California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) 

County of Santa Clara / Board of Supervisors

Policy relating to the purchase of recycled paper and recycled paper products

In order to encourage active participation by County Government in efforts to reduce the volume of waste paper in the solid waste stream, the County shall employ the following actions to purchase paper products made from recycled materials whenever possible. For purposes of this policy "recycled paper products" are defined as described in Section 12200 of the Public Contracts Code, to be material with no less than 50 percent of the total weight consisting of secondary and post-consumer waste, with at least 10 percent of the total being post-consumer waste.

  1. The Purchasing Agent shall establish and maintain procedures and specifications for the purchase of paper and paper products which give preference, whenever feasible, to the purchase of recycled paper, and paper products containing recycled paper. Products that do not meet the definition of 50 percent recycled material content, but do contain some percentage of recycled material, shall be preferred over virgin materials.
  2. The Purchasing Agent shall purchase recycled paper and paper products, instead of unrecycled paper or paper products, whenever such recycled paper and paper products are available at comparable cost of unrecycled paper and paper products, and when fitness and quality are similar.
  3. The Purchasing Agent shall aggressively pursue the acquisition of recycled materials whenever possible without incurring unreasonable additional costs. The Purchasing Agent shall provide a reasonable price preference to the suppliers of recycled paper or paper products over the lowest bid or price quoted by suppliers offering unrecycled paper or paper products. The amount of the preference shall be at the discretion of the Purchasing Agent depending upon the prices quoted and the percentage content of recycled material in each product.
  4. When recycled products are used, reasonable efforts shall be undertaken to label the products to indicate that they contain recycled materials. Departments shall use letterhead stationary and envelopes that include post- consumer recycled content and indicate on the paper and envelopes that they contain recycled material. Other recycled products used by the County shall also indicate that they contain recycled material to the extent practicable.
  5. Existing copiers and computer printers shall be evaluated for compatibility with recycled paper products, and recycled paper products will be acquired in accordance with the above sections whenever compatibility exists. As new or replacement equipment is purchased, compatibility with recycled paper products shall be an important selection criteria.
  6. The County will support, to the greatest extent feasible, other government agencies and local business efforts to develop comprehensive, consistent and effective procurement practices that stimulate markets for recycled paper products.
  7. All related departments shall work cooperatively to further the purposes of this policy.

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Last updated: April 24, 2001
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