Improving Military Solid Waste Management:

Economic and Environmental Benefits

LCD-76-345: Published: Jun 2, 1977. Publicly Released: Jun 2, 1977.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

The Department of Defense (DOD) can save money and protect the environment by improving its solid waste management.

DOD and other Federal agencies are responsible for the annual disposal of 32 million tons of solid waste. Low priority has been given solid waste management, and the absence of DOD deadlines for complying with the Environmental Protection Agency's guidelines contribute to the problem. There has been only minimal recovery of recyclable materials to date. As of June 1975, military installations recycled 4.2% of their waste material in FY 75, compared with the national average of 6%. There are both economic and environmental benefits related to energy recovery from solid waste. However, military management has been slow in recovery programs because most bases have sufficient landfill areas.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should publish guidance for determining whether and under what circumstances bases should initiate energy recovery programs; issue specifications to the services for preparing energy recovery systems proposals; and designate a focal point for reviewing such project proposals and establishing priorities for their funding.

    Agency Affected:


Explore the full database of GAO's Open Recommendations »

Sep 28, 2016

Sep 26, 2016

Aug 15, 2016

Jul 26, 2016

Jul 21, 2016

Jul 14, 2016

Jul 7, 2016

Looking for more? Browse all our products here