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Brownsville Federal Courthouse Makes Huge Strides towards Sustainability

June 30, 2014

GSA is a leader on sustainability within the federal government. In addition to saving taxpayer dollars by making government buildings more efficient, we also reduce our impact on the environment through improved waste management practices.

In April 2014, GSA began using single stream recycling at the Brownsville Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse. Since that time, the building has already reduced its solid waste by 50% and diverted more than 60% of all waste towards recycling.

Key Facts

GSA began using single-stream recycling on April 1, 2014

  • Single stream recycling reduces waste. It also increases waste diversion toward recycling.
  • Single-stream recycling is the combined recycling of mixed paper, paper towels, aluminum, plastics (#1 and #2), and cardboard.
  • The first month of single stream recycling resulted in a reduction of 50% in solid waste from the prior month (from approximately 5000 lbs in March to 2500 lbs in April)
  • Combining the single-stream and yard trimmings recycling (approximately 3840 pounds) diverted approximately 74% toward recycling during its first month; the highest percentage on record for the Brownsville Federal Courthouse.
  • Recycling reduces the costs associated with trash pick up services by 50% and requires smaller dumpsters on site
  • GSA expects continued improvements
  • Will be extending this program to all of Port of Entries in Brownsville, TX.

GSA Regional Administrator Sylvia Hernandez says:

“The numbers speak for themselves. Our outstanding GSA Team in Brownsville, TX, is committed to GSA’s key priority to become a more sustainable government. The use of single stream recycling ensures that less waste goes into landfills and we are protecting our environment for years to come.”

Additional Sustainable Projects in the Brownsville Area

Installation of smart valves on urinals at Federal Courthouse to reduce water consumption

  • Installation of occupancy light sensors for Courthouse
  • Upgrading Building Automation System (BAS) at Federal Courthouse, Los Tomates Port of Entry (POE), B&M POE, and Los Indios POE
  • Upgrades to and installation of energy-efficient outdoor canopy lighting at Los Tomates, B&M, and Los Indios
  • Installation of solar panels on top of the Administration Building at B&M


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