The Alkaline Paper Advocate

Volume 2, Number 4
Oct 1989

The Walgren Amendment

The amendment to the Solid Waste Disposal Act that was introduced in the House during the first week in August by Rep. Doug Walgren would require that paper bought m government funds be permanent as well as recycled, at least for important books and documents. It would also encourage the use of alkaline paper for all purposes, apparently even for newspapers and boxes. If passed, the procurement section of the Solid Waste Disposal Act would read in part as follows. Passages added by the amendment are underlined.


... Each procuring agency shall develop an affirmative procurement program which will assure that items composed of recovered materials will be purchased to the extent practicable....

(2) Each affirmative procurement program required under this subsection shall, at a minimum, contain--

a recovered materials preference program;

(B) an agency promotion program to promote the preference program adopted ...

(C) a program for requiring estimates of the total percentage of recovered material utilized in the performance of a contract; certification of minimum recovered material content actually utilized, where appropriate; and reasonable verification procedures for estimates and certifications;

(D) annual review and monitoring of the effectiveness of an agency's affirmative procurement program; and

(E) a requirement that paper procured for printing, writing or archival uses which have enduring value be permanent paper according to voluntary consensus standards.

In the case of paper, the recovered materials preference program required under subparagraph (A) shall provide for the use of the post consumer recovered materials referred to in subsection (h)(1).

(3) In developing the preference program, the following options shall be considered for adoption:

(A) Case-by-Case Policy Development: Subject to the limitations of subsection (c)(1) (A) through (C), a policy of awarding contracts to the vendor offering an item composed of the highest percentage of recovered materials practicable (and in the case of paper, the highest percentage of the post consumer recovered materials referred to in subsection (h)(1), and wherever practicable a pH of 7.5 or higher. Subject to such limitations, agencies may make an award to a vendor offering items with less than the maximum recovered materials content.

(B) Minimum Content Standards: Minimum recovered materials content specifications which are set in such a way as to assure that the recovered materials content (and in the case of paper, the content of post consumer materials referred to in subsection (h)(1) required is the available without jeopardizing the intended end use of the item, or violating the limitations of subsection (c)(1) (A) through (C). Wherever practicable, paper shall be acquired which has a pH of 7.5 or higher.

Procuring agencies shall adopt one of the options set forth in subparagraphs (A) and (B) or a substantially equivalent alternative, for inclusion in the affirmative procurement program.

Even if this amendment does not get passed, it can still serve as a topic for discussion the state officials who are trying to draft similar provisions for their own states.

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