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Our Initiatives


Reuse Image

Another simple way to green: make things last longer. At the House, we are extending the lifecycles of many things that would have been replaced or disposed of in the past. Efforts range from refurbishing used furniture to reusing water.

  • House-Wide Recycling

    We refined and expanded a recycling program that now reaches all aspects of House operations and includes plastic, aluminum, glass, paper and electronics. Annually, the House recycles more than 1,800 tons of paper and almost 50 tons of commingled bottles and cans.

  • Fountain Water Reuse

    We are installing a system to convert condensate from an air handling unit in the Rayburn House Office Building to water for the Center Court fountain.

  • House Furnishing Shops

    House offices are furnished with low-VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) carpet and paints, in order to improve air quality. All carpet is made from recycled fibers, and is recycled at the end of its life. House furniture is reused over many decades. The House's furniture shop re-covers chairs with eco-friendly leather, and uses water-based lacquers and alcohol-based dyes for furniture refinishing. The furnishings shop also recycles a range of materials from wood scraps to drapes.

  • Paper Reuse

    House offices reuse paper in a variety of ways. The Clerk of the House and the Government Printing Office now issue Congressional letterhead and the Congressional Record on 100-percent post-consumer-recycled-content paper. The 70 million sheets of paper sold annually at the House Supply Store are 100-percent post-consumer-recycled-content. The use of recycled paper across the House campus equates with annual reductions of almost 400,000 pounds of CO2 emissions, three million gallons of water, almost 800,000 pounds of solid waste and the saving of more than 8,000 trees.