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Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines for Miscellaneous Products

EPA designated the following miscellaneous products under the Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines (CPG) program to promote the use of materials recovered from municipal solid waste (MSW). Recycled-content recommendations for each item are listed below.

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Awards and Plaques

Government agencies purchase millions of dollars’ worth of awards and plaques each year for awards programs, recognition ceremonies and other initiatives. Recovered-content awards are generally made from blown glass while plaques can be made with a variety of recovered materials including wood, paper, plastic and plastic/wood composites.

EPA's Recovered Materials Advisory Notice (RMAN) recommends recycled-content levels for purchasing awards and plaques as shown in the table below.

Recommended Recovered Materials Content Levels for Awards and Plaques1
Product Material Postconsumer Content(%) Total Recovered Materials Content (%)
Awards and Plaques Glass 75-100 100
Wood -- 100
Paper 40-100 40-100
Plastic and Plastic/
Wood Composite
50-100 95-100

1EPA's recommendations do not preclude a procuring agency from purchasing awards and plaques manufactured from other materials. They simply require that a procuring agency, when purchasing glass, wood, paper, or plastic awards or plaques, purchase these items containing recovered materials when the item meets applicable specifications and performance requirements.

For more information on EPA’s product research on recovered-content awards and plaques, please see the Technical Background Document for CPG III/RMAN III.

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Bike Racks

Bike racks provide a method for cyclists to secure their bicycles safely. Commonly found in public areas, bike racks can be designed to hold 1 to 50 bicycles and can be free standing units, anchored by bolts or cement or embedded into the ground.

EPA's Recovered Materials Advisory Notice (RMAN) recommends recycled-content levels for purchasing bike racks as shown in the table below.

Recommended Recovered Materials Content Levels for Bike Racks
Product Material Postconsumer Content (%) Total Recovered Materials Content (%)
Bike Rack Steel1 16 25-30
HDPE 100 100

1The recommended recovered materials content levels for steel in this table reflect the fact that the designated item is generally made from steel manufactured in a Basic Oxygen Furnace (BOF). Steel from the BOF process contains 25-30 percent total recovered steel, of which 16 percent is postconsumer steel.

EPA did not identify any industry standards or specifications that would preclude the use of recovered materials in bike racks.

For more information on EPA's product research on recovered-content awards and plaques, please see the Technical Background Document for RMAN IV.

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Blasting Grit

Blasting grit is an industrial abrasive used to shape, cut, sharpen or finish a variety of other surfaces and materials. Abrasives are used in many industries, including construction, automotive and landscaping and can be fashioned for use on metals, ceramics, carbides, composites, glass and plastics.

EPA's Recovered Materials Advisory Notice (RMAN) recommends recycled-content levels for purchasing blasting grit as shown in the table below.

EPA recommends that procuring agencies review their procurement practices and eliminate those which would inhibit or preclude procurement of lubricating oils containing re-refined oil. For example, procuring agencies should review the practices of inviting bids and issuing contracts to do the following:

Recommended Recovered Materials Content Levels for Blasting Grit
Product Material Postconsumer Content (%) Total Recovered Materials Content (%)
Blasting Grit Steel1 16-67 25-100
Coal Slag -- 100
Copper and Nickel Slag -- 100
Bottom Ash -- 100
Glass 100 100
Glass/Plastic 20 100
Fused Alumina Oxide 100 100
Walnut Shells -- 100

1The recommended recovered materials content levels for steel in this table reflect the fact that the designated item may contain steel manufactured in either a Basic Oxygen Furnace (BOF) or an Electric Arc Furnace (EAF), or a combination of both. Steel from the BOF process contains 25-30 percent total recovered steel, of which 16 percent is postconsumer. Steel from the EAF process contains 100 percent total recovered steel, of which 67 percent is postconsumer. According to industry sources, blasting grit containing a combination of BOF and EAF steel would contain 25-85 percent total recovered steel, of which 16-67 percent would be postconsumer. Since there is no way of knowing which type of steel was used in the manufacture of the item, the postconsumer and total recovered material content ranges in this table encompass the whole range of possibilities, i.e., the use of EAF steel only, BOF steel only, or a combination of the two.

EPA did not find any specifications that would preclude the use of recovered materials in blasting grit. EPA recommends that procuring agencies exercise OSHA or other required standard safety practices when using blasting grit, particularly when using blasting grit containing slag materials.

For more information on EPA’s product research on blasting grit, please see the Technical Background Document for CPG IV/RMAN IV.

