Durango, CO Environmental Purchasing Policy

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Durango, CO, US

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Type: Policy

Status: Adopted March 1999 (Revised February 2007)

Source File: http://www.durangogov.org/business/rfp/purchpol.pdf (Note: Section D)




The City of Durango's goal is to encourage and increase the use and procurement by City departments of recycled and environmentally preferable products. Buying recycled is vital to the success of recycling; closing the loop facilitates the market for recycled products.

The City of Durango recognizes our employees can make a difference in favor of environmental quality. We strongly recommend the purchase of environmentally preferable products whenever they perform the function intended at least as well as a product produced from only virgin material and the cost of the recycled product reasonably approximates the cost of the product produced from only virgin materials. Instituting a policy specifying up to a 10% price preference for the acquisition of quality environmentally preferred products/services. "Environmentally Preferable Products" means products that have a lesser impact on human health and the environment when compared with competing products. This comparison may consider raw materials, acquisition, production, manufacturing, packaging, distribution, reuse, operation and/or disposal of the product. For products to be truly environmentally friendly they must meet the following criteria:

• Release no persistent toxic substances into the environment during production, use and disposal.

• Conserve energy and resources during production, use and disposal.

• Be durable and reusable first, or readily recyclable or compostable, or truly biodegradable.

• Be made from recycled materials or renewable resources used in a sustainable way.

• Packaging for the product is minimal but adequate to ensure protection, reflecting the above criteria.


Consistent with the intent/policy to minimize the material going to landfills , the overall goal is to minimize diversion of materials from the solid waste stream. The economics of effectively managing costs for solid waste disposal, all City of Durango Departments/Divisions shall adopt and promote the use of recyclable/recycled supplies and materials as a City priority. In so doing, the City shall: • Serve as a model for the Durango region to influence waste prevention, recycling and procurement efforts.

• Choose products that contain lower toxicity and minimize pollution in the manufacturing process, i.e. water based markers.

• Give preference to certified products with as high a recycled content and post-consumer waste percentage as is possible.

• Recycle - choose products that are more easily recyclable, i.e. pastel versus bright or dark colored paper.

• Buy products that are designed for reuse as opposed to one use, i.e. rechargeable batteries.

• Choose products that consume less resources in their manufacture, use, and packaging, i.e. two-sided copying and printing equipment, more fuel-efficient vehicles, and bulk purchases that provide lower weight and/or volume or less packaging.

• Purchase used products whenever possible and/or repairing existing product when possible.

• Look for environmental labels when making purchasing decisions and investigate all environmental claims that are not clear before making a purchasing decision.

• Consider reuse of surplus items/material before discarding.


The City Purchasing Department shall follow procedures to maximize purchase of products with post-consumer recycled content and environmentally preferable products:

1.8.1 All bid documents shall include information on the City's program to buy environmentally preferable and recycled products. Vendors shall be encouraged to provide bids on products with recycled content or which meet criteria for environmentally preferable products wherever such products meet the performance criteria specified in bid documents.

1.8.2 To support the purchase of recycled products, the Purchasing Department has the following options:

(i) specify recycled content or criteria for environmentally preferable products or services as a necessary criterion in any bid document;

(ii) accept a bid which is not the lowest bid if (1) the lowest bid is for a non-recycled product and (2) a recycled content product meets the performance criteria specified, or (3) a bid other than the lowest bid meets the criteria for environmentally preferable products or services,or (4) a cost analysis conducted over the life and disposal of the product reveals lower total costs than are reflected in short-term analysis, or

(iii) award a portion of the contract to bidders offering recycled content or environmentally preferable products.

1.8.3 Whenever possible, the City shall use recycled letterhead and public information pamphlets printed with the recycle logo and percent recycled content label. Double-sided printing and copying shall be utilized when practical.


All City departments, in consultation with the City Purchasing department and Recycling/Conservation Coordinator, shall review existing product and service specifications to:

1.9.1 Identify and eliminate any specifications that require the use of virgin products or exclude the use of recycled or environmentally preferable products, unless they can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Project Manager/Purchasing Department that such specifications are necessary to protect health and safety or that recycled or environmentally preferable products do not meet performance standards, unfairly eliminate competition, or are unreasonable in price, taking durability and liability into account; and

1.9.2 Revise specifications, where appropriate, to include environmentally preferable criteria and recycled content, and

1.9.3 Ensure that wherever possible, the department purchases or leases copiers, printers and offset equipment capable of using both recycled paper of the appropriate grade and reusable toner cartridges where applicable and of making two-sided copies; and

1.9.4 Reuse and recycle, to the greatest extent possible, the waste produced at all City facilities as a result of any City sponsored construction or renovation project.

1.10.0 The following environmentally preferable product categories shall be evaluated and purchased whenever practical.

1.10.1 Printing and writing papers, including all imprinted letterhead paper, envelopes, copy paper, forms and business cards. When practical, these shall contain a minimum of 30% post-consumer recycled content.

1.10.2 Paper products, including janitorial supplies, shop towels, hand towels, facial tissue, toilet paper, seat covers, corrugated boxes, file boxes, hanging file folders and other products comprised largely of paper.

1.10.3 Remanufactured laser printer toner cartridges and remanufactured or refillable inkjet cartridges.

1.10.4 Re-refined antifreeze, including on-site antifreeze recycling, plastic, rubber, aluminum, steel, glass, construction materials, building insulation, and solvents.

1.10.5 Recycled plastic outdoor-wood substitutes, including plastic lumber, benches, fencing, signs and posts and other plastic products.

1.10.6 Re-crushed asphalt aggregate, rubberized asphalt, plasphalt and glassphalt.

1.10.7 Compost, mulch, and other organic including recycled biosolid products.

1.10.8 Other products that may be designated.


City Recycling Coordinator shall establish measures for tracking and measuring ongoing research and providing support to all City Departments for individual products and report on annual program progress.

Nothing contained in this policy shall be construed as to exclude adequate competition, procure products that do not perform adequately for their intended use, or are not available at a reasonable price in a reasonable period of time.