rules of thumb useful in designing your agency’s educational
program. For example:
Strike a balance between programmed educational events and spontaneity.
if you establish a pattern of agency reporting (for example keeping employees abreast of
recycling progress via a monthly newsletter or by giving quarterly briefings to upper
management). Also hold special events such as an awards program or celebration of an
achieved milestone, or on-the-spot cash awards, you will show that the program is
established within the agency, and help keep interest alive.
• Stress the positive. Until recycling becomes the way of life in our society, initiating a
recycling program involves converting people’s behavior and this requires regular
encouragement. Your educational program can help by focusing on the efforts people
make, celebrating the gains that are made, and incorporating humor in your events and
promotional materials whenever possible. Elevate the potential for fun and creativity! It
will rejuvenate the whole program.
• Make recycling convenient. Keep emphasizing that it is just as easy to throw
materials into a recycling container as it is a trash can. This will help make it easier to
change employee’s habits.
• Reflect the diversity of your agency staff. In addition to making use of a variety
of educational techniques, such as those presented in this handbook, you can build interest
and involvement in recycling by learning about the employees in the agency and the work
they perform. Target your information to their agency interests.
• Have fun! You will find that, by and large, employees WANT to recycle. This fact, and
the active, participatory nature of the effort lend themselves to spirited innovative
educational activities. Don’t hold back on the opportunity to create and to enjoy the whole

What is collection?
What collection options exist?
What factors should I consider in designing
my agency’s collection component?
Who is responsible for designing and
implementing my agency’s collection
How do I design and implement my
Collection, defined in the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 40, Part 246, is “the act of removing
solid waste (or materials which have been separated for the purpose of recycling) from a central storage
Within the context of an office recycling program, collection involves several steps:
• Separating recyclable materials
• Depositing separated materials at collection points
• Transferring separated materials from collection points to designated
storage bins
• Pickup by hauler and/or recycling company for transport to processing
The efforts of numerous people and organizations must be integrated, including:
• Managers
• Employees
• Health & Safety officers
• Contractors for building services
• Haulers.
What Is Collection?

Collection: Gathering designated recyclables and moving to storage areas over
systematic routes:
What Collection System Options Exist?
Your agency’s collection options will vary based on four decisions:
• What you choose to collect
• Which transfer system is used,, including where containers are located
• Who moves the collected materials to the storage area
• What storage space and handling equipment are available.
Government agency and private sector organization recycling programs typically use one of a few basic
methods to move materials from the individual to office collection points. These include the:
• Desk-top system where the user places recyclable paper in a container on the desk and
discards non-recyclable waste in a waste basket.
• Two-waste basket system where one basket is used for recyclable paper and the second
for discarding waste.
As either of these individual office units become full, each employee or a custodian deposits the materials
in appropriate central collection containers. As a variation to the options above, vendors may offer
services which enable mixed recyclables to be collectively stored for dealer pick-up and transported to
processing centers.

Centralized office containers accommodate a wide variety of office recyclables including
paper, glass, and aluminum. Central collection containers are clearly identified bins, located in copy
rooms or within individual office bay areas serving 15 to 25 persons.
Other central location options for materials such as glass or aluminum include large containers
(often called “igloos”) located outside of the building, or containers located in lunchrooms or adjacent to
employee travel paths. You can expand this central container concept to collect newspapers or corrugated
cardboard. Custodians or building management staff, or in some cases outside contractors, move the
materials from the centralized containers to bulk storage areas. The main storage area should be organized
to minimize the accidental mixing of trash with segregated recyclables. Ask your building manager and/or
the recycling vendor to help you select your main storage site. Keep in mind the following points when
selecting your site:
• Is it large enough?
• Can the site be locked?
• Is the site protected with sprinklers?
• Is there a freight elevator easily accessible?
The following exhibit illustrates commonly grouped collection systems for five specific recyclable
materials. The systems include transport for specific materials, personnel who perform the transport
function, and container locations. For in-depth information about paper collection containers and transport
equipment you can refer to the EPA Office of Solid Waste Paper Recycling Handbook (copyright 1977,
reissued 1990) referred to in the introduction.

ExhIbit A
in __
a 16 DOCK

What Factors Should I Consider In Designing My Agency’s Collection Component?
When designing and implementing your collection component, it is important to consider the
number of employees and facility ownership. For example:
The Number of employees affects the quantity of waste materials generated for
disposal or recycling. The quantity in turn influences the kind of collection system you wifi
employ. A sizeable agency office of several hundreds employees will have paper
recyclables in the range of several tons per week in contrast to an office with less than 100
people where it may take a few weeks to accumulate such quantities of material. Larger
offices may be scheduled for weekly pick-ups, smaller offices biweekly or monthly.
• Whether your agency or another agency owns your facility can influence how
you design the flow pattern and staffing for your collection system. Typically, your
agency will have greater leeway to select locations for collection containers, and assign
staff with collection duties if the building is yours. If your agency is a tenant, these
decisions must be negotiated with the building owner and managers.
In addition, program objectives and agency commitment are factors that play a part in design
decisions, for example:
• If your agency objective is to recycle a high percentage of three major volume materials, if
you are a large agency and if your leadership and staff demonstrate an interest in recycling,
you may design a decentralized collection system that relies on strong employee
involvement and organization. Change one of the factors, and you may alter the design of
your collection system.
• If your agency is not aware of recycling and therefore the commitment to recycling is
weak, it may be better to select only one material for recycling in order to get your program
underway. Other materials can be added to your collection program on a phased-in basis as
resources, time and experience permit.
The chart presented on the next page indicates examples of major factors and potential impact on
collection system design.

Agency Characteristics:
- Size of facility
- Number of employees
Facility Ownership
Volume of materials, cost-effectiveness of

Collection schedule, type of transfer system
Commitment to Recycling:
- Degree of management
- Extent of resources
Participation mandate, unity of effort
Development approach, implementation
Program Objectives:
- Type and number of
materials to be collected
- Amount to be collected
- Proposed extent of
program pafl on
Number, type, and location of collection
Number of employees involved in pmcess,
waste stream composition
Education program employed, convenience
of transfer system

Who Is Responsible For Designing And Implementing My Agency’s Collection
Collection system design involves a detailed series of procedures and sequential steps that require
personal oversight, problem-solving and schedule adjustments. To ensure successful collection, the
program coordinator must:
• Supervise education of staffs
• Supervise data gathering
• Arrange pick-up schedules
• Secure storage areas for collected materials.
In addition, the coordinator must meet with custodial supervisors in all buildings to explain the operation
and to gain their support.
Consider these points when deciding who can best consolidate your recyclables most efficiently
and transport them from the central containers to the main storage area:
• How many custodians service your building?
• Are the custodians in-house, contract, or union?
• Is there a daytime shift and a nighttime shift? If so, which crew could best handle the
consolidation duties?
Most office paper recycling programs work best when integrated with existing janitorial operations. Many
agencies add the responsibility of picking up the recyclable material into the janitorial contract when it is up
for renewal.
If custodians are not involved in the collection of the recyclable materials, make sure that they are
informed about the program so that they don’t accidentally mix the recyclables in with the trash and throw
them away.
How Do I Design And Implement My Agency’s Collection Component?
Designing the collection component requires answering basic questions about:
• Which type of equipment and flow path, and what kind of contract support are most
convenient for your agency.
• Types of waste materials that make up your agency’s waste stream and manner in which
these waste materials currently are discarded.
• The contract(s) for space and services currently in place and whether they meet your
anticipated program needs.
• Types of collection containers to be used and where to locate them.

• Suitable locations for collection containers
• Suitable area(s) to use as loading dock or central transfer points
• Handling requirements for the materials your agency will recycle (See Appendix D)
• Secured offices
Based on your research findings, you are equipped to take the following steps:
• Secure clearances with the appropriate building and/or management staff to
use space for collection areas
• Select and procure collection containers
• Place collection containers in designated areas
• Collect recyclable materials
• Transport materials to the loading dock or centralized collection point for
dealer pick-up
• Weigh and record your recyclables and
• Collect payment for the recyclables from the dealer.
Remember that the collection component of your recycling program needs to be integrated with the other
program components. Planning and launching the collection activity, therefore, should be done in concert
with the marketing, procurement, education, and monitoring and evaluation activities. Lessons learned
from other agencies and a waste stream analysis sample sheet are provided on the following pages to assist
your planning process.

