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1996 News Releases



Release Date: 11/19/1996
Contact Information: Lois Grunwald, U.S. EPA, (415) 744-1588

     (San Francisco) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) and the U.S. Postal Service have received Vice-President Al Gore's "Hammer" Award for their support in developing the Phoenix-based national Environmental/Recycling Hotline. The "Hammer" award is based on National Performance Review principles which emphasize putting customers first, cutting red tape, empowering individuals, and getting back to basics.

     Other public and private partners that have supported the development of the Hotline have also been recognized by the White House. These include the State of Arizona, America West Airlines, Brooktrout Technology, Digital Equipment Corporation, GETNET International, Sprint Business, and the Teleport Communication Group.  

     "We're very honored to receive this award, and proud to have played a part in the development and expansion of the Hotline," said Felicia Marcus, U.S. EPA's regional administrator. "The Hotline exemplifies the spirit of reinventing government. Through innovation and extensive cooperation between the public and private sectors, the Hotline provides people with one-stop geographically specific information they want to protect public health and the environment in an extremely cost-effective manner."

     The Environmental/Recycling Hotline is a partnership that includes the U.S. EPA and several other public and private sector partners.  In 1992, EPA provided seed money for development of the Hotline through a cooperative agreement under their public/private partnership demonstration program.   Following the Hotline program's initial success, EPA in 1995 funded expansion of the Hotline to all 50 states under President Clinton's Environmental Technology Initiative.  The U.S. Postal Service also provided funding for the 50-state expansion of the Hotline program.  The Hotline and its partners have won numerous awards, including the White House "Closing the Circle" award and a 1996 National Association of Counties Achievement Award.

     "The Postal Service is pleased to be accepting this award and was glad to contribute towards the development of the Environmental/Recycling Hotline," said Charlie Bravo of the U.S. Postal Service.

     The Hotline is a state-of-the-art phone (1-800-CLEAN-UP) and Internet ( system which allows the public throughout the nation to have easy access to its geographically specific environmental information free of charge through a single, nationwide network. Through the Hotline, individuals can obtain detailed information on environmental issues such as how to reduce, reuse, and recycle, as well as household hazardous waste information.  The locator section of the Hotline system allows callers across the country to find the closest recycling facility in their local community. Future additions to the Hotline system will include interactive and geographically specific sections on air and water quality, energy conservation, composting, and a "kids only" section.

     "This public/private partnership for our nation and its environment is the product of hundreds of people, organizations, and companies combining their commitments and dedication to the future of our nation's environment," said Chris Warner, director of the Environmental/Recyling Hotline.  "We are extremely proud of all of those who have made this program a living example of how government can be reinvented through proactive public/private partnerships, thus providing for a sustainable environment in the most cost effective manner possible."

     The Hotline system allows the public to contribute to the data it contains, either by phone or the Internet.  This ensures that the Hotline has the latest, most accurate information. States also have specific mailboxes, and can customize both the phone and Internet components of the Hotline system to allow receipt and dissemination of information specific to their state.  In these ways, the Hotline system empowers individuals to contribute to the information available for their local community, and allows states to tailor this national system in ways that make the Hotline system most effective for their state.

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