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Rep. Wayne Owens, D-Utah, introduced a bill Thursday that would literally eliminate waste in the federal government - or at least recycle it.

Owens' bill would require all federal agencies to collect and sort the glass bottles, aluminum cans, paper and plastics they throw away, then sell them for recycling.Also, the bill would give preference in government purchases to products made from recycled materials - unless they cost 10 percent more than alternative products.

"We generate 160 million tons of garbage every year - more than 3 pounds per person per day. All this trash is glutting our landfills," Owens said in a speech on the House floor. "It is a national atrocity, and we can no longer just go with the flow of the garbage."

He added, "We must become a nation of citizen recyclers, and we must begin by setting an example at the federal level by recycling our own waste."

Owens concluded, "We must set a national agenda now and trash our throwaway mentality."