California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) 

City of Vacaville

Source Reduction and Recycled Content Purchasing Policy

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

The City of Vacaville:

  • Recognizes the need to strengthen markets for materials collected in local recycling collection systems,
  • Desires to maximize reduction of discarded materials,
  • Desires to ensure that every department purchases environmentally-preferred products and services without compromising overall budgetary or performance requirements,
  • Recognizes the need to be proactive and to serve as an example to other agencies and organizations in the community, and
  • Complies with California state law, which requires local agencies to buy recycled products and which allows local agencies to adopt purchasing preferences for recycled products.

1.0 STATEMENT OF POLICY

1.1 In accordance with the provisions of the Public Contract Code, it is the policy of the City of Vacaville to purchase recycled products instead of non-recycled products whenever available at no more than the total cost of non-recycled products, fitness and quality being equal. Such products shall be available within a reasonable time.

1.2 Price preferences for materials categories may be instituted in the future.

1.3 Source reduction and recycled products purchased shall contain the highest amount of post-consumer material practicable or, when post-consumer material is impracticable for a specific type of product, contain reasonable amount of pre-consumer recovered material.

1.4 All equipment bought, leased or rented shall be compatible with the use of source reduction and recycled products, whenever reasonable in terms of price, performance, warranty and maintenance.

1.5 The City of Vacaville shall promote its use of source reduction and recycled products whenever feasible.

2.0  DEFINITIONS

2.1 "Buyer" means anyone authorized to purchase on behalf of the jurisdiction or its subdivisions.

2.2 "Contractor" means any person, group of persons, business, consultant, designing architect, association, partnership, corporation, supplier, vendor or other entity that has a contract with the City of Vacaville or serves in a subcontracting capacity with an entity having a contract with the City of Vacaville for the provision of goods or services.

2.3 "Ownership Cost" means total ownership costs during a product’s life cycle, including, but not limited to, acquisition, extended warranties, operation, supplies, maintenance, disposal costs and expected lifetime compared to other alternatives.

2.4 "Post-consumer Material" means a finished material that would normally be disposed of as a solid waste, having completed its life cycle as a consumer item, and does not include manufacturing or converting wastes. Example of post-consumer materials includes, but not limited to, old newspapers, office paper, yard waste, steel, aluminum cans, glass, plastic bottles, oil, asphalt, concrete and tires.

2.5 "Pre-consumer Material" means material or by-products generated after manufacture of a product is completed but before the product reaches the end-use consumer. Examples of pre-consumer recovered material include, but not limited to, obsolete inventories of finished goods, rejected unused stock, and paper waste generated during printing, cutting, and other converting operations.

2.6 "Price Preference" means the percentage allowance for a recycled product that costs more than a comparable virgin product. In bid situations, it is the percentage above the lowest cost of a comparable virgin product allowed for a recycled product when both bidders are responsible and responsive.

2.7 "Purchasing Documents" means all documents used to solicit bids and purchase products, including but not limited to: invitations for bids, requests for proposals, requests for quotations, and purchase order.

2.8 "Recovered Material" means fragments of products or finished of a manufacturing process, which has converted a resource into a commodity of real economic value, and includes pre-consumer and post-consumer material, but does not include excess resources of the manufacturing process.

2.9 "Recycled Content" means the percentage of recovered material, including pre-consumer and post-consumer materials, in a product.

2.10 "Recycled Content Standards" means the minimum or maximum level of recovered material and/or post-consumer material necessary for products to qualify as "recycled products", as established by the City of Vacaville.

2.11 "Recycled Product" means a product that meets the City of Vacaville’s recycled content policy objectives for post-consumer, pre-consumer and recovered material.

2.12 "Remanufactured Product" means any product diverted from the supply of discarded materials by refurbishing and marketing said product without substantial change to its original form.

2.13 "Reused Product" means any product designed to be used many times for the same or other purposes without additional processing except for specific requirements such as cleaning, painting or minor repairs.

2.14 "Source Reduction Product" means a product that results in a net reduction in the generation of waste compared to the previous or alternate version and includes durable, reusable and remanufactured products; products with no, or reduced, toxic constituents; and products marketed with no, or reduced packaging.

