Solid Waste:

Progress in Implementing the Federal Program to Buy Products Containing Recovered Materials

T-RCED-92-42: Published: Apr 3, 1992. Publicly Released: Apr 3, 1992.

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GAO discuss the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) program, focusing on: (1) the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) progress in developing procurement guidelines for products containing recovered materials; (2) overall federal progress in implementing the procurement program; and (3) the Department of Commerce's role in encouraging the commercialization of resource recovery technologies. GAO noted that: (1) limited progress has been made in implementing the procurement program, because the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) and EPA have responsibilities for the program and neither agency has taken an overall leadership role; (2) EPA has been slow in developing guidelines that procuring agencies can use to buy items composed of recovered materials; (3) a formal plan to identify which items should be studied, their relative priorities, and the resources necessary to carry out these studies could provide a prioritized approach to EPA guidelines development strategy; (4) the RCRA does not state which agency has responsibility for monitoring the total program or providing the leadership required to resolve problems or assess overall program effectiveness; (5) the Department of Commerce has not initiated any work in response to RCRA since 1982, when it stopped requesting and receiving funds for RCRA activities; and (6) Commerce believes that it substantially fulfilled its mandated responsibilities, but indications that a new role for Commerce could be useful have emerged.

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