California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) 

City of Pittsburg

Recycled Products Procurement Policy


The City of Pittsburg Recycled Product Procurement Policy provides that all departments shall, whenever possible, use recycled products and recycled materials to meet these needs. This policy is enacted to demonstrate compliance with AB 939 and foster market development for recycling products.


The Recycled Product Procurement Policy calls upon each City department to evaluate its opportunities for the use of products manufactured with recycled materials and to revise contracting and procurement procedures and specifications to increase the purchase of recycled products. In the implementation of this policy, each department:

  • Evaluates recycled products to determine the extent to which they may be used by the department and its contractors;
  • Purchases recycled products and recyclable products whenever practicable;
  • Ensures that contracts issued by the department require recycled material content whenever practicable and that contractors provide the type of recycled content and reports of amounts purchased; and
  • Reports the progress of the policy implementation, including evaluation results and volume purchased by the department and its contractors.

In addition, a Recycled Products Committee will be established to assist in implementation process of this Policy. This committee will be comprised of volunteer staff from City departments, and their task will be to determine the parameters and guidelines of acceptable recycled products and materials for the City to purchase.

To facilitate department implementation of this policy, the Recycled Product Procurement Program is monitored by the Purchasing Department. In the implementation of this policy, Purchasing will:

  • Assemble information about recycled products, vendors, and educational opportunities and communicate it to departments; and
  • In conjunction with the Environmental Affairs Division, review procurement opportunities and policy requirements with departments and monitor implementation efforts; and
  • Provide technical support to Environmental Staff on implementation of the Recycled Product Procurement Policy; and
  • Work with the Recycled Products Committee in establishing purchasing guidelines and requirements of recycled materials and products for City use.

To facilitate departmental implementation of the Recycled Product Procurement Program, Environmental Affairs will:

  • Provide technical support on the outreach programs of the Solid Waste Division to encourage the adoption of recycled product procurement policies;
  • Commit to provide written reports to the State Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) as required by state regulations;
  • Establish a Recycled Products Committee, a voluntary committee of employees to determine the parameters of the recycled products and materials for the City; and
  • Work with the Purchasing Department to coordinate development and implementation of procurement guidelines and minimum content standards, and to recommend revisions of policy.

I. Definitions of Recycled Content

  1. Post-consumer recovered materials. A finished material that would normally be disposed of as a solid waste, having completed its life cycle as a consumer item. Examples of post-consumer recovered materials include, but are not limited to; old newspapers, office paper, yard waste, steel, aluminum cans, glass, plastic bottles, oil, asphalt, concrete, and tires.
  2. Pre-consumer recovered materials. Material or by-products generated after manufacturing of a product is completed, but before the product reaches the end-use consumer. Examples of pre-consumer recovered materials include, but are not limited to; obsolete inventories of finished goods, rejected unused stock and paper wastes generated during printing, cutting and other converting operations.
  3. Total recovered material. The total pre- and post-consumer recovered material contained in a product.

II. Recycled Content Preference

It is recommended that the City of Pittsburg establish a policy, whenever practical and fiscally responsible, to purchase products which contain, in order of preference, the following:

  1. The highest percentage of recycled content of post-consumer recovered material, available in the marketplace; and
  2. The highest percentage of "pre-consumer recovered material," available in the marketplace.

This preference is a long-term goal the City will want to achieve and, therefore, in those instances where it is deemed impractical to procure a recycled-content item, a specific explanation for the finding must be included in the purchasing record (see Monitoring section.)

III. Recyclability and Waste Reduction

In addition to the recovered material content of a product, important criteria in selecting products shall also be:

  1. The ability of a product and its packaging to be reused, reconditioned for use, or recycled through existing recycled collection programs;
  2. Follow existing City Ordinance No. 91-1019, Chapter 8.06, which addresses the Collection of Recyclable Waste Materials and Food Packaging Recycling; and
  3. The volume and toxicity of waste and by-products of a given product, and the packaging generated in their manufacture, use, recycling and disposal. Products and packaging designed to minimize waste and toxic by-products in their manufacture, use, recycling, and disposal shall be preferred.

IV. Purchase Requisition, Specification and Bid Solicitation

Product specifications and requisition for products shall conform to the following guidelines:

  1. Product specifications and requisitions shall not indiscriminately require the use of product made from virgin materials, nor specifically exclude the use of recycled-content products;
  2. Performance standards must be reasonable and related to function, and shall not be designed to exclude the purchase of recycled-content products;
  3. To the extent such information is known, City staff shall identify to the Purchasing Division (in the Purchase Requisition) products available with recycled content and vendors from whom such products are available;
  4. Purchasing agents have the authority to specify a minimum "recycled-content" standard in bid solicitation to accomplish the purpose of this policy.

V. Contractors and Grantees

All City contractors and grantees shall be requested to conform to the minimum recycled-content procurement standards set forth by Environmental Affairs, a division of the Administrative Services Department. This request shall be applied to contractors and grantees in procuring materials or products to perform contractual services for the City, to produce or provide a work product in the City or on the City’s behalf, or to conduct work funded by a grant from the City.

Contractors and grantees shall be further requested to report to the City the types, quantities and total dollar amounts of recycled products which are purchased by the contractor or grantee in connection with City-funded work. The Percentage of post-consumer and total recovered material content of such purchased products shall also be requested to be included in the report.

Any RFP or bids for services requested by the City will include a statement that the City prefers doing business with companies that adhere to our principles. In addition, it will request that any proposal submitted to the City shall be printed two-sided on recycled and recyclable paper with removable, reusable bindings or staples, and the percentage of post-consumer contractors producing reports for the city will submit such on (post consumer) recycled and recyclable paper.

VI. Promotion

All City purchased and printed recycled paper products shall be labeled with the standard phrase: "Printed on Recycled Paper." All city departments or agencies shall be required to use recycled products for their business cards, letterhead stationery, envelopes, business forms, and pertinent documents. All said documents shall be printed, with the standard phrase: "Printed on Recycled / Recyclable Paper" thereby promoting the use of post-consumer content. If sufficient documentation and certification is available, reasonable efforts shall be undertaken to specifically indicate the percentage of recycled post-consumer content. In this case, the phrase "Printed on 40% Post Consumer Recycled Paper" shall appear on all products produced by and for the City. In addition, the use of non-toxic inks for the City publications or mailings will be encouraged.

All City photocopying of requested documents produced by grantees and contractors shall be produced on post-consumer recycled paper. All contractors and grantees will submit all requested documents to the City on recycled paper. This shall include, but is not limited to, drafts, reports, training manuals, bids, responses to inquiries and permit applications. The City will also engage in the practice of two-sided copies for all City memos and mailings.

VII. Monitoring

The Purchasing Department and Environmental Affairs, along with the Recycled Products Committee, shall prepare and deliver to the City Council an annual status report on implementation of this policy and formalize a recycled products list to aid in purchasing and monitoring goals. The report shall include documentation of the types, quantities, and dollar amounts of recycled products purchased in the previous year by the City, its contractors and grantees. The report shall also identify and discuss the following:

  1. Instances where this policy is waived or its requirement found impracticable; and
  2. Barriers to the procurement of recycled-content products.

In addition to monitoring and evaluating this procurement policy, the effect of evaluating products for their recycled content and will affect the Purchasing Division’s workload. This increased workload and provisions has been augmented in the Environmental Affairs Division budget, however, recommendations may be brought forward to the Council as needed to augment staff or funding, if necessary and appropriate.

VIII. Fiscal Impact

The adoption and implementation of this procurement ordinance may impact current budgets down the road, but is unclear at this time. Given the requirements of AB 939, the concern over additional landfill development and rising disposal costs, are necessary to conserve and protect natural resources and support the city of Pittsburg’s recycling and market development goals.

City of Pittsburg resolution adopting this policy

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Last updated: April 24, 2001
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Local Assistance & Market Development: (916) 341-6199