United States
                               Environmental Protection
                      Solid Waste and
                      Emergency Response
             Summer 1994
   EPA Employees
   Pledge To
   "Break the

   Paper Chain!"
      EPA is no different from
      any other office in terms
      of the amount of paper it
   uses—too much. Paper makes
   up about 38 percent of all mu-
   nicipal solid waste (MSW) be-
   fore recycling. Office paper is
   the third  largest category of
   paper waste, after corrugated
   cardboard and newspapers. To
   reduce the amount of paper it
   uses,  EPA has  launched the
   Paper-Less Office Campaign.
   While recycling is already a
   way of life at EPA, focusing on
   reducing paper waste on the
   job will help EPA employees
   follow the Agency's own solid
   waste management hierarchy,
   which makes waste preven-
   tion the top priority.
    On Earth Day, EPA Admin-
   istrator Carol Browner kicked
   off the Paper-Less Office
           (Continued on page 2)
 Truth in Environmental Advertising •
 Steel Recycling CANpaign    Waste
 Prevention Information Exchange   •
 Recycling Whiz Wins Westinghouse Award
 •   EPA  Program  Sustains the
 Environment  and   Economy   •
 Perspectives on  Flow  Control  •
 Recycling  Hotline   •   WTE Ash
The Greening of
the White  House
  In March, less than a year after
  announcing that the White House
  should be a symbol of a clean en-
vironment, President Clinton un-
veiled the  first Action Plan for his
project,  "The Greening of the White
House." The initial phase  of the
"Greening"  project, which will
serve as a model for government,
businesses, and households, con-
sists of  50 practical steps that the
White House is taking to cut waste,
improve energy efficiency, and save

  The 50 actions were proposed by
a team of experts who performed an
energy and environmental  "audit"
of the White House and the Old Ex-
ecutive Office Building (OEOB). The
team included EPA employees, as
well as  representatives from other
federal agencies and the District of
Columbia government. The actions
that the  team recommended and the
White House adopted range from in-
stalling  energy-efficient lighting to
minimizing pesticide use, and in-
clude several model initiatives for
preventing waste, recycling, com-
posting, and buying recycled.
Preventing waste. An internal
source-reduction policy will be es-
tablished for workers  at the
Executive Complex, which includes
both the White House  and the
OEOB. This policy will set forth
guidelines for reducing paper con-
sumption, using durable products,
and conserving office supplies,  in
addition to encouraging greater use
of electronic communications such
as paperless electronic mail and fax-
ing. The source-reduction policy
will mesh well with ongoing efforts
             (Continued on page 2)

  "We're going to identify what it takes to
  make the White House a model for efficiency
  and waste reduction, and then we're going to
  get the job done.... Before I ask you to do the
  best you can in your house, I ought to make
  sure I'm doing the best I can in my house."

         President Clinton
                                   Reusable News is printed with soy/canola ink on paper that contains at least 50 percent recycled fiber.

The Greening of the White House
 (Continued from page 1)

to maintain the historical significance and grandeur of
the Executive Complex. For example, when repairs or
maintenance are needed at the White House, contractors
currently remove and restore existing building materi-
als, rather than purchase new materials. This is precisely
the sort  of practice that the internal source-reduction
policy will encourage.

Recycling. Under the Action Plan, steps will be taken
to improve and increase recycling throughout the Execu-
tive Complex. Outreach and  education for staff will
boost existing recycling efforts. New collection bins will
be more prominently placed,  and OEOB management
will collect polystyrene dishes and utensils from the
cafeteria for recycling. (Eventually, the cafeteria might
move to reusable, nondisposable dishware.) A house-
hold battery collection program for employees also will
be added. Finally, in the Living Quarters of the White
House, the  First Family received recycling bins—and
began using them—in February.

Composting. The 18 acres of gardens and lawns sur-
rounding the White House are  extensive and constantly
maintained, making yard trimmings a major component of
the Executive Complex's waste stream. To manage these
materials, the groundskeeping staff is already practicing
"grasscycling" (leaving grass trimmings on the lawn as
mulch instead of raking, bagging, and  tossing them). In
addition, the use of offsite composting facilities to handle
yard trimmings  and other  organic wastes will be ex-
Buying recycled. President Clinton's running track,
which is composed of rubber recovered from used tires
and windshield wipers, is a well-known part of White
House efforts to encourage "Buying Recycled." To stimu-
late markets for recyclables and encourage recovery of
materials, staff at the Executive Complex will fully com-
ply with Executive Order 12873, which directs agencies
to purchase recycled paper with at least 20 percent
postconsumer content. Staff also will purchase  addi-
tional supplies made from recovered  materials
whenever possible, using the guidance of EPA's pro-
posed Comprehensive Procurement Guideline.

Cleaner government, better government. The
Greening of the White House will help President Clinton
meet one of his major goals: proving that cleaner gov-
ernment and better government are synonymous. The
President has made it clear that all actions taken under
this project to protect the environment must also save
taxpayers money. In addition, many of the Greening
projects will enhance worker  health and productivity
(e.g., through innovations such as time-saving electronic
mail and reduced-glare lighting). As such, the Greening of
the White House will serve as a practical model for people
across the  nation who are  ready  to make economical
environmental changes in their households and busi-

  For more information on the Greening of the White
House, contact Brian Johnson of the White House Office
on Environmental Policy at 202 456-6224.1
EPA Employees Pledge To "Break the Paper Chain!"
 (Continued from page 1)

Campaign by asking all EPA employees to join her in taking a pledge
to reduce paper use.

