Twenty-six WasteWise partners and 29 National Partnership for Environmental Priorities (NPEP) partners are being recognized for their environmental achievements in reducing greenhouse gases and preventing harmful chemicals from entering the environment, according to an EPA press statement. Both EPA programs work with organizations to achieve environmental benefits beyond regulations. In addition, 13 students and professionals are being honored through the Lifecycle Building Challenge for their contribution to sustainable building design.

“Americans from all sectors of society are embracing the fact that environmental stewardship is a responsibility we all share together,” said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. “Communities, companies, organizations and individuals are taking voluntary actions that not only enhance environmental quality and human health, but set a ‘green’ example for others to follow.”

WasteWise partners have used innovative waste management methods to reduce and recycle more than 150 million tons of waste. By decreasing the demand on raw materials, WasteWise partners have shown that they can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lower costs.

NPEP partners are taking significant steps in reducing or removing priority chemicals, such as lead and mercury. This year’s award winners reported reductions of more than 9 million pounds of priority and other environmentally harmful chemicals, far exceeding the amount reported last year.

The Lifecycle Building Challenge, which partners EPA, the Building Materials Reuse Association, the American Institute of Architects, Southface, West Coast Green, and StopWaste.Org, invited professionals and students nationwide to submit designs and ideas that support cost-effective disassembly and anticipate future use of building materials. The designs extend the lifecycle of building materials and reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the production of new building materials.

Information on WasteWise and NPEP 2008 Awards:

Information on the Lifecycle Building Challenge: