Policies and programs being developed to expand procurement of products containing recycled materials ; General Services Administration, Department of Defense: report to the Congress

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U.S. General Accounting Office, 1976 - Government purchasing - 26 pages
 

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Page 4 - Government exercise leadership by using its purchasing power to provide a market for products made from recycled materials. 4D.7 . . ..the Federal Government help reduce the flow of solid waste by establishing, within Federal purchasing departments, performance standards rather than composition standards that discriminate against secondary materials.
Page 2 - ... requires less energy than does the use of virgin materials. For example, only one-fourth as much energy is needed for an electric furnance using 100 percent scrap as for a basic oxygen furnance using primarily virgin iron ore to produce the same amount of steel. The National Commission on Materials Policy estimated that about 2 percent of the total US energy demand could be saved by recycling available steel, aluminum, and paper...
Page 4 - ... largest consumer of many products, Federal procurements generally represent a small fraction of national material markets. Therefore, the direct market creation effects of a program of Federal procurement of recycled products would probably be small. However, because Federal procurement specifications are widely circulated and duplicated by State and local governments and some industries, such a program is desirable to provide national leadership in this area.
Page 4 - ... and rubber products. It is apparent that Federal purchases do not dominate the market for these commodities. Although the Federal Government is a large single consumer, Federal expenditures only represent a small fraction of combined industrial, commercial, and personal expenditures in these areas.
Page 4 - ... stated that there has not been widespread use of secondary materials on federally purchased products. One reason is a lack of technical data on the performance of products containing secondary materials. According to EPA, another reason is that Federal supply agencies rely heavily on industry in setting product specifications and do not know the extent to which industry can or will produce products with a secondary materials content. Industry in turn bases its response on factors such as whether...
Page 4 - ... products containing them at a reasonable price. While the Federal Government is the largest single purchaser of many US goods and services, it consumes less than 4 percent of gross domestic output and a similarly small percent of most materials in relation to their total national consumption. EPA views the use of Federal procurement as an effective means of establishing the technical and economic equivalency of waste-based products. EPA believes that Federal procurement has potential for creating...
Page 2 - ... and reduced environmental impact in the making of new goods because generally the use of secondary materials in production generates less air pollution, water pollution, and mining and process wastes and requires less energy than does the use of virgin materials. — Alleviating balance of payments problems and dependency on foreign sources of supply by reducing the volume of materials that are imported. — Reduced scenic blight, land pollution, and health hazards that result from improper disposal...
Page 3 - ... management of wastes on those who produce them, and of providing them with incentives to eliminate, reduce, recycle or reclaim these wastes. STRATEGY We should view S. 2005 in light of these concepts and the mandate that they have asked the Secretary of HEW to carry out. Section •205 (a) calls upon the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare to carry out an investigation and study to determine : (1) economical means of recovering useful materials from solid waste, recommended uses of such...
Page 3 - CHAPTER 3 MAJOR ISSUES CONFRONTING RESOURCE RECOVERY, RECYCLING, AND REUSE Economics is the major element in the success or failure of attaining widespread resource recovery and reuse. Three major issues affecting the economics of resource recovery which involve the Federal Government are (1) the question of discrimination in freight rates, a major cost element for recovered materials, (2) Federal procurement policy toward products containing recovered and recycled materials, and...
Page 4 - ... retread 75 percent of the tires used. Significant progress has been made toward achieving this goal; the percentage of tires retreaded from July to December 1973 was 72.2 percent. EPA has stated that there has not been widespread use of secondary materials on federally purchased products. One reason is a lack of technical data on the performance of products containing secondary materials. According to EPA, another reason is that Federal supply agencies rely heavily on industry in setting product...

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