  Employees can fulfill this pledge by following basic paper-
conserving  techniques such as  two-sided copying and  use of
electronic communications. The Campaign also encourages each of
EPA's 47 offices and laboratories to adopt a specific strategy for paring
down paper use. Many ideas are being tested, from purging mailing
lists of duplicates and old entries to using paperless electronic mail
instead of distributing "hard" copies of interoffice memos. Progress
will be measured  by  tracking the number of  monthly photocopy
impressions logged by each office and by the number of employees in
each office who pledge to participate.

    The 1994 goal of the campaign is to reduce Agency wide paper
consumption by 15 percent. If that goal is achieved, EPA  Headquar-
ters alone will save up  to  21 million  sheets of paper and over
$ 100,000! Each year EPA will continue to identify new waste reduc-
tion challenges and to set higher goals for itself. EPA hopes that the
Paper-Less Office Campaign will not only reduce paper consumption
internally, but also serve as a model for other federal agencies and
private firms.
                                                                 EPA Administrator Carol Browner gets some help
                                                                 "breaking the paper chain" on Earth Day.

FTC  Enforces Truth in  Environmental Advertising
     The Federal  Trade  Commission
     (FTC) is on the lookout for mis-
     leading messages about the envi-
ronmental impact of products and
packages. Since 1990, FTC has been
identifying manufacturers that incor-
rectly claim their products are ozone-
friendly,  environmentally safe,
biodegradable, compostable, recy-
cled, or recyclable. To date, over  25
companies  making  unsubstantiated
environmental  marketing  claims
about their products have faced legal
  FTC issued a set of principles and
examples as guidelines on environ-
mental advertising and marketing to set
the standard for environmental claims.
Developed in 1992 with the  help of
EPA, the guidelines are designed to pro-
vide   consumers   with  accurate
information  when making environ-
mental purchasing decisions. The
guidelines are also intended to provide
marketers with clear instructions  for
making valid environmental  claims.
Even though the guidelines are not law,
they reflect FTC's interpretation of the
Federal Trade Commission Act, which
prohibits deceptive practices affecting
commerce. By adhering  to the guide-
lines, companies  can avoid making
false or deceptive claims.

  The guidelines  cover recyclability
and recycled content in detail. Unless a
product or package is made from 100
percent recycled material, the  amount
of recycled material  contained in the
product or package must be identified.
Similarly, claims of recyclability
should be qualified to address the lim-
ited availability of recycling programs,
unless collection sites exist for a sub-
stantial majority of consumers.

  Next year, FTC will review  the
guidelines to ensure that they evolve
along with manufacturing techniques
and environmental advertising prac-
tices. As part of the review process,
FTC plans to open the guidelines to
public comment. To get involved or
for  more information,  contact Mike
Dershowitzof FTC at202 326-3158, or
Robin Moran of EPA at 202 260-5066
to obtain a copy of the FTC guidelines
or written information.®
FTC  Actions
    Following are examples of  FTC
    actions against  dubious recy-
    clable/recycled    content
product claims:
  A fast-food company was cited
  for claims concerning  the
  recyclability of its paper food
  containers.  The paper displayed
  the three chasing arrows symbol,
  as well as the word "recyclable."
  However, since very few facilities
  accept food-contaminated paper
  for recycling, most consumers
  cannot recycle this packaging.
  A  manufacturer of  a  cellulose
  adhesive tape was challenged for
  a hard plastic  dispenser and
  paperboard backcard labeled
  "biodegradable"  tape  and
  "recyclable packaging." Although
  the  tape  dispenser  and
  backcard are capable of being
  recycled, most consumers cannot
  recycle them because only a few
  collection facilities nation-
  wide  accept  the nonfoam
  polystyrene  dispenser  and
  noncorrugated  paperboard
  package. In addition, the  tape
  does not meet FTC's definition of
  biodegradability since, after
  ordinary  use,  it does  not
  completely break down  and
  return  to  nature within  a
  reasonably short period.
In both cases, companies promptly
agreed to  change their claims to
prevent consumer deception.
   Pay - As -You -Tnr ow:

                    There's a new trend
       in communities today. Citizens are paying tor trash
    services based on the amount or waste they generate. The
     less they toss, the less they pay. (And the less waste that
               cities and towns must manage.)

                      To rind out
    if pay-as-you-throw could make sense in your community,
      call the RCRA Hotline at 800-424-9346 and ask for
       EPA's free guide entitled Pay-As-You-Throw: Lessons
       Learned Alout Unit Pricing  (EPA530-R-94-004).
              It's  Makingf  Cents

Steel  Recycling



    The Steel Recycling Institute (SRI) is
    offering to recycling programs across
    the country a high-impact media
"CANpaign" designed to get the word out on the
recyclability of steel cans.
  The Steel Recycling CANpaign is targeted at
recycling programs that need assistance with
their public education efforts. It provides flex-
ible, creative outreach materials, as well as a me-
dia kit containing tips on free media outlets and
marketing tools.  SRI hopes that this effort to sup-
port community education will  translate into
increased steel recycling rates nationwide.

