b. Plastic containers. Plastic office recycling containers and office waste receptacles
are made primarily from HDPE or LDPE, but EPA is aware of at least one vendor that
manufactures these items using commingled plastic resins.
c. Steel containers. Steel containers are available that are made from recovered
materials. According to a recent article published by the Steel Recycling Institute, all steel
products contain either 25 or 30 percent recovered steel or virtually 100 percent recovered
materials content when made with North American Steel ("The Recycling Magnet", Fall
1994). Based on this information, the Agency believes that office recycling containers and
waste receptacles made from steel contain similar percentages of recovered materials.
2. Summary of Comments and Agency's Response
a. Scope of designation. One commenter questioned EPA's proposed designation of
steel office recycling containers and office waste receptacles, stating that the amount of steel
used to manufacture such items is inconsequential when compared to the amount of steel
produced in the U.S. Another commenter stated that the designation of recycling containers
and waste receptacles made from multiple materials (i.e., plastic, steel, and paper) could
encourage the purchase of plastic and paper contain&s rather than the traditional steel
EPA encourages the use of all recovered materials in products and does not favor one
material over another. If EPA did not include steel containers in its designation, procuring
agencies might assume that EPA was recommending the use of plastic or paper containers
only, when this is not the case. Additionally, steel containers made from recovered materials
are readily available as are containers made from plastic and Paper. For these reasons, the
Agency believes it is appropriate to designate containers made from steel, paper, and plastic.
EPA also believes that the type of containers purchased should be the sole decision of the
procuring agencies and that they can best choose the product that meets their needs.
3. Rationale for Designation
EPA believes that office recycling containers and office waste receptacles satisfy the
statutory criteria for selecting items for designation.
a. Use of, materials in solid waste. As discussed above in section II.A, plastics,
paper, and steel are significant components of the solid waste stream.
b. Technically proven uses. EPA is aware of at least four manufacturers that produce
office recycling Containers and office waste receptacles using recovered plastic. In addition,
plastic containers are available through GSA's Federal Supply Schedule 72 VII B, "Recycling
Collection Containers and Specialty Waste Receptacles." GSA also has corrugated recycling
containers available through its Special Order Program. EPA is also aware that there are
manufacturers that produce office recycling containers and waste receptacles made from