Summary of Lessons Learned From Various Agencies
-When considenng who will collect and transport recyclables through the collection system, keep in nund three general
options the collection will be camed out by staff members, contracted out 1 or assigned to new and additional staff hired for
‘that collection purpose As you consider starting up for collection tcmember that educating your staff about the recycling
program and training them inthe specific tasks relating to the collection process will get your program off to a strong start.
- Your collection containers should be consistent in style and color, and clearly labeled with lists of acceptable and
‘unacceptable items Also post the lists near each container location. Be sure to use clear symbols and multi-lingual labeling
wherever you have personnel, and especially collection stalt whose primary language is not English. Choose your containers
: I fcr durability, and if they arc the desk-top variety make sure they require the least amount of your desk space. You also can
find containers that your collection staff can handle easily
If your agency does not generate enough recyclable material, you can ask your building manager if another company m the
building is recycling You might try to enlist a neighboring agency to join with you and it is quite possible that together you
wifl generate enough recyclable material to start a program.. Consolidated Administration Support Unit (CASU). sponsored by
the General Services Administration (GSA) are the administrative mechanisms by which you and other agencies can pool
efforts. Coinbmned volumes may attract more buyers, and prices and transportation options may Improve.
• -At the other extreme, some recycling programs have had problems because the volume of material to be processed has beeri
seriously underestimated. This may sound like a problem everyone would like to have but the ensuing problems may
permanently damage the program. Very quickly after the beginning of the collection operation, the program may be
overwhelmed with the quantity of material and unable to cope with the continuing stream of material coming in from the
• Storage
• - Storage problems cart result when the volume of recycled materials expected is significantly underestimated or the demand
for materials already on hand is significantly overestimated.
-. A convenient loading dock, readily accessible to large trucks is importarditabOnld provide protection from inclement
• weather. If space is unavailable near loading docks your agency s recyclable materials may be stored in central containers
.I.;(convenient to freight elevators) located in temporary storage areas or outdoors in large bulk containers protected from the
- Asking managers of existing recycling operations in the arel may be the best method for accurately predicting your storage
. . Transport
The inability to move material from central collectiOn spaces to designated dealer pick-up locations can cause a serious
:disrtiptio in the recycling operation. You may want to consider back-up transport equipment
- In designing a recycling materials flow path be sure to allow sufficient aisle room for easy and efficient movement of
trnsport equipment In addition your collection schedule should not disrupt your staffs daily office routine, nor should it
lessen employee productivity.
..Processing... .. • . . .. ... .... .
.: Prol nié:ydabláIin 8ckagitig .cleanm form for usport 0 tO
meet buyer specifications. Before designing your collection system, dieck with finns that buy your type of recyclables to
assess any prcx easmng requirements that may affect yom space, flow patterns, or schedules
Useful information on markets and on procurement purchasing is available in various trade publications Also ask your mel
recycling dealers what containers they will supply as part of a marketing contract GSA can supply individual containers and
cemnral containers with a lid and shim the ‘°i to Federal agencies through the Catalog and the Customer Supply Center m
W ..h .gteri,D C. GS4. ift I’Itgthé •: .:::

Perfonning a waste stream analysis is the first key step in clarifying the basic needs and goals of your recycling
pmgram. Such an analysis is an in-depth look at the waste materials your agency currently discards. The majority
of office waste stream analyses reviewed demonstrated that 90 percent of the typical office waste stream is com-
posed of paperproducts (e.g., white paper, computer paper). Obtaining an estimate of the percentage of materials
that can be diverted from your waste establishes a baseline for program design and future monitoring and evalu-
ation. Following are suggested options for conducting your waste stream analysis and a sample waste stream
analysis worksheet:
• Assume generation rates based on general statistics (see [ b] and [ gIJ below).
• Work with a materials recycling company to obtain estimates based on:
- Number of employees
- General review of facilities operation
a Conduct a one-to-two week study of the office waste actually discarded in your agency.
When you have the facts about your agency’s waste composition, you are better able to implement the collection
system and to manage recyclable materials.
A. Total Refuse Generation:
a _____________ X [ b] 1.55 lbs . = [ c] _________lbs
(No. Employees) (lbs./employee/day) (Trash/day)
c ____________ X [ d i 20 days .1. [ e] 2.000 lbs . = [ (I _______Tons
(Work days/mo.) (Lbs./ton) (Mo.)
B. Recyclable Paper Generation:
a _____________ X [ g] . 51 lbs . = [ h] _________lbs.
(paper/empi/day) (Recyclable paper/day)
h _____________ X Ed] 20 days •/• Eel 2.000 lbs . = [ jJ ______Tons
(Recyclable paper/Mo)
_____________ X [ k] 65%(example) [ I] _________tons
(participation rate) (Recycled paper/mo.)
In general, for a standard office paper recycling program, five hundred to one thousand
pounds of high-grade paper is the minimum amount required for pickup. The average office worker
throws away at least a half-pound of high-grade recyclable paper each day. Agencies with fifty or
more employees should generate enough paper to set up a workable program.

• What is marketing?
• What marketing options exist?
• What factors should I consider in designing and
implementing my agency’s marketing component?
• Who is responsible for designing and implementing
my agency’s marketing component?
• How do I design and implement my agency’s
marketing component?
What Is Marketing?
Marketing is finding purchasers for your agency’s recyclable materials so they can be reused in
manufacturing new products. In most cases, you will need to market different types of recyclable
materials to different vendors. The key components used to describe the marketing effort include:
• Identifying and contracting with a vendor or broker of recycled materials.
• Arranging for regular pick-up of the recycled materials from your agency by the vendor.
• Ensuring that the materials are collected, separated and processed in a way appropriate for the
manufacturing process, if necessary.
The materials you target for recycling, how you want to channel the proceeds from the sale of materials,
available markets, the characteristics of your agency such as number of employees and geographic
location, and the level of management support will all shape your marketing effort.

Directing recyclable materials to manufacturers who use those
materials in making new products:
a Y ‘SC’
What Marketing Options Exist?
You can develop your marketing component using three basic approaches. You may elect to use:
In-house resources -where your recycling committee or facilities service staff undertake
the research and negotiations needed to:
-- Identify potential markets and vendors qualified to purchase your recyclable
- - Execute the contracts.
An interagency cooperative marketing plan - whereby several agencies combine
their recyclables. This enables an agency to reap benefits of a large quantity of marketable
materials and to take advantage of shared responsibility for contracting with a vendor.
GSA support services - that screens vendors and negotiates contract packages which
individual agencies can access for needed services.
Work with your recycling committee to assess your agency’s operating environment and recycling
program goals. Then decide upon your best marketing approach. The following example illustrates one
method of choosing a marketing plan based on specific agency factors.

Design of the Marketing Plan: A Case Study
The administrator of the Motor Vehicle Loan Department for the Agency wanted to develop
a recycling program. A consultant hired to do the waste stream analysis found that 75% of the
agency’s waste stream was composed of recyclable materials and that tires and oil comprised the
greatest percentage of materials, followed by newspapers and white paper (carbonless forms).
The administrator hired a recycling coordinator to lead a task force. The purpose of the task
force was to assess the feasibility of developing a sell-sufficient Departmental recycling program.
A subcommittee was appointed for each of the activities of the program. The marketing
subcommittee, led by the purchasing officer for the Department:
• Determined how much material could be sent to a vendor in any given week.
• Developed a list of vendors for each material comprising more than 10% of the
department’s waste stream.
• Conducted a cost-benefit analysis to determine the net recovely of funds for
the collection.
These objectives reflected the relationship (implications) of this department’s operating
environment (factors) on the marketing approach. Therefore, information gained from these
activities was the foundation for the department’s marketing plan.
What Factors Should I Consider In Designing and Implementing My Agency’s
Marketing Component?
In designing your approach, consider the support resources available to assist your marketing efforts, such
as GSA or other in-house expertise, and the type and quantity of recyclable materials that comprise your
waste stream, as learned in the waste stream analysis. The chart on the next page illustrates how additional
factors impact the design of your marketing strategy.

