News Releases - Trash and Recycling
EPA Recognizes Over 400 Federal Facilities for Achieving $42 Million in Cost Savings and Environmental Benefits
Release Date: 05/22/2014
Contact Information: Enesta Jones, Jones.email@example.com, 202-564-7873, 202-564-4355
WASHINGTON - Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is recognizing federal facilities for their efforts to reduce the environmental impacts of facilities across the country. As part of the Federal Green Challenge (FGC), more than 400 federal facilities representing nearly 1.6 million federal employees are leading by example by taking steps to reduce the federal government’s environmental impact in 2013, resulting in an estimated cost savings of more than $42 million to U.S. taxpayers. The environmental impacts of these actions are significant; by increasing recycling and composting alone in 2013, the participating facilities had the equivalent impact of taking 196,000 cars off the road for one year, in addition, fuel and natural gas reduction efforts at these facilities had the equivalent impact of taking 21,000 cars of the road for one year.
“These facilities are advancing sustainability within their own agencies and demonstrating leadership in the federal government as a whole,” said Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. “From national parks to research laboratories, federal employees across the country are finding innovative ways to reduce fuel use, increase recycling, conserve energy, and generate significant cost savings.”
A national effort under EPA's Sustainable Materials Management Program, the FGC allows federal offices or facilities to pledge participation in reducing the federal government's environmental impact and recognizes outstanding efforts that go beyond regulatory compliance and strive for annual improvements in selected target areas (Waste, Electronics, Purchasing, Water, Energy and/or Transportation). Within these areas, additional accomplishments by participants included: diverting more than 500,000 tons of MSW and C&D waste from landfills and reducing fleet distance traveled by 16.5 million miles. Agencies report their improvements to EPA, demonstrating the financial and environmental benefits of their actions.
For the second year in a row, EPA is recognizing facilities for improvements made within one year.
The 2014 National Awardees are:
- ∑ Overall Achievement - highest overall level of performance
- o The National Benefits Center, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Lee’s Summit, Mo.
- o Waste: Naval Base Coronado, U.S. Navy, Department of Defense (DOD), San Diego, Calif.
o Electronics: Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Department of Energy (DOE), Oak Ridge, Tenn.
o Purchasing: Brookhaven National Laboratory, Office of Science, Department of Energy (DOE), Upton, N.Y.
o Energy: Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, U.S. Marine Corps, Department of Defense (DOD), San Diego, Calif.
o Water: Nez Perce National Historical Park, National Park Service, Department of the Interior (DOI), Spalding, Idaho
o Transportation: Bonneville Power Administration, Department of Energy (DOE), Portland, Ore.
Data collected from the challenge show that FGC participants sent 1,765 tons of end of life electronics to third party certified recyclers, minimizing environmental impacts – including water and energy use, releases to air and water, greenhouse gas emissions, and land use impacts by making decisions informed by the full life-cycle perspective. When products are reused and materials are recycled, the need to extract new raw materials is avoided and more resources are conserved. For example, for every million cell phones recycled, 35,274 pounds of copper, 772 pounds of silver, 75 pounds of gold and 33 pounds of palladium can be recovered.
More information on the Federal Green Challenge: http://www.epa.gov/fgc/awards/2014.html