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respectively, when recovered materials are used. Using recovered materials also reduces the
environmental impacts of mining, harvesting, and other extraction of natural resources, while
conserving non-renewable resources for future use. Recycling can also divert large amounts
of materials from landfill. This reduces the need to expand existing or, site new disposal
facilities, allowing local officials to devote more attention to health, education, and safety
issues.
Executive Order 12873 also points out that the use of recycled content products by the
Federal government can spur private sector development of new technologies and use of such
products, thereby creating business and employment opportunities that enhance local,
regional and national economies. Technological innovation associated with the use of
recovered materials can translate into economic growth and make American industry more
competitive in the global economy.
Both RCRA and the E.O. recognize the interdependence between buying recycled
content products and the success of recycling. For recycling to occur, industry must use
recovered materials as feedstock for the manufacture of new products. Despite the
environmental and economic efficiencies that can be realized by using recovered materials as
feedstock, a manufacturer's primary responsibility remains to produce items that meet the
demand of the consumer, The Federal government, through its purchasing decisions as a
consumer, can play a key role in influencing manufacturer's decisions on products made with
recovered materials. By purchasing products containing recovered materials pursuant to the
guidelines established under RCRA and Executive Order 12873, the Federal government has
the opportunity to increase markets for recovered materials and to contribute to an increased
level of recycling in this country. These guidelines also serve to stimulate the purchase of
recycled content products nationwide, since many state and local governments, as well as the
private sector, use these guidelines as a framework for their purchases.
C. Requirements
RCRA section 6002 and Executive Order 12873 specify requirements for the
procurement of products containing recovered materials. The requirements of RCRA section
6002 apply to "procuring agencies," while the Executive Order requirements apply only to
Federal "Executive agencies." The definition of "procuring agency" is discussed in section
V of this document, while "Executive agency" is defined in section 202 of Executive Order
12873.
1. RCRA Section 6002
RCRA section 6002 requires EPA to designate items that are or can be made with
recovered materials and to recommend practices to assist procuring agencies in purchasing
the designated items. Once an item is designated by EPA, procuring agencies that use
appropriated Federal funds to purchase the item are required to purchase. it composed of the
highest percentage of recovered materials practicable (and in the case of paper, the highest
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