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Industrial Drums

An industrial drum is a cylindrical container used for shipping and storing liquid or solid materials. According to the Plastic Drum Institute (PDI), between 12 and 15 million plastic drums are manufactured annually. Most drums are used to ship chemical and petroleum products. Steel, plastic and pressed fiberboard drums can be manufactured with recovered steel, HDPE and paperboard, respectively.

EPA's Recovered Materials Advisory Notice (RMAN) recommends recycled-content levels for purchasing industrial drums as shown in the table below.

Recommended Recovered Materials Content Levels for Steel, Plastic, and Fiber Industrial Drums¹
Product Material Postconsumer Content (%) Total Recovered Materials Content (%)
Steel drums Steel² 16 25-30
Plastic drums HDPE 30-100 30-100
Fiber drums Paper 100 100

1EPA's recommendations do not preclude a procuring agency from purchasing another type of industrial drum. They require that a procuring agency, when purchasing industrial drums made from steel, plastic or fiber, purchase these items made with recovered materials when they meet applicable specifications and performance requirements.
2The recommended recovered materials content levels for steel in this table reflect the fact that the designated items are made from steel manufactured in a Basic Oxygen Furnace (BOF). Steel from the BOF process contains 25-30 percent total recovered materials, of which 16 percent is postconsumer steel.

Product Specifications

  • Industrial drums containing recovered materials can meet applicable US Department of Transportation Specifications for packaging hazardous materials.
  • The National Motor Freight Traffic Association Exitalso develops performance specifications for containers used to transport goods via truck. Their specifications do not specify materials and do not prohibit the use of recovered materials.

For more information on EPA’s product research on recovered-content industrial drums, please see the Technical Background Document for CPG III/RMAN III.

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Manual-Grade Strapping

Strapping is used in transport packaging to hold products in place on pallets or in other methods of commercial, bulk shipment to prevent tampering and pilferage during shipping. EPA's designation is limited to manual-grade strapping products that are made from recovered PP, PET, and steel.

EPA's Recovered Materials Advisory Notice (RMAN) recommends recycled-content levels for purchasing manual-grade strapping as shown in the table below.

Recommended Recovered Materials Content Levels for Manual-Grade Polyester, Polypropylene, and Steel Strapping
Product Material Postconsumer Content (%) Total Recovered Materials Content (%)
Polyester strapping PET 50-80 50-85
Polypropylene strapping PP 10-40
Steel strapping1 Steel 16
67
25-30
100

1The recommended recovered materials content levels for steel in this table reflect the fact that the designated item can be made from steel manufactured in either a Basic Oxygen Furnace (BOF) or an Electric Arc Furnace (EAF). Steel from the BOF process contains 25-30 percent total recovered materials, of which 16 percent is postconsumer steel. Steel from the EAF process contains a total of 100 percent recovered steel, of which 67 percent is postconsumer.

Product Specifications

Specifications and guidance for breaking strength, elongation, and other characteristics of various types of strapping can be found in the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards listed in the following table. These specifications neither recommend nor preclude the use of recovered materials.

ASTM Recommended Specifications and Guide for Strapping
ASTM Specification or Guidance Number Title
ASTM D 3953 Exit Standard Specification for Strapping, Flat Steel and Seals
ASTM D 3950-12a Exit Standard Specification for Strapping, Nonmetallic (and Joining Methods)
ASTM D 4675-09e1 Exit Standard Guide for Selection and Use of Flat Strapping Materials

For more information on EPA’s product research on recovered-content strapping, please see the Technical Background Document for CPG III/RMAN III.

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Mats

Mats are temporary or semipermanent protective floor coverings used for numerous applications including protecting carpet from wear and tear or providing traction on stairs or slippery floors. Manufacturing mats with recovered content diverts a whole range of materials from disposal including postconsumer rubber, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), high-density polyethylene (HDPE), low-density polyethylene (LDPE), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polypropylene (PP) and some metals.

EPA's Recovered Materials Advisory Notice (RMAN) recommends recycled-content levels for purchasing mats as shown in the table below.

EPA's Recommended Recovered Materials Content Levels for Mats1
Product Material Postconsumer Content(%) Total Recovered MaterialsContent (%)
Mats Rubber 75-100 85-100
Plastic 10-100 100
Rubber/Plastic Composite 100 100

1EPA's recommendations do not preclude a procuring agency from purchasing mats made from other materials. They simply require that procuring agencies, when purchasing mats made from rubber and/or plastic purchase them made with recovered materials when these items meet applicable specifications and performance requirements.

