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policy of awarding contracts to the vendor offering an item composed of the highest
percentage of recovered materials practicable," subject to the limitations of RCRA section
6002(c)(1)(A) through (C) (i.e., competition, price, availability, and performance). The
case-by-case approach is appropriate where a procuring agency determines that the minimum
content standard it has established for a particular designated item is not appropriate for a
specific procurement action (i.e., the procuring agency is unable to aquire the item within
the limitations described in RCRA. The case-by-case approach allows a procuring agency to
specify different (usually lower) minimum content standards for specific procurement actions,
while still ensuring that the agency fulfills its responsibility to procure the designated item
containing the highest amount of recovered materials practicable.
This approach is not intended to obviate the need for an agency minimum recovered
materials content standard. It should be applied to singular procurement actions only where
the agency's minimum content standard is unattainable. If a procuring agency determines
that it is consistently unable to procure an EPA-designated item using the minimum content
standard it establishes, then the agency should evaluate its needs and adjust its content
standard accordingly.
3. Substantially Equivalent Alternative
The thirdapproach specified in RCRA section 6002(i)(3) is a substantially equivalent
alternative to minimum content standards and case-by-case policy development. For some
items, the use of minimum content standards is inappropriate because the product is
remanufactured, reconditioned, or rebuilt (e.g., remanufactured toner cartridges). In these
instances, EPA recommends that procuring agencies use a substantially equivalent alternative.
For example, as discussed in the draft RMAN (see 59 FR 18865, April 20, 1994); in the
case of remanufactured toner cartridges, EPA recommends that procuring agencies establish
a two-pronged program consisting of (1) remanufacturing theirexpended toner cartridges and
(2) purchasing remanufactured toner cartridges when new cartridges are needed. Minimum
content standards ate inapplicable because the recovered material is the expended toner
cartridge, rather than the individuaI components used to produce a new cartridge. However,
in instances where the procuring agency is purchasing new toner cartridges made from
recovered materials (e.g., plastic); a minimum content standard would be appropriate.
4. Requirements for Contractors and Grantees
Government contractors and state and local government agency recipients of
appropriated Federal funds, including assistance funds, are also subject to the requirements
of RCRA section 6002. These requirements are applicable where the contractor or state or
local government agency uses appropriated Federal funds and purchases $10,000 worth of an
EPA designated item or purchased $10,000 or more of the item in the previous year.
Section V.B.2 describes the applicability of RCRA section 6002 to government contractors
and state and local government agencies in further detail.
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