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Voluntary Partnerships Lead to Waste Reduction and Recycling

Release Date: 02/18/2004
Contact Information:

Dave Ryan 202-564-7827 /

02/18/2004 - This week, EPA released its first annual report on the Resource Conservation Challenge (RCC), a major cross-agency initiative that identifies and uses innovative and flexible ways to conserve natural resources and energy. The report, entitled “The Resource Conservation Challenge: A Year of Progress,” shows how federal and state governments, tribes and industry are achieving significant results in waste reduction and recycling. This report shows that the RCC is a true collaboration among diverse stakeholders that allows EPA to accomplish more in less time than years of regulatory development and litigation. The RCC, launched in 2002, focuses on nine subjects: construction and demolition debris; green buildings; electronics; hospitals; paper; industrial wastes; schools; targeted priority chemical reduction; and tires. The RCC is working to: (1) prevent pollution and promote recycling and reuse of material; (2) reduce the use of toxic chemicals; and (3) conserve energy and materials. It is accomplishing these goals with partnerships and programs that save energy, reduce greenhouse gases, create jobs and grow the economy. The Agency’s long-established partnership, Wastewise, grew to over 1,300 members and new ones, such as the National Waste Minimization Partnership Program, the Coal Combustion Products Partnership, Plug-In to eCycling and the GreenScapes Alliance, grew from the ground up. The RCC report highlights the accomplishments of some of these partnerships, including: the Plug-In to eCycling safely recycled 26.4 million pounds of computers and other electronic equipment in 2003; the tire partnership is committed to reduce, recycle or otherwise recover 85 percent of newly generated scrap tires and to reduce the number of tires in existing stockpiles by 55 percent within four years; and in 2002, WasteWise partners collectively achieved a level of waste reduction equal to a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2.4 million tons. To learn more about the RCC or to see the annual report in its entirety, go to: . Paper copies of The Resource Conservation Challenge: A Year of Progress (EPA530-R-04-001) and other RCC publications may be ordered online from the National Service Center for Environmental Publications (NSCEP). For on-line ordering, go to: or call 1-800-490-9198 or 513- 489-8190.