  Many community recycling programs collect ^
steel cans, and  steel boasts an impressive "
industry-wide recycling  rate.  But with im-
proved public information, even more steel can be recov-
ered. For example, some consumers think that tin cans are
not recyclable even though most tin  cans are primarily
composed of recyclable steel. In addition, some consumers
do not know that properly emptied and  prepared aerosol
and paint cans can be recycled in many communities.

  Most of the CANpaign materials are made from reused or
recycled materials and/or designed to be  recycled. Posters
are printed on the back of government surplus maps, televi-
sion public service announcements are made up of old film
clips, and press materials are packaged in a recycled steel
box. The campaign also features bus posters, billboards, and
radio advertisements. A common focus of these materials is
teaching consumers to identify steel products that  can be

  In addition to  providing CANpaign materials to commu-
nity recycling programs, SRI is also helping communities
across the country organize recycling campaigns. To do this,
SRI brings together organizations that can donate personnel
and help secure  press time,  such as  local governments,
businesses,  and  media sources. For example, SRI  is cur-
rently working with the  Washington,  DC,  Council of
Governments, federal agencies such as EPA,  and large busi-
nesses  in  the Washington, DC, area  to launch a local
CANpaign that will start in September. SRI has supported
over 25 similar CANpaigns this year; one in Ventura County,
California, resulted in a 21 -percent increase in the amount
of steel collected by the County's recycling program.

  SRI is an industry-sponsored association with the mis-
sion of promoting  and  sustaining steel  recycling  in  the
United States. For more information on the Steel Recycling
CANpaign, write to the Steel Recycling Institute,  Public
Service Program, 680 Andersen Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15220-
2700, or call 800 876-7274.1
Information Exchange

Acts as Waste Prevention


      Did you ever wish you had instant access
      to information  on waste prevention
      methods? The  California Integrated
Waste Management Board has established an
information exchange service to collect and
distribute  materials in the ever-changing
world of waste prevention. The "Info  Ex-
change" is a free service that provides assis-
tance to government agencies, professional
associations, industry, small businesses, citi-
zen groups, and other interested parties on
all aspects of waste prevention.
  The Info Exchange currently covers more
than 200 waste prevention topics and can
offer information such as:
• Waste assessments,  case  studies, and
  money-saving tips for businesses.
• Guides,  handbooks, and household hints
  for consumers.
• Program ideas for local, state, and federal
• Lists and  case  studies of  materials  ex-
• Instructions on backyard composting, xer-
  iscaping (dry climate landscaping), and
  other organic methods.
• Information  on  aseptic packaging, wire-
  bound boxes, and alternative packaging.
• Analysis of waste reduction and program
  The Info Exchange's database  contains
hundreds of documents, including articles,
case studies, reports,  and sample  outreach
materials.  Just  call, fax, or send electronic
mail to the Info  Exchange with your informa-
tion request,  and include  your  name,
address, and phone number. Out-of-state re-
quests will be handled as staff time permits.

  In addition to distributing materials,  the
Info Exchange  is seeking new materials. If
you've completed  a project and have meas-
urable results or lessons to share with others,
contact the Info Exchange. Send materials
to Waste  Prevention Info Exchange,  c/o
Kathy Frevert,  8800 Cal Center Drive, Sac-
ramento, CA 95826; call 916 255-INFO; fax
916  255-2220;  or  send electronic mail on
Internet to B

           "Taking Action" is a Reusable News feature that spotlights the everyday efforts of individuals to reduce, reuse, and
     recycle in the home, office, and community. If you know of anyone who has made an innovative contribution to meeting the munici-
     pal solid waste challenge, but not as part of an environmental profession, please write to John Leigh, Reusable News, Office of Solid
                           Waste, U.S. EPA (5305), 401 M Street, SW, Washington, DC 20460.
Recycling Whiz
Takes  Top
Prize  in  High-
Stakes Science
      budding  recycling  engineer
      won first place in the prestig-
      ious  Westinghouse Science
Talent Search. Forrest Anderson,
who was a senior at Helena High
School in Helena, Montana, at the
time of the competition,  designed
and built a  system that breaks down
plastics into their original chemical
elements, which can then  be recov-
ered and reused. The project earned
the 18-year-old a $40,000 college  scholarship.
  Anderson's system is designed to  address one of the
major challenges associated with plastics recycling: the
need for source separation. Most recyclers must sort
plastics before beginning the decomposition and recov-
ery process because different types of plastics often break
down into incompatible by-products. Anderson's inno-
vative system combines two methods of plastics recovery
to yield usable, uniform products.
  The first technology used in Anderson's system is a
common method of recovering plastics called thermal
decomposition. This technology melts plastic  into a
broad range of gases, liquids, and solids (e.g., waxes,
greases,  and oils). The second technology, catalytic de-
composition, further breaks down solids into a narrow
range of liquids and gases. By combining the two proc-
esses, Anderson is able to decompose mixed plastics into
useful, consistent products that can be refined into fuel
or recovered into new plastic  resins.

  Anderson believes that his system could prove invalu-
able to  smaller communities that want to recover
Forrest Anderson, winner of the Westinghouse Science Talent Search.

                 plastics. "Because it can process mixed plastics and even
                 handle most contamination from labels and leftover
                 food, this operation could save small municipalities the
                 cost of running a sorting facility," he said. "In addition,
                 it is compact enough that it could be mounted on a trailer
                 and moved between recycling sites."

