Description: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 

561 FW 15                                     

FWM#: 296 (new)
Date: December 31, 1996
Series: Pollution Control
Part 561: Compliance Requirements
Originating Office: Division of Contracting and General Services

15.1 Purpose. This chapter establishes Service policy for operation of a recycling program.

15.2 Scope. The primary scope and thrust of this program are recycling of office-generated waste materials which include glass, aluminum, and plastics.

15.3 Objectives. The objectives of the Service's recycling program are:

A. To educate Service employees on the need to recycle office waste materials.

B. To establish a Service wide, Regionally administered, office waste recycling program.

C. To serve as a guide to personnel responsible for the administration of a Regional recycling program.

15.4 Policy.

A. The Service will participate in recycling programs in an effort to conserve natural resources and protect the environment.

B. The largest waste component in an office environment is paper products (e.g., bond, copy, and computer paper). Accordingly, the Service's goals are to establish and maintain active recycling programs of office wastes, to reduce the usage of paper, and to increase the procurement of paper containing recycled materials ( see 303 FW 2). These efforts will achieve the following results:

(1) Reduce waste disposal costs.

(2) Earn revenue from the sale of recycled material.

(3) Divert waste from landfills.

(4) Stimulate the market for recyclable paper by providing a supply of material and reducing the requirements for woodpulp.

(5) Conserve forest lands and other valuable resources.

(6) Decrease harmful emissions to the environment.

15.5 Authority.

A. Solid Waste Disposal Act of 1965, as amended by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (42 U.S.C. 6901 et seq.)

B. Executive Order 12873 - Federal Acquisition, Recycling, and Waste Prevention, October 20, 1993.

15.6 Definitions.

A. Recycling. The collection and reuse of waste materials to conserve energy and slow the depletion of our Nation's natural resources.

B. Recycled Material. Materials that are used in place of a primary, raw, or virgin material in the manufacturing of a product.

C. Grade 1 Recyclable Paper. White bond paper, white xerographic paper, and/or computer paper (exclusive of a carbon interleaf and multipart computer paper). Grade 1 paper can contain no more than 1% unacceptable contaminants by weight (see definition of unacceptable contaminants - paper recycling, in 15.6 G).

D. Grade 2 Recyclable Paper. Colored xerographic paper, colored bond paper, and envelopes (exclusive of plastic windows and pressure sensitive labels). Clean, used, and overissues of books and magazines are included in this category. Grade 2 paper can contain 1% and no more than 3% unacceptable contaminants by weight (see definition of unacceptable contaminants -paper recycling, in 15.6 G).

E. Grade 3 Recyclable Paper. Grade 3 paper can contain 3% and no more than 10% unacceptable contaminants by weight (see definition of unacceptable contaminants - paper recycling, in 15.6 G). Example of grade 3 recyclable paper are newspaper and the Federal Register.

F. Acceptable Contaminants in Paper Recycling. Includes paper clips, staples, and water soluble glues (i.e., bond envelope glue).

G. Unacceptable Contaminants in Paper Recycling. Includes pressure-sensitive labels and tapes, plastic window envelopes, rubber bands, brown/golden kraft envelopes, binders (i.e., press board, plastic, cloth covered), paper fasteners, binder clips, plastic materials, carbon paper, thermal facsimile paper, post-it notes, food wrappings, cups, and tissues.

H. Plastics. Plastics are resins or polymers that have been synthesized from petroleum or natural gas derivatives. The term "plastics" includes a wide variety of resins, each offering unique properties and functions. The properties of each resin can be modified by additives, and the combination of resins and additives allows for the creation of a wide variety of products. The Society of the Plastics Industry introduced a voluntary guideline to assist plastic recyclers sort different types of plastic (refer to Exhibit 1). The plastic containers are stamped with a number that identifies the type of plastic resin characteristics with the Society of the Plastics Industry number in parenthesis, the primary markets, and product examples. This information may be used by Regional Recycling Coordinators to become aware of the types of plastics being recycled by local governments and agencies.

I. Glass. A hard, brittle, more or less transparent substance produced by a fusion of silica and silicates. Generally, glass is classified as either clear, green, amber, or brown in color.

J. Used Oil. The definition is confined to the recycling of used motor oil.

K. Antifreeze. A liquid used in the radiator of an internal combustion engine to lower the freezing point of the cooling medium.

15.7 Paper Collection Methods. Office paper recycling programs will be based on the principle of separation of the materials at the source. Source separation is the setting aside of recyclable materials at the point of generation by the user. There are three basic methods used in recycling paper waste. They are as follows:

A. Desk Top System. Recyclable paper is placed by the employee in a desk-side container, and all other waste is placed in wastebaskets. When the container is full, the employee deposits the contents in a central container.

B. Dual-wastebasket System. Recyclable paper is placed in an appropriately marked desk-side wastebasket, and all other waste is placed in another. The building custodial staff collects the contents of each basket, but the recyclable materials are kept separate.

C. Central Container System. Large containers for the collection of recyclables are placed in centralized locations within an office area. The separated recyclable paper is deposited in the containers by employees. The containers, which can weigh as much as 500 pounds, are then collected by the building custodial staff and taken to a central location for pickup. The containers are normally marked to indicate the types of paper that can be placed therein, such as white paper, newspaper, Federal Register, and publications.

15.8 Aluminum Can Collection. Collection points can be established near vending machines. Specific containers marked "aluminum cans" will facilitate the collection process. Cans should be emptied of contents and rinsed. Inexpensive aluminum can crushers can be purchased in order to reduce the volume of collected cans. Aluminum can containers can also be placed in kitchen or employee lounge areas. Filled containers are normally collected by the building custodial staff and taken to a central location for storage and pickup.

15.9 Plastics Collection. Most plastic recycling efforts focus on the recycling of polyethylene terephthalate soft drink bottles and high-density polyethylene milk jugs. Containers should be emptied of their contents and rinsed. There are several methods of collection (curbside collections, drop-off centers, buy-back centers, and container deposit legislation) which exist in at least ten States at the present time. Service units are encouraged to participate in local plastic collection and recycling programs where available.

15.10 Glass Bottle Collection. Separate containers labeled by color; i.e., clear, green, amber, and brown, can be used for the collection of glass bottles. Glass bottles intended for recycling should be emptied of their contents and rinsed. Service units are encouraged to participate in local glass collection and recycling programs where available.

15.11 Used Motor Oil and Antifreeze. Many local jurisdictions have established used motor oil and antifreeze recycling programs. In addition, numerous service stations, fire stations, car dealerships, and auto discount stores have also established such programs. Service units are encouraged to actively participate in such programs where available.

15.12 General Services Administration. Under the provisions of Section 209(a) of the Solid Waste Disposal Act of 1965, GSA is responsible for the establishment of a nationwide office waste management program which includes preparation of contracts for the pickup of recycled materials. GSA has established an aluminum recycling contract in the washington Metropolitan area. Service Regional Offices should check with the appropriate GSA Regional Recycling Coordinator (Exhibit 2) to determine if this service is available in their regions. If not, contact can be made with local non-profit organizations for the pickup of office-generated aluminum cans.

15.13 Responsibilities:

A. Assistant Director - Policy, Budget and Administration. Shall be responsible for the development and oversight of a Service wide office recycling program and will provide guidance as necessary to assist in the administration of the program.

B. Regional Directors. Shall be responsible for administering Regional programs, and will appoint a Regional Recycling Coordinator and ensure that reports are submitted as may be required.

C. Chief, Division of Contracting and General Services. Shall issue appropriate advisory notices concerning the procurement of products containing recycled materials, and will administer the program in the Headquarters Offices.

D. Regional Recycling Coordinators. Shall serve as technical advisors to subordinate Regional field offices. In multi-tenant offices, coordination shall be done in cooperation with other Federal agencies in order to enlist participation. Duties include:

(1) Publicize the recycling program, including scheduling and conducting educational seminars to inform employees about the program and how it will function, acquiring and distriubuting appropriate reminder signs to encourage employee participation, and distributing accomplishment reports to employees to keep them informed about the Region's efforts.

(2) Develop and implement a waste product collection and storage system within a facility.

(3) Coordinate the pickup of waste materials with the appropriate GSA Regional Recycling Coordinator in order to establish and maintain a viable program.

(4) Prepare progress reports as required for management which include, but are not limited to, the volume of waste materials that have been collected for recycling and monies returned to the U.S. Treasury (refer to Exhibit 3, Conversion Table for Recycled Materials).  


For additional information regarding this policy, contact the Division of Contracting and General Services. For more information about this Web page, contact Krista Bibb, in the Division of Policy and Directives Management. 

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