3.0 POLICY IMPLEMENTATION

3.1 The Finance Manager or authorized representative, in cooperation with the Director of Public Works or authorized representative and relevant departments, offices and agencies, shall aggressively implement the City of Vacaville Source Reduction and Recycled Product Procurement Policy.

3.2 The Finance Manager or authorized representative, in cooperation with the Director of Public Works or authorized representative, shall establish recycled content standards and is authorized to raise or lower them to meet the objectives of this policy. The decision to change any recycled content standard shall be substantiated in the annual report.

3.3 The Finance Manager or authorized representative may establish price preferences for materials categories as deemed necessary to meet the objectives of this policy.

3.4 The City of Vacaville is authorized to participate in, and encourage other public jurisdictions to participate in, cooperative purchasing agreements.

3.5 All departments, offices and agencies shall evaluate their product specifications and purchasing documents and remove all obstacles feasible to buying recycled and source reduction products. Among the obstacles to be removed are:

  • Requirements for virgin materials only,
  • Language that excludes recycled products,
  • Unnecessary qualifications (e.g., High brightness levels for paper),
  • Specifications written to describe particular non-recycled products, unless justified per Sec.3.17.
  • Performance standards unrelated to actual need,
  • "New" requirements that exclude remanufactured, reused or recycled content products.

3.6 Performance standards must be reasonable and related to operational need, and shall be designed to encourage the purchase of source reduction and recycled products.

3.7 Buyers shall specify recycled content standards, as established by the Finance Manager or authorized representative, in applicable bid solicitations and purchasing opportunities.

3.8 Buyers shall obtain quotes for comparable recycled and non-recycled items to fulfill reporting requirements.

3.9 Buyers shall establish virgin prices on a case-by-case basis at the time of the bid:

  • On annual contracts, agreements and/or blanket orders, request both virgin and recycled product pricing during the bidding process;
  • On annual contracts, agreements and/or blanket orders, if asking for recycled product only, survey the market for virgin product prices by contacting at least thee suppliers at the time of establishing the annual contract;
  • For items not covered by annual contracts, agreements and/or blanket orders, either request both virgin and recycled product pricing during the bidding process or survey the market for virgin product prices by contacting at least three suppliers.
  • If buyers do not, or cannot, obtain prices for virgin counterparts, recycled product is to be considered the low-cost alternative and no price preference applies.

3.10 All departments, offices and agencies shall submit to the Director of Public Works or authorized representative any evaluative information from the testing of recycled content products and content, quantity type and cost information as available.

3.11 When no recycled content standards exist, buyers shall purchase products with the highest percentage of post-consumer materials practicable, as long as quality, performance and availability meet requirements and price is reasonable within the parameters of this policy, or when post-consumer material is impracticable for a specific type of product, contain substantial amount of pre-consumer recovered material.

3.12 Purchasing documents shall request identification of recycled content (recovered and post-consumer materials, as applicable) for products whenever feasible. Successful bidders shall be required to certify the percentage content of post-consumer and/or total recovered material, as specified in products to be purchased. Individual buyers should make every effort to confirm recycled content information when seeking telephone or faxed quotes or direct purchases. Buyers shall insert recycled content certification forms in all appropriate purchasing documents for non-exempt product categories.

3.13 Bids shall state bidders’ failure to prove recycled content information as appropriate shall mean zero recycled content.

3.14 The percentage of post-consumer and total recovered materials content in paper products shall be fiber weight. Total product weight shall be used for all other types of products. For products with varying surface treatments, such as insulation, total product weight shall refer to only the core materials.

3.15 Bidders shall be requested to minimize packaging to the greatest extent practicable. Individual buyers shall encourage vendors to reduce packaging as much as possible.

3.16 Bidders shall be encouraged to offer source reduction product alternatives if they can substantiate the source reduction benefits.