                   Although the project took two years for Anderson to
                 complete, he has not spent all his high school days
                 laboring in a laboratory. In fact, Anderson also has man-
                 aged to rank first in his class of 318  and to  captain the
                 wrestling and cross-country teams. He plans to bring his
                 wide range  of  talents to Harvard University this fall,
                 where he will study chemistry, physics, or psychology.
                                                      The Westinghouse Talent Search is the nation's oldest
                                                    high school science competition. Five of its past finalists
                                                    have gone on to win Nobel Prizes, and nine have received
                                                    MacArthur Foundation Fellowships. This year's winners
                                                    were chosen from a field of over  1,500 entries. The 40
                                                    finalists,  who shared $205,000 in scholarship money,
                                                    traveled to Washington,  DC, in March to present their
                                                    projects to a panel of eight distinguished scientists.Jl

          EPA is proud to introduce "Recover America" a new program designed to bolster waste prevention and recycling in the
          United States. Recover America consists of two companion initiatives: "Recycling Means Business" and  "Waste
          Prevention Pays." These initiatives seek to shift our reliance on a society that is resource- and energy-intensive to one
          that reuses and recycles materials to the fullest extent possible. EPA is conducting a number of activities under each
  initiative, ranging from "Jobs Through Recycling," which will help create jobs in the recycling industry (see Reusable News,
  Spring 1994), to" WasteWi$e," which challenges American companies to reduce waste, recycle, and buy or manufacture materials made
  with recycled content (see update on opposite page). Watch future issues of Reusable News to learn more about the exciting new
  activities being launched under Recover America.
EPA's New



Breaks  Down



      Over 6,600 curbside collection
      programs currently contrib-
      ute to the economic  and
environmental well-being of com-
munities across the nation.  The
long-term success of  these  pro-
grams, however, depends on the de-
velopment and expansion of
markets for recyclable materials.
  Markets include businesses that
process  collected materials or re-
manufacture recyclables into  new
products. Although recycling  pro-
grams have grown
rapidly  over the
last  decade, the
markets for prod-
ucts made from
collected materi-
als  have   not
always kept pace with supply.
  In some cases, industry has not
been able to make the conversion to
recycled raw materials quickly
enough to keep up with the supply
of recyclables. For those products
that  are made with recycled  con-
tent, businesses and entrepreneurs
can face a different barrier: convinc-
ing consumers to  purchase their
products. In addition, financing for
all kinds of recycling enterprises
can be difficult to secure.

  To  stimulate recycling markets
and to promote economic sustain-
ability, EPA Headquarters and its 10
regional offices crafted "Recycling
Means Business," a
strategy that incorpo-
rates input from more
than 100 parties rep-
resenting public and
private recycling and
economic  develop-
ment interests.  The
overall objective  of
the strategy is to iden-
tify and overcome technical, finan-
cial,  marketing, and logistical
barriers to market development.

  The specific goals of Recycling
Means Business are to 1) support
and strengthen the link between in-
    creased market capacity and
    sustainable economic growth,
    2) leverage resources and build
    partnerships at the federal level
    for market development, and 3)
    develop infrastructures that
    support markets for recyclables
and products  with recycled  con-
tent  (see box on opposite page for
more details).

  EPA is engaged in several projects
to boost demand for recycled prod-
ucts. Acting as a catalyst within the
federal government, EPA is working
with other  federal agencies to in-
crease  government purchasing of
products with  recycled  content.
The Agency also has streamlined
procurement guidelines to desig-
nate 21  items, from ink toner
cartridges to carpet, that federal
agencies  must  purchase with the
highest percentage of recovered ma-
terials  practicable. As part of the
            procurement   guide-
            lines, EPA published a
            Recovered Materials
            Advisory Notice that
            recommends practices
            and ranges of recov-
            ered materials content
            levels to facilitate the
            procurement process.

             In an effort to lever-
age federal  resources to help ex-
pand  the  nation's  recycling
infrastructure, EPA has joined with
the Economic  Development Ad-
ministration in the U.S. Department
of Commerce and with the North-
east Recycling Council to  convene
workshops in September that will
explore methods for increasing in-
vestment in recycling  processing
and manufacturing systems. In ad-
dition, EPA  will  distribute $2.74
million in grants as part of its Jobs
Through Recycling Initiative. This
money will  be  used to establish
Recycling and Reuse  Business As-
sistance  Centers  and to  support
Recycling Economic Development
Advocates.  EPA is also working
with the National Institute of
Standards and  Technology to de-
velop   a  national  recycling

Environment    and     Economy
  technology network. EPA is
  seeking additional partner-
  ships with federal agencies to
  further strengthen the nation's
  recycling infrastructure.