Agency Characteristics:
- GSA operated facility
- Non-GSA operated facility
- Work with GSA to develop marketing plan
- Develop plan with in-house resources
Commitment to Recycling:
- High agency commitment
evident in staff
- Resources assigned to
- Provides staff to identify potential
markets and good contract options
Who Is Responsible For Designing And Implementing My Agency’s Marketing
The marketing coordinator should lead the marketing effort, acting as liaison for agency
management, GSA (if appropnate), and the recycling committee or subcommittee. The primary
responsibilities of the marketing subcommittee are to:
• Assist the recycling coordinator in developing an assessment of the current situation, as a
basis for the design of the marketing plan.
• Design a marketing plan for review by agency management, including developing a list of
potential purchasers.
• Work with the Education subcommittee to develop outreach materials explaining the overall
concept and goals of marketing to the program participants.
Always investigate Federal, State and local laws for applicability to your program so as to be aware of
mandatory recycling laws that may affect your marketing strategy.
Program Objectives:
- Multi-material recycling
pm m
- Large quantity of recyclable
- Develop sej rate vendor lists
- Accelerate vendor pick-up schedule

How Do I Design and Implement My Agency’s Marketing Component?
When designing and implementing your marketing component focus on the following basic steps:
1. Organize in-house resources, such as a marketing subcommittee in
your recycling committee, to help design and implement the
marketing plan.
2. Develop a profile of the market for each recyclable material identified
in your waste stream.
3. Evaluate the market profiles to determine costs and benefits of the
marketing plan for each material.
4. Determine which materials are to be marketed based on your cost
benefit analysis. The analysis should include the cost for
transporting and disposing of waste in landfills.
5. Identify the role of in-house agency staff and other support
resources, such as GSA or contractor support in marketing materials.
6. Solicit Invitations for bids.
7. Negotiate agreement(s) with the prospective buyer(s) for each
Each of the steps defined above is necessary to ensure a marketing plan that is responsive to recycling
program needs and market conditions.

What procurement options exist?
What factors should I consider in designing
my agency’s procurement component?
Who is responsible for designing and
implementing my agency’s procurement
Unless a recycling program includes actually buying products made from recycled materials, it stops short
of being a recycling program. Recycling occurs when the materials that were collected and sold to
recycling operators re-enter the economy via procurement. Ordering, purchasing, and using supplies made
from recycled materials is your agency’s contribution to ensuring that a market will exist for the
recyclables you collect and sell. Procurement for most Federal agency offices notably includes paper
products, but it also should include any other products that are made from recycled materials.
is procurement?
What Is Procurement?
How do I design and implement my agency’s
u m e nnent?

Over the past several years, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued several
procurement guidelines, which are regulations that require government agencies to buy products made of
recycled materials. The guidelines implement Section 6002 of the Resource Conservation and Recovery
Act (RCRA). Their purpose is to encourage recycling and reduce the amount of materials that must be
thrown away. Each guideline designates specific items containing recovered materials, which
governments must procure, and it provides recommendations for implementing RCRA requirements.
The RCRA Procurement Hotline number is 703-941-4452 for copies of the guidelines and more
detailed information concerning implementation.
EPA has issued five such guidelines which cover:
• Fly ash in cement and concrete
• Paper and paper products
• Lubricating oils
• Retread tires, and
• Building insulation products.
Regardless of whether or not a Federal agency institutes its own recycling program, RCRA mandates all
Federal agencies and procuring agencies procure these items containing recovered materials. To do so
agencies must:
• Review and, as necessary, revise their specifications to allow for the
purchase of recycled materials. Identify the performance expected of the
product so that acceptance or rejection is based on a verifiable test.
• Design affirmative procurement programs.
The table on the next page summarizes this information. In addition, Appendix C of this handbook
includes the RCRA procurement guidelines.

Lubricating Oils
Retread Tires
Building Insulation
Fly ash in cement and
Review and Revise
•e flflflwt. . .e
Build Affirmative
What Procurement Options Exist?
Two general arenas for procuring recycled products include inira-agency purchases and external
procurement by State or local governments receiving funds from, or firms which operate under contract to,
your agency. Strengthening your agency’s procurement program, therefore, will entail focusing on both
these arenas.
Although many products are manufactured from recyclable materials, some of the major products
purchased by Federal agency offices are addressed in the existing procurement guidelines. Your agency
can either purchase these items through GSA or directly, if your agency is located outside a GSA-service
area. When considering items for purchase consult your agency’s GSA procurement office for a list of
the recycled materials available.
Paper/Paper Products • Federal Agencies
• State and local agencies using
appropriated Federal funds and
spending more than $10,000 per year
on the Item
• Firms contracting with federal
agencies or with affected state or
local agencies and that spend more
than $10,000 annually on the Item

What Factors Should I Consider in Designing My Agency’s Procurement Component?
When designing your agency’s procurement program, consider the:
• Types of materials your agency buys
• Size of the agency
• Level of funding activity for State and local government programs, and
contractor services to the agency
• Your Contract and Grants staffs level of awareness about recycling and
especially the role procurement plays
• Inherent prejudice you will have to overcome that recycled content is
• Proximity to and communication between your agency and GSA
• Opportunities to combine your purchase orders with those of other
These factors and others will influence the priorities you set when developing a strategy for procuring
recycled products. Most agencies will have their highest demand in paper products and therefore will
concentrate some of their efforts on establishing which recycled products provide the service required.
Agencies with extensive grant programs, or those administering large contracts to firms providing
government support service, on the other hand, will focus part of their strategy on how to ensure that these
entities comply with EPA procurement guidelines. All agencies are likely to encounter the attitude that
recycled products are deficient. A concerted effort is needed to work with personnel throughout the
agency to overcome this recycling roadblock. The chart on the next page indicates some additional
examples of how various factors can influence the design of your procurement program.

- Evaluation of current purchases for ezpansion
- Evaluation of recycled products availability and
__________________________________ performance
Agency CharacterLctic: - Potential for joint purchasing agreements to achieve
economies of scale
Number of employees
- Need for updated source list of recycled products
Commitmeni to Recycling:
intensive coordinanon with procurement staff
Agency director mandates
a ressave affirmative
procurement pro am
Extensive research and educational efforts
involvement of several persons required for
procurement sub-committee
Who Is Responsible For Designing and Implementing My Agency’s Procurement
The successful design and implementation of your agency’s procurement program calls for the
involvement of several key agency leaders, among them your
• Recycling coordinator
• Chief executive
• Facilities management staff
• Contracts/Procurement and Grants staffs
• Program managers
• Procurement sub-committee of your recycling committee.
- Acive involvement of procurement s
Program Objective: education of employees and vendors
1iK type a d quantity of - Close coopezation with purchasing
recycled materials procured n sonneiiana lvsts

Successful procurement of recycled products will rely extensively on management support because
procurement is an integral function of the agency’s daily operations. After the recycling coordinator and
agency managers explore options, the procurement sub-committee should develop a strategy. The testing
and implementation of this strategy should be based on ongoing communication between all the sub-
committees of the recycling committee, the agency’s procurement staff, top executive and program staff,
and information officers within the agency.
How Do I Design and Implement My Agency’s Procurement Component ?
The personnel designated above can design and implement a procurement strategy for recycled
products by following the basic requirements of RCRA. RCRA requires each agency to analyze its current
procurement specifications, revise those which unnecessarily exclude recycled products, eliminate
restrictions for virgin materials only, provide for use of recycled materials to the maximum extent possible,
and put into place an affirmative procurement program. The affirmative procurement program components
are shown in the chart below.
• Range of estimates and certifications
provided by vendors
• Check for significant variations and
percentages of recovered materials
__•• I ..._.‘_.._‘.__.___.II
Recovered Material Preference Program:
Agencies must establish:
• Minimum Content
Pronwtion Program:
Recommended levels
Explicit statements in Requests for proposal
• Mention at pre-bidders conferences
Quality Performance levels
General publicity
• Recycling statement or logo on agency
literature printed on recycled paper
Establish Procedures to Obtain Estimates,
Verify and Certify Quantity of Recovered
Material Content:
Annual Review and Monitoring:
When vendors must provide infomation
Who should provide information
How to obtain information
• How to verify information
• Analysis of barriers (e.g. technical,
economic, resistance to use)

Your agency’s appmach to designing and implementing a procurement strategy can be summarized
in the following basic steps:
veProc ement oramStes
1. Organize in-house resources, such as a procurement subconunittee in your
recycling committee, to 1p design and implement the procurement plan.
Work with your procurement staff; contract administrators, and grant
program administrators from the start. Enlist the support of other
in-house agency gaff and support resources, such as GSA, to define your
agency’s procurement strategy.
2. Review existing procurement specifications for agency supplies. Survey
program units and other components of the agency to determine volumes
and uses of the materials, in order to plan and consolidate your
procurement program.
3. Develop a profile of standards for recycled products and a list of definitions
for those products. (Consult RCRA Guidelines)
4. Develop a profile of the capability for a recycled material to meet the
specifications of each item on your agency’s list of purchased materials.
Include information such as cost, availability, and potential vendors.
S. Test the recycled material to determine its replacement ability for certain
products in your procurement program. Especially evaluate over-specified
products (e. g. inter-office notepaper), and determine which recycled
materials are to be purchased based on your analysis and other agency
environmental factors, such as cost and management support.
6. Get the word out throughout the agency to “BUY RECYCLED.”
7. Advertise and promote program with vendors early and often.
8. Negotiate agreement(s) with the prospective vendor(s) for each material.
In building a comprehensive recycling program, use your collection, marketing,
and education systems to support the procurement process.

