new landfills is becoming difficult and often is an emotionally charged issue in communities. Incineration or waste-to-energy facilities are also highly contentious. The toxic air emissions, the low Btu content of the waste feed, and the potentially hazardous waste resulting from the incineration process make this a much less attractive alternative to recycling the waste into raw material. In addition, siting waste incinerators is difficult. As it turns out, much industrial waste could be reprocessed into raw materials if regulatory, technical, legal, and cultural barriers could be overcome.

While the size of the federal budget in general, and the defense budget in particular, is decreasing, it is still of sufficient size that federal procurement actions can make a difference between survival and failure of fledgling companies that use recycled materials to manufacture useful products. Requiring that purchased products contain recycled material would send a clear message that the private sector's product development efforts should include use of recycled materials, and would stimulate markets.

This is the principle behind one of the Air Force Pollution Prevention Program initiatives, Proactive Procurement, designed to close this material loop. On September 25, 1992, the secretary of the Air Force and the chief of staff signed a policy memorandum establishing an Air Force policy to purchase and use products containing recycled materials when available. Specifically, by the end of 1993, 10 percent of all nonpaper products and 50 percent of all paper products procured by the Air Force shall contain recycled materials. Based on Air Force paper use in the Pentagon alone, this policy will save more than 1,300 cubic yards of landfill space, almost 7,300 mature trees, 3 million gallons of water, 162,500 gallons of oil, and 1.75 million kilowatts of energy, and will eliminate 25,600 pounds of air pollutants each year. The policy also includes lubricating oils, re-treaded tires, building insulation, cement, and concrete under the nonpaper category. This policy puts leadership emphasis behind the requirements of RCRA Section 6002, and the EPA affirmative procurement guidelines.


A significant component of the environmental impact of weapons systems results from the use of technical requirements documents, particularly military specifications (MILSPECS) and military standards (MILSTDS). These documents were originally created to standardize the manufacture and maintenance of weapons systems to allow easier logistical support and ensure quality and reliability. Indeed, MILSPECS and MILSTDS became de facto industry standards around the world. The 1989 Montreal Protocol Solvents Technical Options Committee Report stated that approximately 50 percent of CFC-113 used worldwide for the manufacture of electronics circuit boards was driven by U.S. MILSPECS, because they had been adopted as industry standards, and by other governments

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