3.17 Buyers shall justify in writing purchases of non-recycled or non-source reduction products to the Finance Manager or authorized representative, who may waive in writing a requirement of this policy when he/she determines justification supports such a waiver and it is in the best interests of the City of Vacaville. In those instances where it is deemed impracticable to a source reduction or recycled product, a specific explanation for the exclusion must be included in the purchasing record.

3.18 Equipment purchased or rented by the City of Vacaville shall be compatible, whenever practicable, with the use of source reduction and recycled products. If deemed impracticable, a specific reason for using incompatible equipment must be included in the purchasing record.

3.19 All departments, offices, and agencies shall ensure that they use both sides of paper sheets whenever practicable.

3.20 Whenever practicable, recycled products shall be labeled as such in a standard format. Example:

  • Printed pieces and copies, including letterhead and business cards, shall carry the following notation:

Printed on recycled paper.

3.21 All City of Vacaville vendors, contractors, and service providers shall be notified of this requirement to label or otherwise designate recycled products as such at the time competitive bids or proposals are solicited and at other appropriate opportunities.

3.22 The Finance Manager or authorized representative, in cooperation with the Director of Public Works or authorized representative, shall educate buyers on issues relevant to buying source reduction and recycled products whenever necessary and appropriate.

3.23 Buyers shall educate vendors, suppliers and contractors on issues relevant to source reduction and recycled products whenever necessary and appropriate.

4.0 PRECEDENCE

4.1 The order of purchasing preference is, (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.

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

  • Reduction: the quantity, volume, weight or 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.
  • Reusability: the ability of its packaging to be reused or reconditioned for use.
  • Recyclability: the ability of a product and its packaging to be recycled through existing recycled collection programs.

Whenever possible, buyers shall combine these components to achieve the greatest environmental benefit possible. Example:

It may be better to replace a recycled product with a reusable product. An even better choice would be a reusable product that also has recycled content.

4.3 All City of Vacaville departments, offices and agencies may evaluate environmental benefits and ownership cost when evaluating prices to determine the lowest responsible bid.

4.4 When no bidder meets the specified minimum recycled content standard, buyers may purchase the product with the highest percentage of post-consumer content or, when post-consumer content is not practicable, the highest percentage of recovered material. This can only occur when the purchasing document explains it as a method for contract award.

4.5 When standards are specified for both recovered material and post-consumer material, buyers may accept the lowest cost bid that offers a substantially higher amount of post-consumer content than the specification requires but does not meet specified recovered material requirements, even when other bidders meet the specification in the purchasing document. This can only occur when the purchasing document explains it as a method for contract award.

5.0 APPLICATION

5.1 All City of Vacaville departments, offices and agencies shall comply with this policy.

5.2 Any RFP or bids for services requested by the City shall include a standard statement that the City of Vacaville has implemented a source reduction and buy recycled policy and that the City encourages other businesses to adhere to similar principles. It shall further be requested that submitted proposals be printed two-sided on recycled content paper. Any consultants or contractors producing reports for the City will submit such on (post-consumer) recycled and recyclable paper.

5.3 Contractors shall be further requested to report to the City the post-consumer and total recovered material content of any recycled products produced for City-funded work.

6.0 REPORTS

6.1 The Recycling Coordinator may prepare an annual report, with the cooperation of all buyers, noting the annual dollar expenditures, percent change from previous years, percent represented of total purchasing budget, total savings or cost for using recycled or source reduction purchases, and the number of product types bought in each category. The annual report shall also include identification and discussion of instances in with this policy has been waived or found impracticable, a discussion of other barriers to the procurement of recycled products, and any instances when recycled content standards or price preferences were adjusted.

6.2 Buyers may specify in annual contracts or other long-term purchasing agreements that vendors are required to provide information furnish annual vendor reports by July 31st indicating the quantity, dollar amount, percentage(s) and type(s) of recycled content for all products furnished to the City of Vacaville. A copy of this information will be forwarded to the Director of Public Works or authorized representative.

Procurement Policies Home Page

Last updated: April 24, 2001
Local Government Library http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/LGCentral/Library/
Local Assistance & Market Development: LAMD@calrecycle.ca.gov (916) 341-6199