What is monitoring and evaluation?
What program options exist?
What factors shouki I consider in designing my
agency’s monitoring and evaluation program?
Who is responsible for designing and implementing
my agency’s program?
How do I design and implement my agency’s

What Is Monitoring And Evaluation?
Monitoring and evaluation of your recycling program is a tracking process in which you measure
your agency’s progress toward the recycling objectives you have established. This process can help your
• Set realistic goals and expectations
• Measure implementation options
• Anticipate and resolve problems due to changes in your agency’s
environment or operating objectives.
Successful monitoring and evaluation programs are built on plans designed to measure each program
activity. The chart on the following page illustrates some critical measures of program performance.

Agency procurement roster lists many recycled products options
Widespread, visible promotion of “buy recycled”
Purchase orders reflect high rate of usage of recycled products
Employee participation—how many, how often, and how well
employees recycle
Material recovery — percentage of waste stream recovered for
Efficiency — employees, custodians, and vendors adhere to
collection schedules and collection proceeds smoothly
Competitive prices for recydables, available vendor services, and
sale of collected materials.
System checks are sufficiently frequent and thorough
Supply information needed

Performing periodic checks to
measure and report the quantity of
materials recycled and the
efficiency of the operation
Determining a baseline
for reporting
Monitoring recovery rates
and participation
Monitoring your recycling program means keeping accurate and up to date statistics, including
records of tonnage figures, dollars received from recycling vendors, and estimated cost avoidance figures
for removing recyclables from the waste stream.
What Monitoring And Evaluation Options Exist?
Many monitoring and evaluation options can be integrated into your program, depending on your
agency’s objectives and the information resources available to assist you in tracking activities. Some
options include, for example:
• Education -- Surveying employees in advance of the recycling program start-date, then
periodically thereafter to determine the level of knowledge or awareness throughout the
agency about program components.
• Collection -- Recording weight slips for collected materials and comparing this
information with the materials volumes data recorded during your waste stream analysis to
determine level of participation.
• Marketing -- Recording and comparing revenues for recyclables to evaluate best-price
vendors, and recording and comparing overall waste disposal costs to determine the rate of
decrease because of diverting materials from the waste stream.
• Procurement -- Reviewing your agency’s procurement contracts, grants, and interagency
agreement requisitions to evaluate the rate of procurement of recycled materials.
• Monitoring and Evaluation -- Surveying agency leaders and employees for ideas on
measurements of success for the recycling program, developing a monitoring and
evaluation plan to measure success rates, re-surveying on a smaller scale and re-evaluating
whether the monitoring and evaluation plan has provided the information desired.
Recordkeeping of costs
and revenues
Reporting successes and
problems to management and

Just as there are many measurement options, there are many methods for implementing these options.
Your choices will depend on your agency’s resources and the scope of your program. You may, for
example, mthntain records in a handwritten form, or log information in a computer database. Staff could
be assigned to conduct your evaluation or your monitoring and evaluation subcommittee members may
provide the service on a volunteer basis. A simple procedure for gathering data is as follows:
Require the recycling company that you contract with to develop and maintain an
accounting system for each waste stream for the period of the contract.
The recycling company will provide a statement each month to the agency recycling
program coordinator which:
-- Outlines the total weight of each material collected.
— States the grade assigned to each load of recyclable material and the price paid per
pound for each material.
With this information, a program operating with even minimal staffing is equipped to track program
What Factors Should I Consider In Designing My Agency’s Monitoring And Evaluation
Your recycling objectives, agency commitment to recycling, and many of your agency’s specific
characteristics, which you will document in your waste stream analysis, will help you establish the
framework within which you can monitor and evaluate your recycling program. If your agency’s
oI jective, for example, is to ieduce its landflhling of waste through a 30% reduction in the amount paid for
hrniling refuse to a landfill, this suggests parameters within which you can measure your recycling
program performance. The chart on the next page indicates a few additional monitoring and evaluation
implications which arise from considering certain factors.

Increase procurement
of recyclable
- Periodically review your agency’s
procurement activities
Agency with multiple
- Focus on regular reporting methods
to apprise staff and employees of
results and convey support from
agency management
Commitment to
Agency leaders require
internal program to
comply with local
recycling laws
- Enforcement strategy to ensure
Program Objectives:
Maintain simple
data-gathering and - Require monthly statements from
accounting system recycling company, outlining total
weight of each material collected,
and file statements

Recycling-generated funds: Consider also that you will be monitoring the use of recycling-
generated income which implies certain responsibilities for the use of those funds. These responsibilities
are noted as follows:
Materials the agency procures to fulfill
its operating mission, e.g., paper.
These materials are the property of
the government.
U.S. Treasury
(Unless agencies have specific
appropiration authority for
return to a Working Capital or
Revolving Fund)
Materials purchased by non-
government funds, e.g. employee
purchases such as soda cans, glass
bottles, newspapers.
Discretion of the recycling
program. May be used,
for example, for ongoing
program costs or
These are not government
contributed to charities.
Pending legislation would enable agencies to keep and use their recycling-derived revenues for recycling
program support. Enactment of this legislation could catalyze all Federal agencies to move forward rapidly
with their recycling programs.
Enforcement: Any standardized program implies requirements which, in turn, usually raise the
subject of enforcement. How can or should you attempt to enforce your agency’s recycling policies? For
the most part, program participation is voluntary and the success rises or falls on the quality of your
educational efforts. Mandatory recycling, however, is becoming the policy of many state and local
governments. If the State and/or local government in which your office is located has implemented such a
law, your agency must comply. Even if it is not a State or local law, there are effective ways to enforce
recycling policy. One of the most effective is a clear and forceful policy statement from your agency
head. Sometimes enforcement can be tied to a service sanction as illustrated on the following page.

ementsampIenot e I
A The janitorial staff was unable to empty your trash can because it
contained recyclable maierials.
A Materials that may be thrown into “Garbage Only” trash cans include:
• Air freight envelopes
• Carbon paper
• Cellophane
• Damaged binders (recycle the papers)
• Foam cups, plates, and trays
• Food waste
• Waxed paper
• Writing implements (old pencils, pens, markers)
A Contact building services regarding on-site recycling procedures
for office paper, newspaper, aluminum, cardboard and glass.
Thank you in advance for helping to abide by our State law.
Who Is Responsible For Designing And Implementing My Agency’s Monitoring and
Evaluation Component?
Your recycling coordinator and committee will play key roles in the design and
implementation of your agency’s monitoring and evaluation program component but they cannot do an
effective job alone. EPA’s experience demonstrates that for this and other aspects of a recycling program,
it is important to house responsibilities within the building management component of an agency.
Institutionalization of the program in this way ensures that someone has authority to sign off on program
decisions and that documentation of recycling activities will be forwarded to an agency official.
In addition, most effective recycling programs have appointed and trained monitors. The
monitors can be agency-wide volunteers or staff of the agency’s building service division. Program
monitors shoul±
• Periodically inspect office areas to determine if employees are properly disposing of
recyclable materials.
• Post recycling statistics in each building so that employees can follow the progress of
the program.

