[GRRN] Congressional Recycling Effort

RecycleWorlds (anderson@msn.fullfeed.com)
Fri, 2 Apr 1999 09:00:30 -0600


02:01 PM ET 04/01/99
Congress Resists Recycling Effort
Congress Resists Recycling Effort
Associated Press Writer=
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Nearly a decade after recycling began on
Capitol Hill, many congressional offices still aren't separating
the paper and aluminum cans from the lunch trash. Even the House
chairman who oversees environmental issues on public lands has
turned his back on the effort.
Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, said his office separated recyclables
only to see the effort go to waste because of sloppy practices.
``At the time, the garbage was being separated by our office. It
was later then placed in the same garbage bag by the cleaning
folks, and it didn't seem as if it was being recycled,'' the
chairman of the House Resources Committee said through a spokesman.
Even high-grade white paper, the most lucrative product to
recycle, isn't being widely sorted. For instance, the House earned
$25,000 for that recycling in fiscal 1998 _ far short of the
$150,000 that could be earned if 60 percent of the product was
sorted, according to the chamber's former recycling coordinator.
Recycling advocates are frustrated that some on Capitol Hill
ignore the program entirely while others recycle halfheartedly.
It's the byproduct of an institution where the 535 lawmakers set
the rules for each individual office and committee.
``The most stubborn bureaucracy in America is Congress itself,''
said Rep. Sam Farr, D-Calif., a recycling supporter. ``There's
never been an attitude that we should have to do that. No one is
responsible inside an office. Some offices take it seriously and
some don't.''
The recycling difficulties are the latest example of a Congress
that is having trouble following the laws and regulations that
apply to the rest of Americans.
Last week, The Associated Press reported that inspectors
appointed to ensure Congress obeys the same workplace safety rules
as corporate America found numerous violations, including
unprotected workers digging through contaminated trash, high
concentrations of Legionnaires' disease bacteria in one building
and improper storage of flammable chemicals.
Many U.S. cities and counties, as well as the executive branch
of the federal government, require recycling. But Congress has kept
its program voluntary. The recycling effort is under control of the
architect of the Capitol, whose 2,000 employees maintain
congressional buildings.

Peter Anderson
RecycleWorlds Consulting
4513 Vernon Blvd. Ste. 15
Madison, WI 53705-4964
Phone:(608) 231-1100/Fax: (608) 233-0011