Congress to Convert Waste to Energy

Oct 6, 2011

New AOC Contract to Divert up to 90% of Capitol Complex’s Solid Waste From Landfills;  Expected to Save Tens of Thousands Annually

WASHINGTON – Today, at the direction of the Committee on House Administration, the Architect of the Capitol (AOC) entered into a new waste removal contract that will divert up to 90 percent of the Capitol Complex’s non-recyclable solid waste from landfills through the utilization of local waste-to-energy facilities.  After reviewing the contract expected to save taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars annually, Committee Chairman Dan Lungren, R-Calif., issued the following statement:   

“I am pleased that, after consultation with the Committee and thorough analyses, the AOC has entered into a new waste removal contract that will divert the majority of Congress’ solid waste from local landfills and save taxpayers thousands annually. 

“Waste-to-energy facilities, woefully underutilized here in the U.S., are an environmentally efficient, cost-effective means to reduce greenhouse emissions and divert waste from landfills. I thank the Architect for his hard work on this important campus-wide initiative, and I look forward to identifying additional cost-effective measures that increase the Capitol Complex’s environmental sustainability.” 

The decision to send non-recyclable solid waste from Congressional facilities – an estimated 5,300 tons annually – to waste-to-energy facilities was based on a thorough analysis conducted by AOC’s Office of Energy and Sustainability.    When compared to composting, waste-to-energy is a more cost-effective alternative that, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, produces electricity “with less environmental impact than almost any other sources of electricity.”  Furthermore, the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Energy and the Federal Energy Management Program all consider waste-to-energy as an environmentally responsible means of solid waste disposal.

In addition to the utilization of waste-to-energy facilities to divert solid waste from landfills, the Capitol Complex will continue and improve upon its long-standing practice of recycling throughout Congressional facilities.