    Outside the federal gov-
  ernment, EPA teamed with
  the Environmental Defense
  Fund and the Ad Council to
  produce public service an-
  nouncements on  "buying
  recycled." EPA is also sup-
  porting the U.S. Conference
  of Mayor's  Buy Recycled
  Campaign, which facilitates
  the purchase of  recycled

products by local govern-

  By joining forces with
public and private sectors
to break down barriers and
build bridges,  EPA is pro-
moting the development of
mature  recycling markets
that will permanently close
the  recycling  loop. For
more information on Recy-
cling  Means  Business,
contact Lillian Bagus at 202
260-4058, or call EPA's
RCRA Hotline at 800 424-

       Recycling Means Business
     Strategy Goals

       Support and strengthen the link between increased market
       capacity and sustainable economic growth. Through
       leadership and advocacy, EPA will demonstrate that
       environmental protection and economic  prosperity are
       complementary pursuits. Toward this goal, EPA will build
       bridges between the public and private sectors, create and
       expand networks to provide processors and manufacturers
       with needed assistance, and encourage the use of recycled

       Leverage federal resources and build federal partnerships
       for market development. EPA will demonstrate how federal
       agencies can further their primary missions while
       incorporating environmental protection activities. Federal
       agencies can lead the way to stronger recycling markets by
       both procuring  recycled products and showcasing
       resource-efficient approaches and partnerships.

       Develop infrastructures that support markets for
       recyclables and recycled products. By promoting existing
       mechanisms that support recycling markets, EPA will
       strengthen the national recycling climate and establish a
       foundation for the activities of various groups and activities.
       In particular, EPA will help  improve market development
       programs at the state, tribal, and local levels; provide
       opportunities for the exchange of information and lessons
       learned; and promote increased procurement of products
       with recycled content by public and private sectors.
                            EPA's WasteWi$e pro-
                            gram  is  growing
                            fast!  On July  20,
                        1994, EPA  hosted a kick-
                        off ceremony to honor
                        the program's 281 char-
                        ter members. To date, the
                        program has enlisted a to-
                        tal of over 300 companies.

                      Now that these companies
have made the commitment to reduce waste, their next
step as WasteWi$e members is completing the "Goals
Identification Form." The form outlines specific efforts
they will undertake to prevent waste, recycle, and buy or
manufacture recycled products.
  So far, more than 10 percent of the WasteWi$e members
have sent their forms to EPA. Here is a sampling of some
of their innovative waste reduction efforts:

• A major communications firm will print customer phone
  bills on two sides, reducing paper and saving up to $9
  million per year.

• A petroleum company plans to shred  nonrecyclable
  paper for use  as packing in outgoing shipments,
  eliminating the  need to buy other packing materials.

Through these and a variety of other efforts, WasteWi$e
members  are gearing up for effective, creative waste
reduction campaigns.

  In their campaigns,  companies have  distinguished
between recycling and waste prevention: waste preven-
tion actions eliminate waste before it is created; while
recycling actions divert waste to productive use. The two
examples above prevent waste.

  For more information on EPA's WasteWi$e program, call
800 EPA-WISE.1
                                                           At the kickoff event, members received
                                                           certificates recognizing their commitment.

                                                       I                                         5O
  in the field of municipal solid waste
  (MSW)  management, you probably
  have heard of flow control. Flew controls
  are legal provisions used by local govern-
  ments to designate where MSW can be
  processed, stored, or disposed of. Thirty-
  four states explicitly authorize flow
  control by statute; an additional nine
  states authorize flow control indirectly
  through home rule, the local MSW plan-
  ning process, or franchises.
    Flow control is a hotly debated issue
  among  state and local governments,
  the waste management industry, recy-
  clers, and environmental groups.  The
  basic debate is whether local govern-
  ments should be allowed to  exercise
  flow control or whether the free market
  should dictate MSW management.
    EPA is preparing a Report to Con-
  gress on flow control. The Report, which
  will be submitted in September 1994,
  will compare waste management with
  and without flow control and analyze
  some of the major questions in the de-
  bate, including the impact  of flow
  control on:
    Protection of human health and the
Service Monopolies Are
Not the Answer
by Kay Martin, Director, Solid Waste
Management Department, Ventura
County, California
     Flow control is a tool for financing
     government-sanctioned waste
     facilities through the  estab-
 lishment of service  monopolies. It
 was born of a time when government
   Development of state  and local
   waste management capacity.
   Achievement of state and local goals
   for source reduction, reuse,  and
   A  recent development in  this  de-
bate is a May 16 decision by the U.S.
Supreme Court regarding an ordi-
nance in Clarkstown, New York,  that
directed local solid waste to a particu-
lar transfer station. The Court ruled
that the ordinance violated the com-
merce clause of the U.S. Constitution.
This ruling is likely to speed debate on
legislation authorizing flow control by
Congress. Although interested parties
disagree on the need for flow control
in the future, all agree that legislation
is needed to protect the contracts and
financial agreements that were in ef-
fect prior to the Supreme Court ruling.
   Below are three perspectives from
county officials who are wrestling with
this issue in their jurisdictions. These
officials commented on flow control at
public meetings that EPA held last year.
   For more information on flow control,
contact Angle Leith of EPA at 202 260-
 was the  major provider of sanita-
 tion services, and when protection
 of the  public  health  relied largely
 upon moving garbage from the
 public thoroughfare  to  remote
 burning  and  burial  sites. Multi-
 million-dollar  facilities  were built,
 liabilities incurred, and public bu-
 reaucracies vested. And, for a time,
 the system worked reasonably well.
   But eventually a broad spectrum
 of private operators emerged, ready
 and willing to provide  these  same
services to the public, and often at
more attractive rates.  Waste began
to  flow   across  jurisdictional
boundaries to  more  distant dis-
posal sites.  More significantly,
recycling  claimed an  ever-growing
fraction of the waste stream for the
secondary  materials  markets.
Seemingly overnight, the  entire
waste stream  became a commodity
stream. A major paradigm shift had
occurred. And the custodians of the
old system cried foul.

