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Shopping Centers Nationwide Commit to Recycling, Waste Prevention

Release Date: 05/24/2004
Contact Information:

Contact: Dave Ryan 202-564-7827 /

(Washington, DC-May 24, 2004) A new initiative plans to target waste streams, including corrugated cardboard packaging, wood pallets, plastic packaging, paper, food court waste (glass, metal and plastic beverage containers, and food waste) and yard waste. EPA Administrator Mike Leavitt announced the “America’s Marketplace Recycles!” initiative today at the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) Spring Conference in Las Vegas.

“Shopping centers are a magnet for young people, so what better place to teach our youth the value of recycling,” said Leavitt. “By recycling their own waste and at the same time making it easier for customers to recycle, the International Council of Shopping Centers is setting a high standard for improving the environment.”

Leading shopping centers are already focusing on packaging reduction, resource management, buying recycled, and educating consumers about recycling. Ninety-four percent of Americans visit a shopping center every month, on average 2.5 times a month.

For example, in 1995, the 4.2 million square foot Mall of America complex in Bloomington, Minn., began a “pig bucket program” by contracting with a local farmer to haul away more than 150 tons of food waste per month from the mall’s restaurants to be used as pig feed. The Mall of America complex is home to more than 520 shops; an indoor family theme park; a 1.2 million gallon walk-through aquarium; and a 14-screen movie theatre. The “pig-bucket program” is just one element of food waste from the mall’s far-reaching reuse and recycling program, which diverts 50 to 60 percent of the 800 tons of solid waste generated by the complex each month.

In 2002, VF Outlet Village in Reading, Pa., recycled 499 tons of corrugated cardboard, generating more than $25,000 in income. In addition, for each ton of materials recycled, the shopping center avoids a $50-per-ton waste disposal fee.

AMR! also encourages shopping centers and retailers to recycle construction and demolition debris from renovations and expansions, and whenever possible, to use products containing recycled content. The AMR! initiative provides incentives to participate in the program by offering a series of awards that recognize significant recycling and waste prevention efforts. The first AMR! awards will be presented at ICSC’s 2005 Spring Convention for: Best New Recycling Program; Expansion of an Existing Recycling Program; Outstanding Retailer; Outstanding Mall Owner/Developer; Public Awareness Campaign/Promotional Event; Community Partnership/Beneficial Use of Funds; and Innovative Recycling Program. A single outstanding program will be selected by the judging panel to receive the “Recycler of the Year” Award.

More information about AMR! is available at: .

AMR! is another unique component of EPA’s Resource Conservation Challenge(RCC), a major national effort to find flexible, yet more protective ways to conserve natural resources through waste reduction and energy recovery. More information about the RCC is available at: .

ICSC is the global trade association of the shopping center industry. Its 45,000 members in the U.S., Canada and more
than 70 other countries include shopping center owners, developers, managers, marketing specialists, investors, lenders, retailers and other professionals, as well as academics and public officials. More information about the ICSC is available at: .

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