RICHLAND, WA – Thanks to a strong emphasis on recycling and protecting the environment, the Hanford Site has exceeded its annual recycling goals.
As the site services provider for the Department of Energy (DOE) on the Hanford Site, contractor Mission Support Alliance (MSA) manages recycling programs and sets a goal to divert at least 50 percent of nonhazardous solid waste and 50 percent of construction and demolition debris from landfills. Last year, approximately 85 percent of nonhazardous material and 59 percent of construction and demolition debris did not reach landfills.
”Thanks to the efforts of our federal and contractor employees at Hanford, a large percentage of waste was diverted from landfills,” said Ashley Morris, who oversees the recycling program for DOE at the Hanford Site. “Employees are working every day to protect the environment at Hanford by making progress on cleanup, and by doing what’s right in their daily routines.”
The Hanford Site’s nonhazardous solid waste recycling programs include plastic, cardboard, paper, wood, furniture, scrap metals, electronics, toner cartridges and tires. Waste diversion efforts include reusing asphalt for structural foundations in road repair and the recycling of wood power poles as fence posts. Last year, the Hanford Site recycled nearly 2,500 tons of combined waste that would otherwise have been sent to a landfill.
“MSA is committed to environmental awareness and sustainability,” said Michelle Rehberg, sustainability lead with MSA. “While we exceeded our goals by sizable margins, there is always room for improvement. With April being Earth Month, this is a perfect time to evaluate our program and identify new opportunities to increase recycling awareness and revamp our communication techniques.”
Sitewide initiatives such as Recycling Awareness Month in November and Earth Month in April contribute greatly to recycling efforts across the site. Last year, Hanford workers donated more than 795 pounds of expired or damaged hard hats that were then broken down and recycled. More than 440 pounds of hard hats have already been collected this year.
The Hanford Site is also home to the Centralized Consolidation/Recycling Center, where items such as fluorescent light bulbs, batteries and aerosol cans are sent to be processed for recycling.