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GSA Lowers Price of Recycled Paper to Help Agencies Buy More of It; Action could potentially save over $3 million a year

GSA #9356

October 30, 1996
Contact: Hap Connors
(202) 501-1231

The U.S. General Services Administration said it has reduced the price of recycled content copier paper offered in its supply system to help Federal agencies comply with a Clinton Administration directive while meeting budget constraints.

The announcement was made by John Stanberry, GSA's Environmental Executive, at a White House Summit on Paper on October 18. The Summit brought together government and industry executives to discuss ways to meet the requirements of Executive Order 12873 that directs Federal agencies to buy recycled content products.

Stanberry said, "GSA is doing its part to meet the President's goals by making it easier for agencies to purchase recycled and other environmentally oriented products. Our environmental initiatives are proving that sound environmental policies can also save tax dollars."

Stanberry's announcement that GSA would be offering recycled content copier paper five cents lower than its nonrecycled counterpart is significant because recycled content copier paper has historically been considerably more expensive. Agencies buy $63 million of nonrecycled copier paper through GSA. If all of it were the recycled content copier paper, the five cent savings would total $3,150,000.

Spending over $200 billion each year on goods and services, the Federal Government has tremendous potential to leverage its purchasing power towards environmentally oriented products and services. These purchases include paper and paper products with recycled content, products that conserve energy and water, and paint and chemical items reformulated to be less environmentally detrimental.

In addition to managing the Federal Recycling Program, the GSA supply system provides over 3,000 environmentally oriented products and services to Federal agencies through a variety of programs. Sales of products from these programs exceeded $300 million for fiscal year 1995.

In his remarks, Stanberry highlighted several GSA recycling initiatives and accomplishments:

_ GSA's Federal Supply Service has pioneered efforts to use recycled paint by establishing the industry standard and aggressively marketing the product. By using high-grade, left-over paint in making recycled latex paints, usable paint stays out of landfills.
_ GSA operates "Green Rooms" where unneeded office supplies can be reused by other offices.
_ GSA's stock program offers remanufactured toner cartridges, the sales for which totaled $2.6 million in fiscal year 1995. Recycled cartridges have a cost savings of almost 50 percent over a new cartridge and prevents three to four pounds each of plastic from entering the landfills.
_ GSA's 1995 Recycling Program enlisted the participation of over 530,000 Federal employees and collected over $800,000 from the sale of recovered materials. This money will be returned to the participating agencies, many of which, like GSA, will put their money into child care centers.

Recycling also saved over $2.5 million in fees for using and transporting material to landfills. In 1995, 42,000 tons of paper -- the main material recycled in Federal buildings -- was prevented from reaching landfills. This translated to the following savings: 125,000 cubic yards of landfill; 646,000 trees; 266 million gallons of water; 14 million gallons of oil, and 155 million kilowatt hours of electricity.

These savings are possible because paper manufactured from recycled material uses 64 percent less energy than making paper from trees. It also creates 74 percent less air pollution and produces 35 percent less water pollution. The energy saved by the Federal Recycling Program is enough electricity to satisfy the annual electrical requirements of over 42,000 American houses.

For more information on GSA's Federal Recycling Program and other energy and environmental initiatives, call GSA's Office of Public Affairs at (202) 501-0705, or visit
GSA's homepage at

Last Reviewed 2010-04-30