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U.S. EPA awards $43,000 to California to identify ways to reduce landfill waste

Release Date: 7/15/2004
Contact Information: Contact: Laura Gentile ( - 415/947-4227 (desk) or 415/760-9161 (cell)

Four million tons of wastes from automobiles, appliances discarded each year

SAN FRANCISCO -- Yesterday the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded $43,000 to the state of California and three other organizations to find ways to reduce the amount of waste discarded from automobiles and appliances that ends up in landfills.

The money will be used to explore the feasibility of using the waste materials from discarded autos and appliances as a fuel in the process of making cement. If successful, this waste material could provide supplemental fuel for the cement industry, which will save over two million tons of coal and minerals that are currently used each year.

Scrap materials from discarded automobiles and appliances can include glass, rubber, plastics, and textiles that remain after the metals have been removed. These wastes account for more than four million tons of wastes generated annually in this country, and 1-2% of wastes that are sent to landfills.

"We are hopeful that this project will not only reduce the amount of garbage that winds up in landfills, but will also find a viable use for these wastes," said Jeff Scott, director of the EPA's waste division for the Pacific Southwest region. "We hope this prompts other industries to consider the possibility of using waste materials in their processes."

The EPA awarded the money to the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, the University of California at Berkeley, Mitsubishi Cement Corporation, and the Hugo Neu-Proler Company.

Yesterday the EPA awarded a total of $465,490 to seven similar projects across the country aimed at reducing waste. These projects range from reducing air emissions resulting from biodiesel production to identifying ways to reduce waste while deconstructing old residential rowhouses. For more information on these projects, go to: