Executive Order 13514 requires Federal agencies to divert 50% of their waste by FY2015. USDA has determined that it can meet this goal by FY2014, based on waste and recycling data from USDA-occupied, Government-owned buildings from across the country. USDA continues to emphasize waste reduction as its main waste management strategy, in keeping with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s hierarchy of waste management.
USDA measures waste reduction in the same way it measures energy usage reduction: by comparing a baseline year to subsequent years. Example: In FY 2010 USDA Headquarters complex recycled 47% of its waste stream and accrued a 13% credit for reducing its waste stream from FY 2008 (baseline year). Therefore, the HQ waste diversion rate is 60% (47% +13%).