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Waste Wise: Recycling

Recycling collection is the segregation, collection, storage, and removal of recyclable or compostable materials. Recycling collection can generate substantial revenue for organizations, in addition to reducing waste. For more information, visit our recycling publications and related links.

Sample Goals

WasteWise partners commit to initiating, expanding, or improving programs to collect recyclables. In some cases, companies add new materials to an existing program, or they increase program efficiency through employee education. Sample recycling collection goals set by WasteWise partners include:

  • Eliminating all paper waste by expanding the recycling program to include all types of paper.
  • Installing built-in recycling centers and receptacles.
  • Formally tracking and evaluating internal recycling activities and expanding collection by 1-2 materials each year. Potential materials include corrugated, coated paper, polystyrene, vinyl, and glass.
  • Investigating external markets for recyclables and expanding collection to include new, marketable materials.

Sample Results

Listed below are some examples of WasteWise partner achievements in recycling.

  • In 2005, the Guardian Automotive—Ligonier Plant recycled more than 13,000 tons of waste and saved more than $360,000. This included recycling all unused glass cullet, totaling greater than 13,000 tons. The recycled glass cullet is used to make glass beads for bead blasting, fiberglass, or reflective paint for highways. The Ligonier Plant’s activities also have had a positive effect on operation costs, saving the small company more than $1.3 million since becoming a partner in 1996.
  • During the last 10 years, Constellation Energy has increased its ash recycling rate from less than 10 percent to more than 50 percent and recycled beyond 2.2 million tons of various materials.
  • As one of the world’s largest recyclers of aluminum beverage containers, Anheuser-Busch Recycling Corporation recycled 804 million pounds of cans in 2004—more than 125 percent of the number of cans that the company’s breweries use to package their products.
  • In fiscal year 2004, the U.S. Postal Service—Dallas District collected nearly 7,500 tons of mixed paper and another 360 tons of cardboard. Undeliverable mail and mixed office waste paper were transported—using existing transportation routes—to central hubs for recycling. These efforts alone generated more than $319,000 in revenue and saved the Dallas District an additional $245,000 in trash hauling costs.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20460
www.epa.gov