  Ventura County shares with other
local governments the growing pains
of this change. However, it is clear that
market dynamics and the integrated
waste management challenges of the
21 st century compel public agencies to
rethink their role, and to apply a new
set of tools. Flow control has become
obsolete because:
• Flow control is irrelevant to public
  health and  environmental protec-
  tion. These  objectives can now be
  accomplished through compre-
  hensive government  regulation
  and enforcement programs, such
  as  the  Resource Conservation
  and Recovery Act (RCRA) and
  the  local environmental review
  and land use process, rather than
  through the monopolization of
• Flow control  is not required for
  public policy implementation. Pol-
  icy objectives can be realized  by
  regulating rather than limitingmar-
  ket activity. Local  governments
  must learn to fully utilize their
  existing police powers to set sys-
  tem rules,  contract for services,
  establish pricing incentives, and
  recover program costs. For exam-
  ple, jurisdictions  in  Ventura
  County have  solicited private
               (Continued on page 10)

Congress Should Clarify
That Local Governments
Have "Flow Control"
by Randy Johnson, Commissioner,
Hennepin County, Minnesota
   In 1993, Hennepin County, Min-
   nesota, recycled and composted
   50 percent of our solid waste and
 landfilled less than 2 percent. The
 remainder was  sent to  modern
 waste-to-energy  plants that meet
 strict air emissions standards. We
 have permanent household haz-
 ardous waste  collection facilities
 and weekly curbside collection of
   Hennepin County developed
 one of the nation's most successful
 and  comprehensive integrated
 waste management  systems be-
 cause a  flow control ordinance
 directed  virtually all solid waste
 generated within our county to
 processing facilities. While some
 haulers and landfill operators con-
 stitutionally    attack    this
 long-recognized  police power of
 local governments to protect pub-
 lic health and safety, there are clear
 public policy reasons for Congress
 to act promptly to clarify that local
 governments can use flow control
 • Flow control allows waste to be
   moved "up" the solid waste man-
   agement hierarchy. The hierar-
   chy  encouraged by EPA  and
   most states is to prevent waste,
   recycle or compost, and then in-
   cinerate or landfill what cannot
   be reduced. Some flow control
opponents contend that all "li-
censed" facilities on the hierar-
chy are equal, and it is irrelevant
which one gets the waste. Hen-
nepin County believes that the
better public policy is to dispose
of waste in the most environ-
mentally sound manner we can
afford—not just the  cheapest
way that is still legal.
Flow control enables local gov-
ernments to fund programs to
promote waste reduction, reuse,
recycling, and the proper manage-
ment  of household hazardous
waste. When local governments
have  flow control authority,
they can add to the disposal tip
fee appropriate surcharges to
fund sound waste management
programs such as curbside re-
cycling. Where haulers use vol-
ume-based  pricing for their
customers, the result is that
large  volume generators pay
the most for  these programs.
This funding  system  is  much
fairer than the only other one
available to most local govern-
ments—a regressive  property
tax that bears little relation to
the volume of waste generated
and allows many large-volume
generators to  escape  payment
altogether because  their prop-
erty is not taxable.
Flow control enables comprehen-
sive long-range  environmental
planning.  Once  a  decision is
made to protect public health
and safety by building a mod-
ern waste facility, potential
lenders,  investors,  and  bond-
holders must be assured that a
sufficient volume of waste will
be sent to the facility so that
 VIEW  3
 Flow Control Is
 Appropriate Under Certain
 by Steve Goldstein, Project
        /Comprehensive Planning,
 Solid Waste Management Division,
 Snohomish County, Washington
                                                 (Continued on page 10)
    Snohomish County believes that
    a compromise can be found be-
    tween maintaining total flow
control and eliminating it entirely.
Such a compromise  must meet
three goals. First, it must permit lo-
cal  governments to fulfill existing
financial obligations. Second, it
must enable local governments to
set  and implement public policy.
Third, it must allow private enter-
prises to compete fairly for the busi-
ness of transporting,  processing,
and disposing  of solid waste. We
maintain that  these goals  do not
conflict. A compromise proposal—
one that allows local governments
to exercise flow control in only two
circumstances—can accomplish all
three goals.
• Circumstance 1—Remaining
  Debt. Like many other counties,
  Snohomish County has existing
  financial obligations and would
  lose substantial  funds if flow
  control was suddenly  taken
  away.  Therefore, we propose
  that local governments be able
  to maintain existing flow con-
  trol arrangements to  pay re-
  maining  debt on facilities
  and/or  to  satisfy current
  contracts. This would allow
  local governments to meet fi-
  nancial commitments, while
             (Continued on page 10)

Three Views on Flow Control
•ued fro
  sector proposals for required facili-
  ties,  specified program require-
  ments and performance standards,
  negotiated and regulated service
  rates, provided unit-pricing sys-
  tems  at the curb to influence cus-
  tomer behavior, and assessed fees
  on  all hauling operations at the
  point of collection to recover inte-
  grated waste management program
  Flow  control creates facility-driven
  systems. Long-term waste  stream
  commitments to individual facili-
  ties ignore the marketplace and fore-
  close  future options which may be
  economically  or  environmentally
  superior. Large facilities with major
  investments in limited technologies
  can become albatrosses, inhibiting
  the diversification  of operators,
  products, and markets now central
  to system viability.
  Flow control creates greater system
  costs. Ventura County  recently
  abandoned plans for a large cen-
  tralized processing facility in favor
  of smaller, diversified operations
'ued from paqe 9)
  also allowing competition by per-
  mitting a private entity to buy out
  a contract or pay  off a facility
  debt.  All  applicable governmen-
  tal  bidding procedures would
  have to be followed.

