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[GreenYes] Energy Savings
[forward of a posting from EPA on the Jobs Through Recycling listserve]

The article below that Steve just sent out references the use of
recycled materials as a way of conserving energy -- this provides a nice
intro to a white paper we have recently developed here at EPA that
provides data on the energy impacts of waste management.

The paper (now available on our website) summarizes the energy impacts
of waste management for common material types, utilizing the life cycle
analysis data from our greenhouse gas and municipal solid  waste
management report. It also provides a table of energy factors and a
methodology for calculating the energy impacts of different waste
management practices.  Using the table of energy factors, you can
calculate the savings one might have if you were to increase recycling
(or source reduction).

The savings can be significant!  In 1997, U.S. communities recycled an
estimated 28 percent (50.6 million tons) of total municipal solid waste.
Using the energy factors in this white paper, we estimate that those
recycling activities account for roughly 633 trillion Btu in energy
savings--an amount equivalent to the consumption of 5 billion gallons of
gasoline or 109 million barrels of oil (see Exhibit 4 in the paper for
common energy conversion factors).  If the U.S. recycling rate were to
increase to 35 percent, energy savings would increase to an estimated
907 trillion Btu--an amount equivalent to the consumption of 7 billion
gallons of gasoline or 156 million barrels of oil.

A PDF version of the white paper is available on our climate and waste
website at: <>.
If you have any questions on the paper or how you could potentially use
this information -- feel free to drop me an email or give me a call at
(703) 308-7269.

Henry Ferland
EPA's Climate and Waste Program
Peter Anderson
4513 Vernon Blvd. Suite 15
Madison, WI 53705
(608) 231-1100
Fax (608) 233-0011

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