Environmental Protection

Feds Recognize Sandia, ORNL for Recycling and Sustainability

Sandia recycle reuse

Bernadette Bazen maneuvers a loader with electronics products destined for reuse and recycling at Reapplication Services as Jeff Adams and Doug Vetter review the full list of e-scrap.

Sandia National Laboratories was one of eight winners among 137 participating federal government agency sites in the Fiscal Year 2009 Electronics Reuse and Recycling Campaign (ERRC), spearheaded by the Office of the Federal Environmental Executive (OFEE).

The lab contributed 400,119 pounds of electronics toward a total 15.8 million pounds of electronics reused or recycled government-wide in the reuse and recycling challenge. This was the second year in a row that Sandia picked up the award in the category of large civilian facilities with more than 2,500 employees.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that across the federal government about 10,000 computers are disposed of each week. That prompted the OFEE to challenge federal agencies and their facilities to see who can reuse and recycle the most electronic products.

“Sandia’s Pollution Prevention program signed up with the Federal Electronics Challenge in February 2006. One of our stated goals was to recycle 100 percent of Sandia’s excess electronics,” said Ralph Wrons, Pollution Prevention (P2) program coordinator.

The P2 program works with the computer support group to track and report the internal reuse of computing equipment and with the Property Reapplication department to designate, accumulate and recycle excess computing equipment that is not reapplied for other purposes. During Sandia’s third year of participation in the program, ending Sept. 30, 2009, Sandia reapplied more than 13,000 towers, laptops and monitors, and successfully recycled 124,333 pounds of electronics scrap through permitted electronics scrap recycling facilities.

Sandia National Laboratories is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation, for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. With main facilities in Albuquerque, N.M., and Livermore, Calif., Sandia has major R&D responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies, and economic competitiveness.

The Department of Energy's Office of Science recognized Oak Ridge National Laboratory's research and operations programs in sustainability and energy efficiency. ORNL received "best in class" and "noteworthy practice" awards for its Net-Zero Energy Building and Sustainable Campus Initiative programs, respectively.

ORNL's Net-Zero Building program employs state-of-the-art efficiency technologies such as solar and geothermal energy generation, heat-pump water heaters and modular construction techniques toward homes and buildings that in some cases can provide as much power to the electric grid as they consume.

With a long-term goal to develop technologies to meet a net-zero-energy goal at low incremental costs, ORNL has focused on leading new homeowners and builders toward houses that boast high efficiency and use solar panels to generate their own electricity. Net-Zero Energy technologies were used in a Habitat for Humanity-built subdivision near ORNL and have been featured on the television show, "Extreme Makeover, Home Edition."

The laboratory's "Sustainable Campus Initiative ─ Accelerating Sustainable Success Now and in the Future" program integrates energy and resource efficiency, cutting-edge technologies, operational and business processes and individual practices to achieve sustainability at work, at home and in the community.

The Office of Science recognized ORNL sustainability efforts that include waste reduction, solar installations, the steam plant's conversion to biomass and an electric vehicle initiative. In addition, major new facilities that have been constructed as part of ORNL's modernization campaign are LEED-certified for sustainable, green building and development practices.

ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy.

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