  Circumstance 2—Competitive Bid-
  ding Process.  Local governments
  also should be permitted to use flow
  control when  choosing an  MSW
  management facility through a com-
  petitive bidding process. This would
  permit private enterprises to  com-
  pete for business, while simultane-
  ously allowing local governments to
  set policy through the bid require-
  ments. Government would be able to
  set environmental and management
  criteria, require minimum  recy-
  cling rates, and charge nondisposal
  solid waste system costs to the sue-
  by private haulers and recyclers, at
  substantial savings to  the public.
  Our public landfills maintained
  their market share by streamlining
  operations and lowering tipping
  fees. In both  cases, flow control
  strategies were replaced by market
  incentives and competition, and
  the ratepayers benefited.
• Flow control does not promote  re-
  cycling. The  financing of large
  processing facilities through waste
  stream guarantees is not recycling.
  Recycling means the return of ma-
  terials  to the  economic main-
  stream. By denying access to these
  materials by the full spectrum of
  potential processors, flow control
  actually  inhibits rather than pro-
  motes the development of  new
  markets and technologies.
  The national agenda for waste  re-
duction and  recycling demands
innovative market solutions. Crea-
tion of service monopolies through
flow control is not the answer.  In-
stead, government must redefine
itself as a regulator and intervenor in
the new waste commodities market-
place, and become a skillful buyer of
competitively priced services.B
                                                         VIEW 2
                •ued fro
                                                          tipping fees can pay long-term fi-
                                                          nancial obligations.  Flow control
                                                          provides that assurance.
                                                        • Flow control creates a level playing
                                                          field among haulers.  Without flow
                                                          control, large  hauling  companies
                                                          that own big landfills have a built-
                                                          in  competitive advantage over
                                                          smaller companies with only a few
                                                          trucks and newly  formed compa-
                                                          nies that  may want to enter  the
                                                          hauling business.  With flow con-
                                                          trol, all haulers pay the same dis-
                                                          posal  tipping fee, and  thus  all
                                                          haulers can compete more fairly.
                                                          Of course, if flow control is used to
                                                        direct waste to less environmentally
                                                        sound facilities,  it is being abused.
                                                        Enforcement must also be in place so
                                                        that haulers who use cheaper facilities
                                                        that do not meet environmental stand-
                                                        ards are required to pay penalties
                                                        promptly. Now is the time  for Con-
                                                        gress to clarify that local governments
                                                        managing their own solid waste with
                                                        flow control are fulfilling  their  re-
                                                        sponsibilities  to protect public
                                                        health and safety.ll
  cessful  bidder.  The  government
  would be  able  to take all  steps
  necessary  to guarantee that the
  successful  bidder  fulfills  the  re-
  sponsibilities outlined in the bid.
  Any private party, as well as the
  government itself,  would  be per-
  mitted to bid. Again, all applica-
  ble   governmental   bidding
  procedures would  have to be fol-

  Snohomish County used this bid-
ding process several  years ago. The
process of going through the bidding
system made us determine very care-
fully what we needed in  a waste
management system, and we speci-
fied our needs to  the  bidders. The
contract was awarded to the company
that could meet all our goals in the
most cost-efficient manner. The re-
sulting landfill services continue to
meet Snohomish County's needs.
  As to  what materials  should be
covered by flow control, we believe
first that separated recyclables should
not be covered. After separation, we
see recyclables as commodities, not
waste.  Concerning  other waste
streams, what is subject to flow con-
trol  should be governed by local
government. Local governments de-
sign their solid waste management
systems around the responsibilities
they are assigned under state law. If a
local government is assigned the re-
sponsibility    for    managing
commercial and industrial waste,  it
will have no choice but to  develop
its programs  and size its facilities
accordingly. While a local govern-
ment without responsibility for these
wastes has no need to control their
flow, a government given this respon-
sibility must  have the  ability to
control the flow of these wastes.B

    Recycling  Hotline  Provides Solid
           Wondering who in your community accepts
           used oil for recycling? Confused about how
           to sort your recyclable paper for pickup?
    The average person with questions about recycling
    is often unsure where to turn for answers. But for
    the residents of Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada,
    and Texas, answers are just a telephone call away.

      By dialing  800 94-REUSE,
    callers from these five states can
    access the Environmental/Recy-
    cling  Hotline. The Hotline uses
    a  caller's zip code to pinpoint
    the closest  recycling center.
    Callers can then learn the cen-  ^
    ter's   location,   hours   of
    operation, phone  number,  and
    types of materials accepted.
    Even  if no recycling center is
    located within a caller's  zip
    code, the Hotline automatically
 selects the next closest site. In addition, the Hotline
 provides recycling tips,  information about commu-
 nity environmental activities, educational updates,
 bilingual services, and a bulletin board where call-
 ers can leave inquiries for future responses.

