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December 2003

EPA Announces Nationwide Waste Reduction Effort

On November 13, 2003, the EPA announced a major effort to broaden and enhance waste reduction efforts nationwide. The Agency launched its GreenScapes Alliance, which aims to combine government and industry into a powerful, unified influence over the reduction, reuse, and recycling of waste materials in large land use applications. These land use activities include 4 million miles of roadside landscaping, Brownfields land revitalization, and the beautification and maintenance of office complexes, golf courses, and parks. More than 100,000 businesses are involved in these land use activities, and are potential participants in the Alliance.

The new Alliance is another unique component of the Agency’s Resource Conservation Challenge, which is a major EPA initiative that identifies and uses innovative, flexible, and protective ways to conserve natural resources and energy. The GreenScapes Alliance reinforces these goals by emphasizing a holistic multimedia view of environmental impacts and stewardship. 

The Alliance will provide information about the cost savings that can be achieved from reducing material use and waste, resource conservation, and on the performance and durability of environmentally preferable products such as recycled-content and biobased products.

It will educate land managers that environmentally beneficial landscaping efforts yield water and energy savings, conserves landfill space, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

They will publicize case studies, success stories, and technical assistance to help alleviate concerns regarding alternative practices and products and they will promote market expansion and growth of recycled-content and biobased products.

They will award organizations that achieve environmental excellence in reduction, reuse, recycling, and rebuying for waste prevention and pollution prevention.

GreenScapes participants fall into two categories. The first group is Partners, which are businesses and agencies that will achieve actual pollution prevention results. The second group is Allies, which are supportive industry associations that will advertise and promote GreenScapes philosophies to their membership and others. Prospective participants include about 73,000 landscape contractors, landscape care and maintenance companies, and landscape installers; around 16,000 golf facilities; approximately 11,000 establishments in the highway and street construction industry that work on 4 million miles of roads; and 3,066 counties that do highway maintenance in 52 states, territories, and the District of Columbia.

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