U.S. EPA Seeks to Boost Recycling
AUSTIN, Texas, September 9, 2002 (ENS) - The Bush administration today launched a new campaign to help boost recycling of materials ranging from metals to plastics to paper. The initiative, which also aims to slash the generation of toxic chemicals, was announced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency at the National Recycling Coalition's 21st Annual Congress and Exposition in Austin.
"We are challenging all Americans to take a 'hands on' approach to helping conserve our precious natural resources," said Marianne Lamont Horinko, the EPA's assistant administrator for solid waste and emergency response.
"EPA is asking Americans to adopt smart environmental practices, make smart environmental purchases, reuse more products, and recycle at least one pound of their household waste a day," Horinko continued. "The results of the Resource Conservation Challenge and the innovative projects will be less waste, more economic growth and greater energy savings and recovery."
The Resource Conservation Challenge includes 68 projects that the EPA selected for their flexibility, innovation and emphasis on public-private partnerships. All of the projects aim to reduce the use of raw materials, reuse waste materials to make new products or generate energy, and cut the generation of toxic wastes.
The five founding members of the partnership are American Video Glass, Corning Asahi, Dow Chemical Corp., International Truck and Engine, and Toyota Motor Manufacturing.
The EPA plans to establish partnerships and alliances with industry, states and environmental groups to help meet the Challenge's goals. The agency will provide training, tools and technology assistance for businesses, governments and citizen groups, and help get information about the initiative to the general population, particularly youth and minority groups, through outreach and assistance.
The initial 12 projects demonstrate approaches to waste minimization, energy recovery, recycling and land revitalization that may be replicated across various industries, communities and regions. The projects range from making plastics from plant materials, to demonstrating the reuse potential of recycling residential building materials.
For example, one project will develop and solicit designs for reusable packaging for products purchased through the Internet. The EPA and McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry, LLC, will spend about $50,000 to explore ways to eliminate waste from electronic commerce.
To support a phase out of arsenic based wood treatments, announced by the EPA in February, the EPA will fund a pilot project to develop methods of cleaning the equipment at wood preserving facilities to help the industry convert its factories from chromated copper arsenate (CCA) to less toxic chemicals.
The University of Florida's Center for Construction and Environment will partner will Gainesville Regional Utilities and the city of Gainesville, Florida, to take apart a typical wood framed house, and design ways to reuse its materials in new neighborhood building projects. The EPA estimates that about 136 million tons of building related construction and demolition wastes are generated in the U.S. every year, of which 92 percent comes from renovations and demolition projects.
In San Francisco, California, Bay Area Rapid Transit will receive $35,000 to research and demonstrate ways to reduce waste and increase recycling by transit authorities. In New York City, INFORM, Inc. will explore how cell phones collected through charitable donation programs are used, and whether they are ultimately disposed of in a safe manner.
More information about these and the other funded waste reduction projects is available at: http://www.epa.gov/oswer/IWG.htm
More information about the Resource Conservation Challenge is available at: http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/osw/conserve/index.htm