   The Hotline operates through an  innovative
 public-private partnership. Corporate sponsors fund
•                 the Hotline and receive credit for
*        r       their contributions through
                  "on-the-air  announcements."
                  State agencies  control and
                  maintain messages, and have
                  the  right to reject any sponsors
                  that are not appropriate for the
                  Hotline. This arrangement
                  benefits both partners; corpora-
                  tions have a way to favorably
                  identify  themselves with recy-
                  cling efforts, and state agencies
                  can  provide a valuable service
                            (Continued on page 12)
EPA Implementing Supreme  Court  Decision on WTE Ash
    The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on May 2 that ash
    from municipal waste-to-energy (WTE) combustors
    that exhibits a hazardous waste characteristic is not
exempt from regulation as a hazardous waste under the
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). This
ruling affects WTE combustors that burn  household
waste alone or in combination withnonhazardous waste
from industrial and commercial sources.
  WTE facilities are now required to determine whether
their ash is hazardous. Facilities generating ash that is a
hazardous waste should manage the ash in accordance
with RCRA hazardous waste regulations. If the ash is not
a hazardous waste, it may be disposed of in a municipal
solid waste landfill that meets  applicable RCRA

  EPA recognizes that immediate compliance with all
RCRA hazardous waste requirements may be difficult
because of the short lead  time afforded  by the Court's
decision. The Agency is working with states and affected
facilities to bring all handlers of hazardous WTE ash into
compliance with RCRA hazardous waste regulations as
quickly as possible.

  To this end, EPA issued a draft guidance  document
entitled Sampling and Analysis of Municipal Refuse
Incineration Ash, which provides guidelines for testing
 WTE ash. In addition, EPA issued an implementation
 strategy identifying certain ash handling practices that
 might warrant particular Agency attention. For example,
 EPA plans to concentrate enforcement efforts on those
 facilities that fail to implement an ash testing program
 before September 1, 1994. Technical assistance will con-
 tinue over the coming months to facilitate compliance.

   EPA also published a Federal Register notice on June
 7, 1994, giving handlers of hazardous ash six months
 (until December 7,  1994)  to file hazardous waste permit
 applications. The notice also announced that EPA has
 designated hazardous ash as a "newly identified waste"
 for the purposes  of the Land Disposal Restrictions
 (LDRs). This means that current LDRs (for generic char-
 acteristic wastes) do not apply to hazardous ash. EPA
 will have six months to promulgate LDRs specific to ash
 determined to be a  hazardous waste.

   If you have any questions about WTE ash management
 or compliance with RCRA hazardous waste regulations,
 call the RCRA Hotline at 800 424-9346. The Hotline also
 has available copies of the documents described above:
 Sampling and Analysis of Municipal Refuse Incinera-
 tion Ash (EPA530-R-94-020), Federal Register notice for
 June 7, 1994 (EPA530-Z-94-008),  and Implementation
 Strategy memo  (EPA530-F-94-021).!

Recycling Hotline Provides Solid Answers
(Continued from page 11)
for free. In fact, by working with
the Hotline, many state agencies
can avoid setting up and funding
their own hotline—a task that sev-
eral  state legislatures  have
recently mandated. For example,
the Hotline has eliminated Ari-
zona's need for four separate
hotlines dealing with used oil,
batteries, tires, and household
hazardous waste. One cost-benefit
analysis estimates that the Hot-
line currently provides and saves
over $3 million worth of promo-
tional services per year.

  The Hotline began in Arizona in
1990, expanding after only one year
into Texas  and Colorado. Expan-
sion was funded by a grant from
EPA Region 9 (Arizona, California,
Hawaii, Nevada, American Samoa,
Guam). With the support of EPA
and its own growing reputation, the
Hotline was welcomed into Hawaii
and Nevada as well. The more
states the  Hotline covered, the
more sponsors signed on. After the
Hotline's first year, Why  Waste
America (an Arizona recycler)
documented a greater than 100 per-
cent increase in materials brought
into its facility for recycling. And
one year later, the Hotline had
logged over 800,000 phone calls.

  One  reason  for the Hotline's
success is that it receives millions
of dollars worth of free publicity
from news services, radio sta-
tions, and companies. Advertisers
are  excited about publicizing a
single, sure-fire phone number for
recycling information. One Ari-
zona chain of grocery stores
recently printed 4.6 million gro-
cery bags prominently displaying
the Hotline number.

  For more information, contact
Chris Warner, director of the Hot-
line, at 602 224-5444, or Marsha
Harris of EPA Region 9 at 415 744-
    Reusable News is the quarterly
    newsletter of the EPA Office of
 Solid Waste's Municipal and Indus-
 trial Solid Waste  Division. Reusable
 News reports on the efforts of EPA
 and others to safely and  effectively
 manage the nation's garbage and pro-
 vides useful information about key is-
 sues and concerns in municipal solid
 waste management.
Address comments or free subscription
requests to:
John Leigh, Editor (5305)
U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency
401 M Street, SW.
Washington, DC 20460
Tfte mention of publications, products, or
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constitute endorsement or approval for use
by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
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