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Best Practices at EPA's Regional Offices

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The following waste diversion best practices are employed at EPA’s regional offices across the country:


Yard trimmings and food residuals together constitute 23 percent of the U.S. waste stream. Composting these materials is an effective way of significantly reducing the volume of waste being sent for disposal.

Paper Use Reduction

Several regional offices have come up with innovative methods for reducing their paper use. Some examples include:


Passing on unwanted items to others that can use them or finding a new use is a great way to delay disposal. Reuse conserves resources and reduces pollution, including greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming.

Regular “Clean–Up Days”

Several of EPA’s regional offices hold regular clean-up days during which employees are encouraged to clean out their desks and filing cabinets and recycle or reuse excess items.

Other Source Reduction Activities

Source reduction is the practice of designing, manufacturing, purchasing, or using materials in ways that reduce the amount (or toxicity) of trash created—in other words, preventing waste from even being created.

Expanding Recycling Options

All EPA facilities recycle common materials (i.e., office paper, aluminum cans, plastic and glass bottles), but the facilities that have achieved the highest waste diversion rates have done so in part by expanding their recycling programs to include other materials. Below are a few examples of materials recycled at highlighted regional offices, as well as other offices not mentioned below:

Closing the Loop

Education and Outreach

Effective communication on program goals and policies and employee training are crucial components of any waste diversion effort. Recognizing this, EPA facilities emphasize education and outreach through strategies such as:

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