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Model Executive Order

New York City’s Mayoral Directive #96-2: A Useful Model for Municipalities Considering Mandating Waste Prevention Purchasing and Practices in Local Government Offices and Other Public Institutions

On September 27, 1996, New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani issued a model waste prevention directive, which applies to the heads of all city agencies and departments. Its purpose is “instructing and motivating personnel to practice waste prevention initiatives” in order to “enhance efficiency and reduce costs of city government.” This initiative should “enable the city to focus its limited budgetary resources more directly on the provision of services.” According to the directive, “Waste prevention is also an environmentally sound and cost-effective approach for reducing the city’s solid waste stream and costs associated with waste management.” The directive requires city agencies to:

1. Adopt and implement waste prevention and efficient materials management policies.

2. Report annually regarding their current and proposed activities in this area.

Waste prevention is defined in the directive as “a reduction in the quantity and/or toxicity of solid waste through practices such as: reusing products and packaging; using durable products, including products that offer extended warranties; avoiding or reducing the use of products or packaging by purchasing products in bulk or in concentrate or by other means; avoiding or reducing the use of products or packaging that contain toxic constituents, or eliminating or reducing toxic constituents in products or packaging; or other measures that prevent waste.”

The mayoral directive is summarized below.

Section 1. Office Paper Waste Prevention and Reuse

All City agencies shall adopt and implement office paper waste prevention and reuse measures which shall at a minimum include:

  • a. double-sided (2X) printing and copying (and setting copier default settings to 2X), reduced format printing, posting operating instructions for 2X copying above all photocopiers, common access and efficient circulation of information (e.g., posting office-wide memos in a common place, routing to many staff and using e-mail or LAN whenever feasible);
  • b. resource-efficient faxing (e.g., eliminating cover sheets and confirmation pages when possible; faxing directly from computers and eliminating hard copy when fax is sent);
  • c. resource-efficient mailing (e.g., eliminating envelopes for bulk mailings, using 2-way envelopes, and cleaning up mailing lists);
  • d. using washable service ware instead of disposable trays, plates, cups, cutlery, etc.:
  • e. contacting organizations to eliminate unwanted mail;
  • f. reusing paper products (such as scrap paper and envelopes);
  • g. directing potential contractors to submit proposals on “single-spaced, double-sided pages”;
  • h. using e-mail instead of paper copies whenever possible and unless specifically requested;
  • i. reducing the paper used in print jobs and using recycled or recyclable paper; and
  • j. printing forms from computers to avoid excess inventory.

Section 2. Procurement

  • a. “All agencies shall review and revise their procurement specifications and policies to incorporate money-saving waste prevention measures to the maximum extent feasible.”
  • b. All City agencies shall:
    • 1. require vendors to eliminate or reduce packaging;
    • 2. require vendors to provide reusable packaging and take it back;
    • 3. procure printers capable of making double-sided copies;
    • 4. purchase reusable and durable products, and those with extended warranties;
    • 5. purchase products in concentrates; and
    • 6. reduce their purchase of products with toxic ingredients.
  • c. The Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) shall, with (the Department of Sanitation (DOS), submit to the Task Force within 6 months “a plan for incorporating feasible waste prevention measures into its procurement practices.” Within 18 months, the plan shall be implemented. It should include a schedule for implementing each of the waste prevention measures. DCAS shall report annually to the Task Force on the status of the plan implementation.
  • d. The Mayor’s Office of Contracts (MOC), with DOS and DCAS, within 6 months shall submit to the Task Force. . .a plan for incorporating feasible waste prevention measures into its procedures applicable to the procurement of services by City agencies.” The plan shall include a schedule and be implemented within 18 months. MOC shall report annually to the Task Force on the status of the plan implementation and waste prevention measures adopted (including an estimated quantity of tonnage and money saved.)

Section 3. Maximize Participation in DCAS Surplus Program

“Agencies shall, to the maximum extent practicable, use the DCAS Surplus Program.”

Section 4. Lawn and Yard Waste

Agencies that maintain lawns shall “to the extent feasible” leave grass clipping on the lawn to degrade naturally. They should also compost their own leaves and yard waste.

Section 5. Other Waste Prevention Measures

Agencies shall “review their operations in order to identify additional opportunities for waste prevention, including reuse of goods and supplies, and shall adopt and implement appropriate and feasible waste prevention measures.”

Section 6. Waste Prevention Coordinators and Interagency Task Force

  • a. An Interagency Task Force on Waste Prevention and Efficient Materials Management Policies (“the Task Force”) shall be created and report to the First Deputy Mayor and be chaired by the Director of the Mayor’s Office of Operations (MOO). The Task Force shall consist of representatives of: MOO, DCAS, and DOS. Agency Waste Prevention Coordinators shall participate at the direction of the Chair.
  • b. Each agency shall designate Waste Prevention Coordinators, responsible for coordinating compliance with the Directive.
  • c. The Task Force shall monitor compliance with the Directive and identify additional waste prevention and efficient materials management policies that may be adopted by city agencies.

Section 7. Submission of Annual Reports

  • a. “Each agency shall report annually on waste prevention measures that have been adopted and implemented pursuant to the Directive.”
  • b. Each agency shall submit its annual report to the Director of MOO by Sept. 1 for the prior FY.
  • c. Each annual report shall identify the Waste Prevention Coordinator for each agency.
  • d. When feasible, the report shall be e-mailed via CityMail.

Section 8. Effective Date: Immediately.

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