Waste Management by Federal Facilities
The following pie chart shows the percentages of total TRI chemical waste managed through recycling, energy recovery, treatment, and disposal or other releases by federal government organizations in 2021. For more details on quantities released, toggle to the “Releases Only” graph.
- The types of waste reported by federal facilities vary by the type of operation. For example:
- The Tennessee Valley Authority, a government-owned electric utility, provides power to southeastern states. 84% of its reported waste was hydrochloric and sulfuric acid, which were mostly treated on site.
- The Department of the Treasury facilities reporting to TRI are mints for manufacturing currency and, accordingly, they report metals (e.g., copper and nickel) to TRI. Almost all of their metal waste was recycled off site.
The following graph shows the percentages of TRI chemicals released by federal government organizations in 2021.
- Most of the Department of Defense’s releases were on-site releases of nitrate compounds to water and on-site land disposal of metals and metal compounds.
- The chemicals released by the Tennessee Valley Authority are similar to the chemicals released by other electric utilities that report to TRI. On-site land disposal of barium compounds and air releases of sulfuric acid make up a large portion of releases from the Tennessee Valley Authority and other electric utilities.
Source Reduction at Federal Facilities
Federal facilities’ operations are diverse and few focus on manufacturing processes. Due to the varied functions, operations at some federal facilities are better suited to source reduction strategies than others. For the 2021 reporting year, 27 federal facilities (6%) reported implementing source reduction activities.
Federal facilities have often reported difficulties when trying to reduce their use of lead because it is contained in ammunition used at National Security and Park Service facilities. For 2021, several federal facilities reported using non-lead ammunition in accordance with National Park Service policy to do so where feasible.
To find more examples of federal facilities’ source reduction activities and the source reduction barriers they face, visit TRI’s P2 Search Tool and select industry sectors such as National Security, Correctional Institutions, or Police Protection from the dropdown menu under “search criteria."
This page was published in March 2023 and uses the 2021 TRI National Analysis dataset made public in TRI Explorer in October 2022.