Sacramento County, CA Environmental Purchasing Policy

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Sacramento County, CA, US

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Type: Policy

Status: Adopted in January 2001

Source File:


I. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to support the purchase of recycled and environmentally preferred products in order to minimize environmental impacts relating to our work. The Public Works Agency recognizes our employees can make a difference in favor of environmental quality. We strongly recommend the purchase of environmentally preferable products whenever they perform satisfactorily and are available at a reasonably competitive price.

Consistent with the requirements of Assembly Bill 939, requiring a 50% reduction of material going to landfills, and the economics of effectively managing costs for solid waste disposal, all Public Works Agency Departments/Divisions shall adopt and promote the use of recycled/recyclable supplies and materials as an Agency priority. In so doing, the Agency shall:

1. Encourage waste prevention, recycling, market development and use of recycled/recyclable materials through lease agreements, contractual relationships and purchasing practices with vendors, contractors, businesses and other governmental agencies.

2. Adopt waste prevention, recycling and use of recycled supplies/materials as an Agency priority.

3. Generate less waste material by reviewing how supplies, materials and equipment are manufactured, purchased, packaged, delivered, used, and disposed.

4. Serve as a model for the Sacramento region to influence waste prevention, recycling and procurement efforts.

II. Definitions

"Recycling" means the process of collecting, sorting, cleansing, treating, and reconstituting materials that would otherwise become solid waste, and returning them to the economic mainstream in the form of raw material for new, reused, or reconstituted products which meet the quality standards necessary to be used in the marketplace.

"Waste Prevention" means any action undertaken by an individual or organization to eliminate or reduce the amount or toxicity of materials before they enter the municipal solid waste stream. This action is intended to conserve resources, promote efficiency, and reduce pollution.

"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.

"Recycled Products" are products manufactured with waste material that has been recovered or diverted from the waste stream. Recycled material may be derived from post-consumer waste (material that has served its intended end-use and been discarded by a final consumer), industrial scrap, manufacturing waste and/or other waste that otherwise would not have been utilized.

"Practical" means sufficient in performance and reasonably available at a reasonably competitive cost.

III. Policies

A. All Public Works Agency personnel will specify recycled and environmentally preferable products whenever practical.

B. The Public Works Agency shall solicit the use of recycled and other environmentally preferred products in its procurement documents as appropriate.

C. Public Works Agency departments/divisions shall practice waste prevention whenever practical.

IV. Best Practices

A. Procurement Practices In cooperation with their customers, all PWA Departments/Divisions shall evaluate, at least, the following environmentally preferable product categories and purchase them whenever practical.

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

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.

3. Remanufactured laser printer toner cartridges and remanufactured or refillable ink-jet cartridges.

4. Re-refined antifreeze, including on-site antifreeze recycling.

5. Re-refined lubricating and hydraulic oils.

6. Recycled plastic outdoor-wood substitutes, including plastic lumber, benches, fencing, signs and posts.

7. Recycled content construction, building and maintenance products, including plastic lumber, carpet, tiles and insulation.

8. Re-crushed cement concrete aggregate and asphalt.

9. Cement and asphalt concrete containing tire rubber, glass cullet, recycled fiber, plastic, fly ash or other alternative products.

10. Re-treaded tires and products made from recycled tire rubber including rubberized asphalt, playground surfaces and fatigue mats.

11. Compost, mulch, and other organics including recycled biosolid products.

12. Re-manufactured paint.

13. Other products that may be designated by General Services.

B. Waste Prevention Practices

Public Works Agency staff is encouraged to reduce their consumption of resources by incorporating the following practices into their daily activities. Accomplishment of these activities will be through appropriate staff and resources such as the Agency PIO Office and use of the Flash and Conduit.

1. Consider durability and repairability of products prior to purchase.

2. Conduct routine maintenance on products/equipment to increase the useful life.

3. Use duplex features on laser printers and copiers. Specify duplex on print jobs.

4. Create electronic letterhead for use by all Public Works Agency Departments/Divisions.

5. Send and store information electronically when possible. This includes e-mail, website and electronic fax.

6. Review record retention policies and implement document imaging systems.

7. Other waste prevention practices that further the goals of this policy.

V. Responsibilities of All Departments/Divisions

Each Public Works Agency Department/Division shall be responsible for the implementation of this policy and shall:

A. Practice waste prevention whenever possible.

B. Continue to utilize recycling programs and expand them where possible.

C. Procure recycled products whenever practical.

D. Develop, evaluate and maintain information about environmentally preferable and/or recycled products containing the maximum practical amount of recycled materials. Cross-feed information to other Departments/Division when potential use of a product exists.

E. Develop specifications used in public bidding aimed at eliminating barriers to recycled-content products, such as outdated or overly-stringent product specifications and specifications not related to product performance.

F. Ensure that procurement documents issued by the Departments/Divisions require environmental preferred alternatives whenever practical.

G. Educate and promote this policy through appropriate staff and the use of the Agency PIO, the Flash, Conduit, etc. This will include documentation of successes, pitfalls, changes, etc.

H. Provide the Waste Management & Recycling Division each May with information on recycling activities, recycling programs, recycled-content purchases, etc. for a report to be prepared by WMRD each June for presentation to the Agency Administrator.

VI. Responsibilities of General Services

General Services shall:

A. Maintain and use information, furnished by its customers, about environmentally preferable and recycled products containing the maximum practical amount of recycled materials and encourage the Departments/Divisions to purchase such products whenever possible. Initially, these shall include the products designated in Section IV. A of this policy.

B. Provide Departments/Divisions with vendor furnished information about recycled products and environmental procurement opportunities.

C. Inform vendors of our Environmental Purchasing Policy.

D. Structure applicable contracts to offer and/or feature recycled-content products whenever possible, (e.g., office supplies, lubricating oils and janitorial supplies).

E. Encourage development of specifications used in public bidding aimed at eliminating barriers to recycled-content products, such as outdated or overly-stringent product specifications and specifications not related to product performance. All requests for proposals shall encourage vendors to offer recycled products whenever practical.

VII. Exemption

Nothing in this policy shall be construed as requiring the purchase of products that do not perform adequately and/or are not reasonably available at a reasonable cost.