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Old Baldy, Canada | photo by Cameron Schaus

Sierra Club
   Conservation Issues of the Ventana Chapter | chapter wide

Sam Farr gets Congress to recycle

Representative Sam Farr enjoys a tour of the Grey Bear recycling facility with Lance King of Community Solutions and Mission Hill students. Photo: Laurie Rivoir

Representative Sam Farr received a Leadership Award from three national environmental groups for his successful efforts to make Congressional recycling both efficient and profitable. The award was presented by Lance King of Community Solutions on March 31 at the California Grey Bears recycling facility in Santa Cruz. Friends of the Earth and Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund of Washington DC were co-presenters of the award.

Farr's efforts began in 1999 when he proposed an amendment approved by the House Appropriations Committee to make recycling mandatory. That amendment was struck down during debate, but Farr persisted with a campaign called "if Congress won't recycle, recycle Congress."

Eventually a bipartisan group of Democrats and Republicans co-sponsored Farr's resolution.

The internal House recycling program went from costing taxpayers over a million dollars while wasting most of the paper collected for "recycling" to earning money for House operations. In FY 2004 the House recycled 1,744 tons of waste and saved valuable landfill space.

In addition, the House now has policies requiring products to contain recycled materials.

Students from Mission Hill Middle School in Santa Cruz toured the Grey Bears recycling facility and met with Representative Farr at the event.


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