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Sustainable Materials Management

Sustainable materials management takes a holistic view of environmental impacts across the full life cycle of materials, as well as actions that can be taken to reduce those impacts. It includes resource extraction and use of recovered materials, the design and production of materials, their use, and end-of-life management, including solid waste disposal and recovery.

Sustainable purchasing, product stewardship, and resource recovery, solid waste management all contribute to achieving the District’s sustainable materials management goals.

Sustainable Purchasing

The District’s sustainable purchasing program assists agencies in procuring products and services that are high-performing, affordable and that have a lesser negative impact on the environment than conventional ones. Through its sustainable purchasing program, the District is reducing the purchase and use of toxic chemicals, and increasing its procurement of  products that contain recycled content, conserve water and energy, and can be safely refurbished, recycled, or composted, at the of the product’s useful life. Learn more about the sustainable purchasing program and sustainable product specifications here.

Product Stewardship

The District’s product stewardship program requires manufacturers to pay for and develop systems to reuse, recycle, or properly dispose of electronics and paint in a manner that is safe for people and the environment. More information on electronics recycling and paint stewardship programs follows:

The electronics recycling program will provide many convenient options for District residents and small businesses to recycle electronic waste when it launches in 2017.

To ensure residents have convenient locations to dispose of paint correctly, and to ensure the value in leftover paint is recovered, the District is establishing the paint stewardship program.

Waste Diversion & Resource Recovery

The District is developing a plan to achieve 80% waste diversion citywide. To reach this goal, the District will utilize a variety of waste diversion strategies, including: source reduction, recycling, composting, and conversion of compostable solid waste to biofuel. Through the Sustainable DC Plan, the District has committed to sending zero waste to landfill and reducing waste generated by 15% by 2032. DOEE contributes to achieving these goals by developing programs, strategies, and incentives to advance recycling and composting citywide. In addition to conserving natural resources, developing and implementing cost effective strategies to recover value in wasted resources improves human and environmental health, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and creates jobs.

District Recycling Reports

Learn More about Sustainable Materials Management