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December 2006

Environmental responsibility shown by partnership

Sixty-one organizations have contributed significant efforts in reducing and recycling materials, and reducing or eliminating priority chemicals in products and waste, including lead, mercury and cadmium.

The organizations, including utilities, schools, electronic and chemical companies, and consumer product manufacturers, among others, are members of the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) National Partnership for Environmental Priorities or WasteWise programs.

EPA gave awards to 25 National Partnership for Environmental Priorities (NPEP) members for reducing or removing significant priority chemicals. The partners’ combined efforts reduced or eliminated 144 pounds of dioxin, 4,335 pounds of PCBs, 26,750 pounds of mercury, and more than 1 million pounds of lead.

Partners reduced or removed lead in automotive components, glass tubing, fluorescent lights, filters, wire, and cable products, automotive lighting, printing plates and cylinders, PVC compounds, and cathode ray tubes. One NPEP partner recycled 66,000 mercury-containing bulbs.

EPA gave awards to 36 WasteWise partners who eliminated nearly 16 million tons of materials this year. By decreasing the demand on raw materials through waste reduction, WasteWise partners are also reducing their impact on global climate change. Several partners are reusing items that would have otherwise been thrown out, including lab equipment, clothing, and boiler ash. Others have initiated programs that increased recycling awareness, letting people know that recycling goes beyond newspapers and aluminum cans. In some cases, WasteWise partners totally altered their production processes to substitute recovered materials or reduced the amount of raw materials they used in their products.

NPEP is a partnership of public and private organizations that reduce or remove the use of priority chemicals in products and waste. By 2011, NPEP aims to reduce or eliminate 4 million pounds of priority chemicals.

Since its inception, WasteWise partners have eliminated 120 million tons of material. This year alone, WasteWise partners’ waste reduction efforts reduced emissions equivalent to the emissions from using over 62 million barrels of crude oil.

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