For more information on EPA’s product research on recovered-content mats, please see the Technical Background Document for CPG III/RMAN III.

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Pallets

Pallets are rigid platforms made of wood, plastic or paperboard used for shipping a variety of products including food, paper and military supplies. Wooden pallets can be repaired or rebuilt with wood from old pallets. Plastic and corrugated pallets can be manufactured from recovered materials.

EPA's Recovered Materials Advisory Notice (RMAN) recommends recycled-content levels for purchasing pallets as shown in the table below.

Recommended Recovered Materials Content Levels for Pallets Containing Recovered Wood, Plastic, or Paperboard1
Product Material Postconsumer Content (%)
Wooden pallets Wood 95-100
Plastic pallets:
- Plastic lumber Plastic 100
- Thermoformed Plasti 25-50
- Paperboard pallets Paperboard 50

1EPA's recommendation does not preclude a procuring agency from purchasing pallets manufactured from another material. It simply requires that a procuring agency, when purchasing pallets made from wood, plastic, or paperboard, purchase these items made with recovered materials when these items meet applicable specifications and performance requirements.

Product Specifications

EPA recommends that procuring agencies use the following specifications when procuring pallets:The following links exit the site Exit

For more information on EPA’s product research on pallets, please see the Technical Background Document for CPG II/RMAN II.

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Signage

Signs made from recovered materials are used for public roads and highways, as well as inside and outside of office buildings, museums, parks and other public places. EPA's designation pertains to plastic signs used for nonroad applications (e.g. building signs, trail signs) and to aluminum roadway and nonroadway signs. The designation also covers any associated plastic or steel supports.

EPA's Recovered Materials Advisory Notice (RMAN) recommends recycled-content levels for purchasing signage as shown in the table below.

EPA's Recommended Recovered Materials Content Levels for Signage
Product Material Postconsumer Content (%) Total Recovered Materials Content (%)
Signage Plastic1 80-100 80-100
Aluminum 25 25
Plastic sign posts/supports 1 80-100 80-100
Steel sign posts/supports 2 16
67
25-30
100

1Plastic signs and sign posts are recommended for nonroad applications only, such as- but not limited to- trailway signs in parks and directional/informational signs in buildings.
2The recommended recovered materials content levels for steel in this table reflect the fact that the designated items can be made from steel manufactured in either a Basic Oxygen Furnace (BOF) or an Electric Arc Furnace (EAF). Steel from the BOF process contains 25-30 percent total recovered materials, of which 16 percent is postconsumer steel. Steel from the EAF process contains a total of 100 percent recovered steel, of which 67 percent is postconsumer.

Product Specifications

EPA is not aware of specifications for nonroad signs containing recovered materials. Standard specifications for road sign size, lettering, color, strength, and performance requirements can be found in the "Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices", which is published by the Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).

For more information on EPA’s product research on recovered-content signage, please see the Technical Background Document for CPG III/RMAN III.

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Sorbents

Absorbents and adsorbents (referred to as sorbents) are used in environmental, industrial, agricultural, medical and scientific applications to retain liquids and gases. Absorbents incorporate substances throughout the body of the absorbing material, while adsorbents gather substances over the surface of the material. Sorbents can be manufactured using recovered paper, textiles, plastics, wood and other materials. EPA's designation covers sorbents containing recovered materials for use in oil and solvent clean-ups and for use as animal bedding, although recycled-content sorbents can be used in other applications.

EPA's Recovered Materials Advisory Notice (RMAN) recommends recycled-content levels for purchasing sorbents as shown in the table below.

Recommended Recovered Materials Content Levels for Sorbents Used in Oil and Solvents Cleanups and for Use as Animal Bedding
Product Material Postconsumer Content (%) Total Recovered Materials Content (%)
Sorbents Paper 90-100 100
Textiles 95-100 95-100
Plastics -- 25-100
Wood1 -- 100
Other Organics/Multi-Materials 2 -- 100

1Wood includes materials such as sawdust and lumber mill trimmings.
2Examples of other organics include-but are not limited to- peanut hulls and corn stover. An example of multimaterial sorbents include- but are not limited to- a polymer and cellulose fiber combination.

Product Specifications

In addition, the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) has test methods for both absorbents and adsorbents used to remove oils and other compatible fluids from water. These are Standard Method of Testing Sorbent Performance of Absorbents (F 716-09) Exit does not mention any exceptions or differences for testing of sorbents made from recovered materials.

For more information on EPA’s product research on recovered-content sorbents, please see the Technical Background Document for CPG III/RMAN III.

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