• Field questions regarding program operation or pass along staff suggestions.
• Contribute to articles in Agency bulletins and newsletters.
• Ensure that recycling posters are displayed throughout the year.
Monitoring is not a job that can be passed off routinely, or rotated through. To provide consistency and
reliability there must be regular evaluations by regular monitors. The recycling program coordinator
should meet with program monitors on a monthly basis to readjust the program as needed.
How Do I Design And Implement My Agency’s Monitoring And Evaluation Component?
To track the benefits and improvements of your recycling program, first develop a clear picture of
your starting point, a baseline measure of where you are early in the program. To assess your baseline,
you should
Address the following questions:
-- Is there an active program already in place?
-- Is there currently a program under development (other than your own)?
-- What do you consider key items in your recycling agenda?
-- What do your co-workers want to see accomplished?
• Circulate a staff questionnaire and document the staffs current knowledge of and attitude toward
This information provides a background for deciding appropriate measures to use in assessing
your program as it goes forward.
The next step is actually performing periodic checks and assessing all program activities, using
these measures. It is essential that an analysis is performed and records are kept on each activity. The box
on the next page provides some suggestions.

A pre-program questionnaire and periodic updates can indicate
increased knowledge and support of the program. Your program’s
end-results are probably the best measure of your education
Compare collection actions with goals. Check whether:
• Bins are emptied when full
• Correct recyclables are collected
• Contaminants are present in recyclables
Also check which recyclable items are not collected and why.
Keep vendor receipts for recyclables sold or document volumes of
recyclables at the loading dock prior to sale.
Periodically compare rates with other vendor rates.
Document time and method of pick-up to check efficiency.
Investigate opportunities for joint-sales with other agencies.
Review purchase orders periodically to ensure that your agency is
buying products made from recycled materials, whenever possible.
Schedule periodic discussions with representatives of all agency
departments to review their product needs and encourage them to
“buy recycled.”
Distribute findings, report accomplishments and stumbling blocks
to management and employees.
Provide follow-up information so people can see their efforts are
Provide a feedback mechanism for employee suggestions.

How Do I Put My Agency’s Comprehensive Office Recycling Program In Place?
This section outlines three major phases of activity, which included seven key steps that your
agency may follow in putting your comprehensive recycling program in place. Please keep in mind as you
review these steps that not all programs will follow this exact format for program development and that
flexibility will be the key to your success. The majority of the successful programs reviewed for this
handbook did, however, use most, if not all of these steps.
The seven steps of the process usually occur in three phases:

Phase 1 - Getting Started
In this phase, you set your direction, gather resources, and research your agency’s situation.
These steps are explained in more detail below.
Step 1 - Commit to Recycling
Critical to the successful implementation of any recycling program is the support and endorsement
of senior agency managers. The go-ahead to establish a recycling program must come from top level
agency management. It should be clear that management supports the program, and that it is to be
implemented throughout the agency. Without this support, it is not likely your program will be
successful. Remember the success of any office recycling program depends on the support and
cooperation from every employee, from the highest levels of management to the personnel who carry out
the actual collection procedures. Considering all of the above you must also be sure that your agency puts
forth a truly unified effort and that all groups within the agency are represented.
When you talk about commitment you may be wondering, “What costs are the agency committing
to”. Costs for setting up a program vary according to its size, implementation strategy, and resources
available in-house. Cost components include:
• Portion of salary paid to recycling coordinator
• Promotion and education campaigns
• Containers (main cost)
• Increased janitorial costs (if any)
• Procurement changes, for example higher prices for recycled paper
• Monitoring and evaluation
Those responsible for establishing a recycling program are aware of the importance of cost effectiveness.
The net effect of such programs, though, often includes more than costs because of important benefits
from recycling that do not result in revenue such as:
• Conservation of natural resources and energy
• Savings in landfill disposal costs
• Savings in landfill space
• Savings in hauling costs
• Currently, return of funds to the U. S. Treasury from the sale of collected materials.
When you consider the costs versus the benefits of a recycling program, it should be readily apparent why
more and more Federal, State and local governments are committing to recycling.

Step 2 - Set Up Your Organization
The effectiveness of your recycling program will depend, in part, on adequate staffing. Prior to
initiating a recycling program, senior agency management must designate a Recycling Program
Coonlinator. For a large program, a paid manager or staff may be necessary. Depending on the size of
your agency, the coordinator will spend anywhere from a week or two to several months getting a
recycling program off the ground. Hours required to oversee the program, once it is running, can range
from a few each week to full time.
The Recyding Program Coordinator will be responsible for overseeing the recycling
program and staffing the recycling program team. Staffing the team entails bringing in interested and
knowledgeable individuals to assist in the development and implementation of the recycling program. It
consists of three steps: establishing a recycling committee, assigning monitors, and using consulting
Establishing a recycling committee. The first official duty of the new recycling program
coordinator should be to establish a recycling committee to assist in the research, program design,
and program implementation. A committee can be essential to the smooth initiation of a recycling
program. Your newly appointed Recycling Program Coordinator can manage the efforts of the
committee members to ensure that the project and events progress well. The establishment of
subcommittees within the committee will allow your group to focus on the specific components of a
recycling program (e.g. education, collection, procurement, marketing, and monitoring and
These committees should include people who are both interested and dedicated to the program and
have leadership/communication expenence. While committee members do not need to be
recycling “experts,” specialty areas such as contracts specialists, lawyers, scientists, and facilities
staff will reduce the amount of research that needs to be done to get up to speed on many of the
issues. For example, staff from the procurement division, facilities division, technical staff, and
program staff should be involved. The committees should include representatives of all the
offices/buildings that are part of the program.
Assigning monitors. The Recycling Program Coordinator and the Recycling
Committee should ask for volunteers to be monitors for the recycling program. One monitor for
each division or floor, or for every 25-50 employees, is optimal. Monitors do not need to be
experts, but should have a good rapport with the staff and a thorough understanding of how the
recycling program works. They may be responsible for: ensuring that the containers are relatively
free of non-recycled trash, notifying the coordinator if a container overflows, and encouraging
employees to participate in the program. Monitors must also be aware of the importance of
promoting the procurement of recovered materials.
Using Consulting experts. You may want to consider using an outside “expert,” such
as a consultant who has set up recycling programs in other facilities. It’s possible that your agency
will require new services to get your recycling program off the ground.
Once help is aboard for developing the program, the first order of business is to take stock of the
agency’s cunent situation.

Step 3 - Research Your Current Situation
Researching the current situation will enable your group to develop a set of options and evaluation
criteria to guide the design of your recycling program. Before you start designing and implementing the
recycling program identify:
Waste stream characteristics of the agency. These include the types and quantities of
materials the agency discards. This can be determined by conducting a “waste stream analysis,” as a
first step in determining which materials are viable for recycling (See example in collection
section of this handbook.).
Any current recycling initiatives in place. Prior to implementing a comprehensive recycling
program, determine if any other recycling efforts already exist at your agency. Such efforts may be
“grass roots” in nature and may comprise only a few offices, floors, or staff members. Contact
these staff members and determine the scope of their activities, including: the number of people
involved, the types and amounts of materials being collected, vendors they are using, the processes
they use for collection and marketing, pitfalls and lessons learned, and the location of their activities.
This information should be useful to you in setting up a larger, more comprehensive program. In
addition, since the ongoing program can be expected to be merged with the larger effort, it is helpful
to work together to make integration go smoothly.
Current contracts for space and services. Identify your agency’s existing contractual
agreements for building space and services in order to select the recycling option that best meets the
parameters in which you must operate. First, meet with your office’s facility personnel to
gather information on building and service agreements. Determine who is responsible for collecting
and hauling trash to a disposal facility. Is it a GSA contractor or operated by the building owner?
Who contracts for services, GSA or your agency? Find out what the current level of service
provides? Determine if your building is leased from GSA or a private owner. Second,
determine whether the trash collection staff can add collecting recycled materials to their
job. Determine whether this would require an amendment to their contract or additional funding.
How would recycling affect current services? Is the waste hauled at a fixed rate or at cost plus fixed
• Current procurement specifications, plans, guidelines to determine if your agency is
purchasing recycled materials or plans to do so.
• Applicable components of Federal/State/local laws. An increasing number of States and
localities have requirements for recycling certain materials. In most cases, Federal agencies are
required to meet State and local laws. Appendix C includes Federal procurement and recycling
requirements. You should review these requirements and EPA guidelines to ensure that your agency
is in compliance. For further assistance on Federal recycling requirements, call the RCRA
Procurement Hotline at (703) 941-4452 or the RCRA Program Hotline at 1-800-
• State and local requirements that apply to your agency by contacting the following
- Local and county planning agencies
- State planning agencies
- State departments of natural resources or enviromnental protection

- State laws and regulations
- Local codes and ordinances.
You may want to ask staff at the State or local offices to assist you in designing and implementing a
program that meets their requirements. Regardless of whether State or local requirements exist, you must
comply with RCRA.
Marketability of collected materials. Knowing what materials can be marketed to a
recycler is critical, so you need to identify:
- Potential vendors/recyclers
- Materials the vendors/recyclers recycle
- Whether there are sufficient materials to waiTant recydling , and
- Whether the purchase price is sufficient to wanant recycling
Once the materials to be recycled are determined, you can begin to design your program.

