Congressional Recycling Failure Costs Millions Congress has wasted $1.5 million in the last five years by not recycling the thousands of tons of paper that it produces, according to a recent report.
Recycling Easy for Most, But Too Difficult for Congress?
Taxpayers for Common Sense is the best organization that monitors excessive government spending, corruption and corporate welfare. Here is their latest news update.
Congress is supposed to recycle and has a program in place, but taxpayers lost hundreds of thousands in revenue just last year from the lack of effective recycling of paper. Over 70 percent of the more than five million pounds of paper collected from recycling was so contaminated that it had to be thrown away, according to the Grassroots Recycling Network (GRRN).
The Associated Press reported in 1999 that a majority of congressional offices are not recycling. Most offices continue to mix garbage, aluminum cans and bottles. A House bill introduced in 1999 drafted to remedy the situation has gone nowhere, and the House even removed a recycling provision from a fiscal year 2000 appropriations bill.
Some Members of Congress have complained that they are trying to recycle by separating their trash, only to see it thrown back together by janitors.
The GRRN estimates that Congress sends 2,000 to 5,000 tons of readily recycled paper, aluminum, glass and plastic to landfills annually, which cost $77 per ton to landfill last year. Recycled paper can bring in much more revenue per ton.
The Senate is studying the operation and has directed the Architect of the Capitol, the office that oversees waste and recycling programs for Congress, to take specific steps to improve the recycling program.
Language in a Senate report accompanying the fiscal year 2001 legislative branch appropriations bill called for the Senate to improve its recycling efforts and directs the Architect to hire someone to run the recycling program. Currently, the House and Senate are without recycling program managers.
In September, a number of organizations launched the www.recyclecongress.org website and an education campaign to get Congress to implement an effective recycling program.
Millions of Americans do their best to recycle. It is inexcusable that Congress has only a sham program. This failure costs taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Congress should get ahead of the curve on this issue. Congress has already taken important steps (thanks in this case to Republican leadership) toward ensuring that it is subject to many of the employment laws that apply to most other employers. Getting real about recycling would affirm the principle of living by the standards and principles Congress expects of others.
For more information, contact Keith Ashdown at (202) 546-8500 x110 or
e-mail email@example.com ; TCS is at www.taxpayer.net
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