[GRRN] Congress & Its Own Recycling

RecycleWorlds (anderson@msn.fullfeed.com)
Fri, 21 May 1999 09:33:29 -0500

03:38 PM ET 05/20/99
Congress Pushed To Recycle Trash
Congress Pushed To Recycle Trash
Associated Press Writer=
WASHINGTON (AP) _ A decade of cajoling by recycling advocates
did not work, so a House committee on Thursday approved a measure
to force lawmakers and their staffs to separate cans and bottles
from their leftover lunches.
The legislation by the House Appropriations Committee would turn
a voluntary program into a compulsory one and send money earned
from recycling to the chamber's child care center.
Rep. Sam Farr, D-Calif., author of the amendment to the money
bill that finances House operations, predicted it would be
``embarrassing politically'' for anyone to propose deleting the
language. The measure goes to the full House and does not apply to
the Senate, which has taken no similar action.
The Associated Press reported last month that after a decade of
failed, voluntary efforts, most congressional offices still were
mixing garbage, aluminum cans, bottles and different grades of
In contrast, agencies throughout the federal government
successfully have been separating their trash and selling
recyclable material _ just as local governments are doing
throughout America.
The recycling failures, along with workplace health and safety
citations issued to the architect's office, are examples of
congressional noncompliance with programs and rules other Americans
are expected to follow.
The House earned $25,000 for recycling in fiscal 1998, according
to federal government statistics. That is far short of the $150,000
that could be earned if 60 percent of the product were sorted,
according to the chamber's former recycling coordinator.
Some lawmakers complained at Thursday's committee session that
congressional maintenance employees, working under the Architect of
the Capitol, have dumped the contents of recyling bins into the
same containers in offices that attempted to separate throwaway
``We separate all of it and they take it all and just throw it
together. They just put it in a big bin. That's why we get such a
low rate'' of recycling, said Rep. James Moran, D-Va.
The Appropriations Committee chairman, Rep. C.W. ``Bill'' Young,
R-Fla. added, ``I personally saw all three different bins'' of
trash in his office ``deposited in the same place.''
Rep. Charles Taylor, R-N.C., chairman of the legislative branch
subcommittee, had urged the measure's defeat, contending it would
give the architect authority over House members.
``This puts a legal requirement on the members to participate,''
Taylor said before the voice vote approving the language. ``I'm not
sure that's where we want to go.''
But Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said that even if the amendment
later were removed from the spending bill, the provision would
``get the attention'' of the architect and improve recycling

Peter Anderson
RecycleWorlds Consulting
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Madison, WI 53705-4964
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