Phase 2 - Program Development
During the second phase of your program activity, you re-examine initial goals in light of the
synthesized information your group has gathered to compose plausible options.
Step 4 - Develop Program Goals
After assessing your current recycling activities, it is helpful to set program goals commensurate
with the current legal, contractual, and environmental goals identified above. These program goals form
the criteria with which to evaluate different options for the recycling program. Typical goals include:
• Ease of implementation
• Meets Federal/State/local requirements
• Increases Agency’s procurement of recycled materials
• Can be implemented with available resources (staff and cost)
Costs of setting up a program vary according to its size, in-house resources, salaries for recycling staff (if
any), containers for recyclable goods (the main cost), educational materials and increased janitorial costs
(if any).
Step 5 - Select Program that Meets Goals
An agency considering recycling as a waste management tool must first decide whether to make
recycling mandatoiy or voluntary. This decision is usually driven by economic realities such as
diminishing and costly landfill space and/or increased distances to available disposal sites and/or local laws
regarding recycling, if any. Several decisions must be made before the program can be
• Is the program mandatory or voluntary? (If recycling, in the future, is mandated for
federal agencies by law and regulation, some options need not be considered or evaluated.)
• Will the work be conducted by staff members voluntarily or will the work be
contracted out or will additional staff be hired to do the work?
• What funding resources are available?
• Is this a phased program, starting with only some of the materials at first or including
only some of the buildings initially?
• Which buildings will you consider? Will you plan on phasing in other buildings at a
later date?
• Will you try a pilot program prior to initiation of a full-scale program?
• What purchases lend themselves to the acquisition of recycled materials?

• What is the scope of the program? Remember, this will be your first cut at the program
scope and you should be realistic while at the same time optimistic. Will it include:
-- Waste reduction only?
-- Collection and marketing only?
-- Procurement only?
-- All of the above activities?
• In the Collection Component which materials will you want to recycle? Develop a list of
recyclable materials and list them in priority order for recycling.
-- High grade white office paper
-- Glass
-- Computer paper
Com ated cardboard
-- Newspaper
Other me
-- Plastics
-- Laser printer cartridges
— Lab wastes (some)
In addition, you may want to consider recycling compost materials such as lawn clippings and other yard
wastes, and agricultural wastes, as well as other wastes identified in the waste stream analysis. Select the
materialstoberecycledbasedontheavailabilityofavendortobuy them, theamountofthatmaterialin
your waste stream analysis, and the benefits compared to the cost of collecting and marketing the materiaL
Now that you have considered the first two phases, you should have a pretty good idea about what
your program will look like. As a committee you are well established and have the backing of management
who you have kept informed throughout this process. In order to move the program forward, submit the
committee t s findings and recommendations to management for approval.

Phase 3 - Maintaining Your Program
Step 6 - Implement Program
So much has already been said regarding program development that this section is presented as a
summary of design and implementation steps in the form of a checklist to help keep your program on
Program Design and Implementation Checklist
Your staffing team is ready and the comprehensive requirements analysis has been done. You have
selectively designed a recycling program that is now ready to be implemented. But first check to make
sure you have:
_____ Established lines of communication with employees
Determined which types of education devices will be used by whom
_____ Announced the program and put up posters
_____ Distributed written recycling procedures for staff, maintenance personnel and management
_____ Trained the staff, maintenance personnel, and management who are directly involved
_____ Determined whether your present contract meets your program needs
_____ Identified and secured space for collection and storage of materials
_____ Selected and procured collection containers
_____ Identified area(s) for loading dock use or other central point(s) of transfer for dealer pick-up
_____ Determined who will move materials to central transfer points
_____ Placed containers in appropriate areas
_____ Met with Agency contracts staff
_____ Identified dealer contract components
_____ Established funding needs to market materials
_____ Determined where income from recycle collection will go
_____ Solicited proposals from dealers
_____ Reviewed GSA contract availability
Signed a contract
Implemented procurement guidelines
Organized in-house procurement resources
_____ Enlisted the support on in-house agency staff and other support resources
Developed a profile of the availability of a recycled matenal
____ Evaluated recycled material profiles
____ Detemiined which recycled materials are to be purchased through procurement program
Negotiated agreement(s) with prospective vendor(s) for each material.

Step 7 - Monitoring and Evaluation:
____ Conducted waste stream analysis
____ Established monitoring/evaluation timeframe
___ Established methods of tracking, measuring and recording quantities of material recovered
_____ Established lines of communication between staff and management to convey program results
Program monitors in place
___ Established feedback mechanism
Developed enforcement program if necessary
Your monitoring and evaluation sub-committee may find additional items to add to the checklist. Now you
are really ready to go. Good luck, and enjoy a worthwhile project!
Let Us Know How You Are Doing and What You Need
EPA recognizes that with the rapid advancements in recycling programs and technologies,
guidelines such as those offered in this handbook may quickly become outdated. In order to provide
your agency with the best information possible, EPA would like to know how the handbook has been
useful to you, changes or other information you would find helpful, resources you can recommend, and
suggestions or tips you can offer from your office recycling efforts. The tear sheet included at the end
of the handbook has a two-fold design: to enable you to report back to EPA regarding the helpfulness
of the handbook and any changes you recommend, and to provide you with a record of your program’s
goals and accomplishments. In order to maintain the completeness of this handbook, please photo-copy
the page, complete the questionnaire, and return itto the address indicated on the form. The
information you provide will be used in periodic updates of this handbook.

1. American Telephone & Telegraph, Inc.(A T & T), materials compiled by Cheryl A.
LaPerna concerning recycling activities at A T & T, 1989.
2. Brock, Carolyn, From Waste to Resources in Kent County , Kent County’s
(Michigan) Resource Recovery Program, Department of Public Works, 1984.
3. Cannon, Jonathan Z, “Statement...Before the Subcommittee on Transportation and
Hazardous Matenals of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, U.S. House of
Representatives,” July 12, 1989.
4. Chandler, William U., Materials Recycling: The Virtue of Necessity , Worldwatch
Paper 56, Woridwatch Institute,1983.
5. Franklin Associates, Ltd., An Analysis of the EPA Headquarters Waste Stream ,
March 10, 1989.
6. International Business Machines, Inc. (IBM), materials compiled by Bonny MacBrien
concerning recycling activities at IBM, 1989.
7. MidAtlantic Glass Recycling Program, “ Fundraising Through Recycling , undated.
8. National Solid Wastes Management Association, Recycling Times , various issues.
9. National Solid Wastes Management Association, Waste Alternatives , various issues.
10. Ogden Martin Systems, Inc., materials compiled by W. John Phillips, Vice President,
concerning recycling activities at Ogden Martin, 1989.
11. Outerbridge, Thomas, Meicher, Joan, and Relis, Paul, Setting Up An Office
Recycling Program , Community Environmental Council, Inc., 1986.
12. Pollock, Cynthia, Mining Urban Wastes: The Potential For Recycling Woridwatch
Paper 76, Woridwatch Institute, 1987.
13. Ruston, John, “Testimony of The Environmental Defense Fund at a Hearing Before
the Subcommittee on Transportation and Hazardous Materials of the House Committee
on Energy and Commerce on Federal Recycling Initiatives,” July 13, 1989.
14. The Coca Cola Company, Recycling. A Corporate Approach , undated.
15. The San Francisco Recycling Program, Your Office Paper Recycling Guide , undated.
16. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office Paper Recovery: An Implementation
Manual . (1990).
17. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Promoting Source Reduction and
Recvclabilitv in the Marketplace , EPA/530-SW-89-066, September 1989.
18. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Recycle , Proceedings from Facilities
Management Conference, May 9-12, 1989.
19. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Recycling Works! State and Local Solutions
to Solid Waste Management Problems , EPA/530-SW-89-014, January 1989.

20. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, The Solid Waste Dilemma: An Agenda for
Action , EPA/530-SW-89-019, February 1989.
21. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Waste Minimization. Environmental Oualitv
with Economic Benefits , EPA/530-SW-87-026,October 1987.
22. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Yard Waste Composting. A Study of Eight
Programs , EPA/530-SW-89-038, April 1989.
23. Waste Management Corporation, Inc., materials compiled concerning recycling
activities, 1989.
The Solid Waste Disposal Act as amended, 1987
District of Columbia Bill 7-378, the “District of Columbia Solid Waste Management and
Multi-Material Recycling Act of 1988”
Procurement Guideline for Cement and Concrete Containing Fly Ash, 40 CFR Part 249,
January 1983
Procurement Guideline for Paper and Paper Products, 40 CFR Part 250, June 1988
Procurement Guideline for Lubricating Oils Containing Refined Oil, 40 CFR Part 252,
June 1988
Procurement Guideline for Retread Tires, 40 CFR Part 253, November 1988
Procurement Guideline for Building Insulation Products, 40 CFR Part 248, February 1989

(703) 941-4452 M-F
830 TO 5:30 (EST)
(202) 382-6980
(202) 382-6261

The statutory definition of a procuring agency identifies three types of agencies:
(1) Federal agencies
(2) State or local agencies using appropriated Federal funds
(3) Contractors.
Section 6002 of RCRA sets forth certain requirements for procuring agencies. These requirements include:
(1) Eliminating from specifications any discriminaiton against the use of recovered materials.
(2) Purchasing products which contain recovered material if reasonable levels of technical performance, cost,
availability, and competition can be achieved.
(3) Obtaining certification from suppliers that they have met any minimum contractual requirements for including
recovered materials in their products.
The exhibit on the following page outlines the procurement guidelines for:
(1) Building insulation materials
(2) Cement and concrete containing fly ash
(3) Paper and paper products
(4) Lubricating oils containing refined oil.
(5) Retread tires

41) CFR PART 248, FEBRUARY 1989.
This guideline applies to building insulation products. This term includes but is not limited to insulation products used in residential, commerical, and industrial type
applicaitons and includes blanket, board, spray-in-place, and loose-fill insulations. Building insulation is used in four locations: ceilings, floors, foundations and walls.
The types of materials from which these products are made include, but are not limited to cellulose fiber, fiberglass, rock wool, plastic rigid foams, and specialty materi-
als. Composite products are also considered within the scope of this guideline.
This guideline designates cement and concrete products such as pipe and block, containing fly ash, as a product area for which procuring agencies must exercise affirma-
tive procurement under Section 6002 of RCRA and presents recommendations for carrying out the requirements of Section 6002 with respect to fly ash used in cement
and concrete.
40 CFR PART 250, JUNE 1988
This guideline applies to the procurement of paper and paper products containing recovered materials. Included are all paper and paperboard categories except building
and construction paper grades. EPA included as many items as possible within the scope of this guideline to encourage the paper industry to increase and improve the
production of paper and paperboard categories failing within the scope of these guidelines incudes: high grade bleached papers, printing and writing papers, mailing en-
velopes, memo pads, form bond and manifold business forms, computer paper, newsprint, xerographic/copy paper, and tissue products.
JUNE 1988
This guideline designates engine lubricating oils, hydraulic fluids, and gear oils which meet specificed military specifications (Mil Specs) as items which are subject to the
procurement requirements of Section 6002 of RCRA. These oils were chosen because the Mil Specs allowed refined oils to be used. The oils represent large components
of the annual Federal procurement of lubricating oils, and State, local and private purchasers commonly use the oils.
This guidelines applies to purchases of the following types of tires: high-speed industrial tires, bus tires, and special service tires (including Military, agricultural, off--
the-road, and slow speed industrial). The guidelines do not apply to airplane tires or original equipment tires.

The following provides basic information and handling requirements on the paper, glass,
aluminum and plastics recycling programs.
Paper Program:
When assessing the potential for paper recycling, keep in mind that not all paper is the
same. Different grades lend themselves to making different types of new products and,
therefore, are not interchangeable. For example, old newspapers are used primarily to
make newsprint and recycled paperboard, but cannot be used to make fine writing papers;
old corrugated containers make linerboard, corrugating medium, and recycled paperboard,
but not newsprint; high-grade deinking papers and pulp substitutes (e.g., trim or cuttings
from converting plants that produce folding cartons, envelopes, bags) make tissue and
printing/writing papers, but not corrugated boxes. Recycled paper can be used to create
cereal boxes, writing pad bases, wall board, newsprint, corrugated containers and tissue
paper. The four major grades of recyclable paper are:
1. High Grade Office Paper:
The fourth largest source of waste paper is the high-grade deinking papers, of
which 2.5 million tons were collected in 1988. This is estimated as 36% of the
potential available. This is primarily disgarded as production printed waste, but
also includes materials such as computer printout papers white paper/any color
printing, white office stationary, white copier paper, white note/tablet paper, white
envelopes with water-soluble glue(flaps that stick when moistened). Excluded
from this category include: envelopes with non-soluble glue, carbon paper
(sensitized paper), blueprint paper, film and photographs, all colored paper, and file
2. Low Grade Office Paper:
Mixed papers are collected from office buildings and industrial plants and are
generally unsorted paper. Included in mixed paper is a significant percentage of
high quality waste papers. These, if separated from other non-paper wastes, can be
recycled into high quality products. In 1988, 3.0 million tons of mixed papers
were collected, which represents a 10 percent collection rate overall and a 13
percent recovery rate of the uncontaminated supply. Additionally low-grade paper
includes: colored paper, file folders(reuse if possible), brown envelopes, soft cover
books with white paper(e.g., Code of Federal Regulations, phone books)-or
remove binding and recycle as high grade white paper.
3. Corrugated Cardboard:
The largest single source of waste paper collected for recycling is corrugated boxes,
including corrugated box plant clippings. In 1988, approximately 10.5 million tons
of used corrugated boxes (post consumer waste) and 1.8 million tons of box plant
clippings (industrial waste) were collected. The nationwide collection rate for old
corrugated containers in 1988 was 51 percent, with some metropolitan areas
achieving a post-consumer collection rate estimated to be in excess of 60 percent.
D l

4. Old Newspapers:
The second largest source of waste paper is newspaper, which constitutes the
principal grade collected from private residence. In 1988, approximately 4.7
million tons were recovered, representing 34 percent of total U.S. consumption (the
equivalent of 81 percent of the 5.8 million tons of U.S. newsprint production).
Glass Program:
Glass is 100% recyclable without any loss in quality to the new containers being
manufactured. The average American uses approximately 85 pounds of glass per year.
Recycled glass melts at a lower temperature, thereby reducing energy consumption and
extending the life of melting furnaces. Every pound of melted glass can be recycled into a
pound of new glass, and it can be recycled again and again. Recyclable glass containers
include all types of food jars, beverage bottles (all glass), and cosmetic bottles. Excluded
are light bulbs, ceramic glass, dishes or plate glass, safety and window glass, heat resistant
glass, and lead-based glass (such as crystal or TV tubes).
Aluminum Program:
Approximately 55 percent of all aluminum cans sold are returned and recycled. In 1988,
1.5 million pounds of aluminum beverage containers (about 42.5 billion cans) were
recycled. The actual number of aluminum cans recycled has increased every year since
aluminum recycling became popular in the early l970s. In most cases recycled aluminum
is used to produce new cans.
Steel and Bi-Metallic Program:
Steel cans are purchased by the steel industry because they are a good source of scrap and
because their tin coating can also be recovered and recycled. Some steel cans have
aluminum tops and bottoms and are called bi-metal cans. A can is bi-metal if a magnet
sticks to the sides but not the ends, if you collect a lot of cans, you might want to flatten
them to save space. You will need to check the local marketability for bi-metal cans to
determine if recycling them is viable.
Plastics Program:
A growing number of types of plastic products are being recycled. PET plastics
(polyethylene terephthalate) are recycled at a rate of 20 percent Other plastic products with
favorable recycling potential are milk, water and juice containers, all of which are derived
from high density polyethylene (HDPE). Recycling potential also exists for other types of
plastics, such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or vinyl. Items made from polystyrene foam
which can be recycled include plastic foam cups and plates, take-out containers used by the
restaurant industry; cafeteria trays, fast-food containers, plastic cutlery and packaging
materials. Recycled plastics are used in plastic wood products, flower pots, drainage pipes,
toys, traffic barrier cones, carpet backing, and fiber for pillows, ski jackets and sleeping

