Environmental Purchasing Policy

We encourage all city departments to use and buy recycled and environmentally preferable products. We believe that when everyone in the city is working toward this, we can:

  • Strengthen the markets for such products.
  • Divert more materials from the solid waste stream.
  • Promote both human and environmental health.

What You Should Know Before You Purchase

We maintain a list of products that must be purchased as recycled content, and which may not be bought in virgin form; it's called our "procurement requirements" and can be found to the right.

If the service or good you're buying isn't restricted to that list, you should consider the following:

  • Make vendors aware of our environmental values. One way you can do this is to make sure all bid documents have information about the City's environmental goals, as well as our hope to use more recycled and environmentally preferable products. Doing so may encourage vendors to offer products or services that align with those goals.
  • Purchasing agents have the following options:
    • Accept a bid which is not the lowest if a) the lowest bid is for a non-recycled product and b) a recycled content product meets the performance criteria specified, or c) a bid other than the lowest bid meets the criteria for environmentally preferable products or services or d) a cost analysis conducted over the life and disposal of the product reveals lower total costs than are reflected in short-term analysis.
    • Award a portion of the contract to bidders offering recycled content or environmentally preferable products.
  • Unless otherwise specified, bidders and contractors should use recycled paper and double sided copying for the production of all printed and photocopied documents related to the fulfillment of City contracts and shall otherwise fully comply with the provisions of this policy.

Policy Reviews

All City departments, working with the Purchasing Department, should give an annual report regarding their procurement of environmentally preferable products and services. These reports should:

  • Identify and eliminate any specifications that require the use of virgin products or exclude the use of recycled or environmentally preferable products, unless they can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the City Manager that such specifications are necessary to protect health and safety or that recycled or environmentally preferable products do not meet performance standards, unfairly eliminate competition, or are unreasonable in price, taking durability and liability into account.
  • Revise specifications, where appropriate, to include recycled content and environmentally preferable criteria.
  • Ensure that wherever possible, the department purchases or leases copiers, printers and offset equipment capable of using both recycled paper of the appropriate grade and reusable toner cartridges where applicable and of making two-sided copies.
  • Re-use and recycle, to the greatest extent possible, the waste produced as a result of any City sponsored construction or renovation project.