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Release Date: 11/9/1995
Contact Information: Arnold Robbins, U.S. EPA, (415) 744-1486 Roy Betts, U.S.P.S, (202) 268-3207 Jim Mathews, ADEQ, (602) 207-2215 Chris Warner, ERH, (602) 224-5444

Released Jointly by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Postal Service, Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, and the Environmental Recycling Hotline

     (San Francisco)--The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) today announced, in partnership with the U.S. Postal Service, and in cooperation with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ), that an environmental technology initiative (ETI) grant totaling $300,000 has been awarded to expand the Environmental Recycling Hotline, Phoenix, Ariz.  The U.S. EPA grant award funds come from a $68 million Congressional appropriation for President Clinton's Environmental Technology Initiative, which seeks to improve environmental protection, strengthen America's industrial base, and increase exports of U.S. technologies and expertise.

     "I am pleased to see this public-private partnership recognized by the U.S. EPA as an innovative solution to environmental challenges," said Fife Symington, Governor of Arizona.  "Arizona is the proud birthplace of the Environmental Recycling Hotline.  During the last four years, the Hotline has been a tremendous success for us.  What has worked for Arizona will work for the nation."

          "The Environmental Recycling Hotline exemplifies the spirit of reinventing government", said Felicia Marcus, U.S. EPA's regional administrator.  "Through innovation and extensive cooperation between the public and private sectors, the nationwide hotline will provide consumers with one-stop information they need and want to protect public health and the environment in an extremely cost-effective manner.  I applaud the United States Postal Service's support and encourage other private sector partners to get involved with this innovative program."

     The Environmental Recycling Hotline is already operating in  Arizona, Hawaii, Nevada, Colorado, Texas and parts of California.  This new grant, along with matching funds provided by the U.S. Postal Service, is seed money to help accelerate the expansion of the service nationwide.  All Americans will have free access to the Environmental Recycling Hotline by calling a 1-800 number or connecting via the Internet to obtain specific information on what they can do to protect human health and the environment in their local communities.  The program's main source of funding comes from innovative partnerships with private sector firms and associations that allow this extensive network to be free to both the user and the taxpayer.

     "Protection of our environment is a significant corporate responsibility," said William J. Dowling, vice president of engineering for the Postal Service.  "We're proud of our leadership role in the recycling of mixed paper and motor oil, and we are committed to purchasing products which are made of recycled materials and which are recyclable when they are no longer serviceable.  We encourage all corporate decision makers to join us in protecting America's fragile environment and conserving our resources.  The Environmental Recycling Hotline is a giant step in the right direction."

     "Arizona is proud to be the birthplace of a national hotline," said Dr. Karen Heidel, Deputy Director of the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.  "The project is a clear example of activism and dedication to the principal of environmental awareness, and we applaud the U.S. Postal Service's support."

     "Given the success that we have had in Arizona, Colorado,  Hawaii, Nevada, Texas and California, we look forward to the day when all Americans can get important geographically specific environmental information about their local communities with just one free phone call," said Chris Warner, Director of the Hotline.  "As this true public/private partnership expands, we are looking forward to forming several new partnerships."

     The 1-800 number and Internet system will simplify the dissemination of environmental information by voluntarily consolidating and connecting thousands of existing systems into one network.  Whether people are close to home or traveling throughout the United States, they will always have free access to specific information on where to go to recycle newspapers, aluminum, glass, plastic, tin cans, paper, oil, scrap metal, batteries, and receive educational information about the environment.  Over time, the public will also benefit from new environmental information that will be added to the Hotline, such as sections on energy conservation, clean air and water, composting and a Kid's Only section, among others.

     Other major partners of the Hotline include Arizona Recycling Coalition, Keep California Beautiful, Mexico (State of Sonora), Waste Watch Center, and America West Airlines.

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