Approximately 200 million tires are available for reuse or recycling each year. Since they
are bulky, they take up valuable landfill space. Tires, which are very expensive to dispose
of, can be used in asphalt pavement, industrial fuel, rubber mats and to hold soil erosion.
Yard Waste:
Yard waste comprised eighteen percent of the municipal waste stream. Yard wastes
including leaves, grass clippings, branches, and twigs can be composted and used to enrich
soil. For more information about composting you may wish to read EPA’s Yard Waste
Composting: A Study of Eight Programs (EPA/530-SW-89-038). This document is
available through the RCRA Program Hotline 1-800-424-9346
Each of the different types of recyclable materials have different handling and processing
requirements, a few of which are outlined below. It will be important to work closely with your
local recycling company who will stipulate requirements for materials other than those discussed
High And Low Grade Office Paper:
Contamination of high and low grade office paper causes serious problems in the paper
manufacturing process and substantially lowers the value. The most frequently found
contaminants are:
- Plastic covers
- Lithocoated paper
- Fax paper
- Glossy paper
- Post-its
- Tape
- Carbon paper
- Blueprints
- Cardboard
- Pressure-sensitive labels
Paper with insoluble glue (e.g., wrapping for copier paper)
- Envelopes with plastic windows
- Envelopes with pressure-sensitive flaps and labels
- Binder clips, metal fasteners, rubber bands (save for reuse)
- Food wrappings, cups, napkins, tissues.
Corrugated Cardboard:
Corrugated cardboard should be kept free of contaminants, which adversely affect
production efficiency and product quality. Contaminant-free corrugated waste paper also
increases its value. Common contaminants include: styrofoam packing materials, plastic
bags, wrap and film, trays used to package food items, and plastic cups.

In order to maximize the price that can be obtained for newspapers, they should be kept
clean, dry, out of direct sunlight, tied in bundles or placed in paper bags, and free of
contaminants. Contaminants include:
- Wire hangers or other metal objects
— Wax and plastic paper
— Aluminum foil
— Plastic bags
— Clothing
- Glass
— Wood and yard waste.
Glass has a number of processing and handling requirements that have to be followed in
order to produce cullet (crushed glass) that is furnace ready (i.e., color-sorted and free of
1. Separate material by color (green. brown or clear’ : Color sorting is essential to
guarantee color consistency in containers being made from recycled glass.
Occasionally, markets can be found for mixed-color glass, but prices paid may be
lower than these for color-sorted glass. No equipment in the glass container
industry can effectively color sort glass in the processing phase. Sorting of glass
can be done easily by providing three separate, central containers clearly marked to
specify which color of glass should be deposited in each container.
2. Separate contaminants from the glass : Contamination is a serious concern of the
glass container industry. Sources of contamination include:
- Stones anddirt
— Ceramic cups, dishes and ovenware
— Light bulbs
— Plate glass, safety and window glass
— Heat-resistant glass such as Pyrex
— Lead-based glass such as crystal or TV tubes.
These materials can create serious problems for the glass container manufacturer for
the following reasons: glass furnaces operate at temperatures of about 2700 degrees
Fahrenheit. Both lead and aluminum melt at this temperature. Iron, steel and lead
will settle to the bottom of a furnace and attack its refractory lining. Aluminum
melts into small balls called “stones” or bubbles called “seeds.” These can appear
in the containers being made, causing both structural and aesthetic problems.
Ceramics and stones create similar problems.
Glass plants are equipped with cullet processing systems which can remove metal
caps, rings, and paper from the cullet. This means that all glass recycling
programs must make quality control of collected material a high priority.
3. Crushing the glass . Glass does not need to be crushed to be sold. However,
crushed glass (cullet) reduces the volume which makes transport simpler and more

Metal Cans:
Depending on your market, metal cans at some point will need to be separated into all
aluminum, steel and/or bi-metal categories. If separation is required at the Agency, a
magnet can be used to determine the alloy. It is suggested that the cans be crushed in order
to reduce the volume and make transportation more efficient. Contaminants include:
- liquid in cans
- food wrappings
- cups, plastic and glass
It is important that the cans be empty of liquid and that such information be displayed on
the collection container.
There are many varieties and combinations of plastic in offices. Plastic will usually have
to be separated by types. This is a relatively new area and technology is advancing rapidly.

Program staff can undertake steps to reduce waste and to foster the reuse of material
goods. Activities include:
• Source elimination
• Source reduction
• Reuse
Suggestions for involving staff are presented in the following paragraphs.
A. Source Elimination
Educate staff to the choice of selecting and buying products that have recycling
markets in your area. Selecting recyclable and recycled goods over other materials also
could be applied to document production (e.g., Code of Federal Regulations) whereby the
agency specifies that water soluble glues are used. At the same time, investigate
alternative ways to bind documents so that when a document is no longer useful, it can be
recycled as a high grade material with a minimal amount of labor involved. Other waste
reduction examples include:
• Telephone directories should be stapled rather than glued
• Use of ceramic cups instead of disposable polystyrene foam
The aim of these efforts is to eliminate unnecessary non-recyclable waste.
B. Source Reduction
A Federal agency can assess its own way of doing business to encourage staff to
reduce the amount of waste it helps generate. For example, requiring agency staff and
contractors to copy on both sides of the paper can generate substantial savings in paper.
Use the back of previously used paper for drafts or worksheets. Make only the number of
copies of memos or reports needed to meet your requirements. Do not round up--making
twenty copies when only eighteen are needed. This equals a 10% reduction in waste. See
EPA document (EPA-530-SW-89-066) Promoting Source Reduction and Recycling in the
Marketplace .
C. Reuse
One of the most critical components of waste reduction is the reuse of materials.
Each time a material is reused, a new one need not be manufactured, purchased, and
ultimately disposed of. Suggested items to reuse include:
• File folders
• Interoffice envelopes
• Binder clips, metal fasteners, paper clips
• Rubber bands.
• Three ring binders
• Staples
• Staple removers
An agency should stress that office supplies can often be reused instead of being thrown
out. It is suggested that an area be identified for the display of used supplies within or
near your agency’s supply store.

ThAIR Itll 1 T
AGENCY NAME: __________________ Today’s Date: ________
Address: ___________________________________________
Contact Person/Division: ______—____________________________
Strategy_. ___ ____________________________
Materials: Estimated tonnage to be collected
High grade paper Oil
Computer paper Other metals
Other paper Plastics
Newspaper Printer Cartridges
Glass Lab wastes
Aluminum Other (please identify)
Corrugated cardbd.
Materials: Please check those recyclable materials regularly or those which
which will be procured.
Paper Building insulation products
Computer paper Fly ash in cement
Photocopy paper Other (please identify)
Printer cartridges
Lab products
Retread tires

Frequency__ .. — —____
EDUCATION: What techniques have you used and how successful have they
Techniques Frequency. Timing Participation
How have you staffed your education program?
____ Volunteers ____ New Hires ____ Assigning tasks to existing
• COLLECTION: What materials are regularly collected?
Materials Amount (in tons )

How have you staffed your collection program?
Volunteers ____ New Hires Assigning tasks to existing
• PROCUREMENT: What recycled materials are regularly procured?
Materials Amount (in tons or dollars )
• ENTHUSIASM AND COMMITMENT: How would you describe the enthusiasm
and commitment of the following participants to your recycling program:
- Senior Agency Management:
- Program Staff:
- Program Participants
• GENERAL: How has actual program experience differed from program goals?
Why has experience been better or worse?
• Describe funding support and adequacy:
• FUTURE: What program improvements or changes do you plan?

1. What parts of the handbook were particularly helpful in setting up your
recycling program?
2. In what areas was the handbook weak: (For example, have you encountered
problems for which the handbook had no answer. Were there any areas where it
was incorrect or misguiding? If so, please photocopy the pages and return with
3. What guidance could we add that would make the handbook more useful?
4. What other references did you use to develop your program?
5. What advice would you give others wishing to develop a similar recycling
Please mail responses to:
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Administration and Resources Management
Attention: Gail Miller Wray (PM-215)
401 M St., SW
Washington, DC 20460