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Los Alamos National Laboratory recognizes employee teams with 2015 Pollution Prevention Awards

Nearly 400 Lab employees on 32 teams received Pollution Prevention awards during an Earth Day awards ceremony
April 23, 2015
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Los Alamos National Laboratory sits on top of a once-remote mesa in northern New Mexico with the Jemez mountains as a backdrop to research and innovation covering multi-disciplines from bioscience, sustainable energy sources, to plasma physics and new materials.

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“Sustainability helps us accomplish our work in a manner that is socially responsible, economically sound, and protective of the environment,” said Pat Gallagher.

Projects save taxpayer dollars, promote environmental stewardship, sustainability

LOS ALAMOS, N.M., April 22, 2015—Nearly 400 Los Alamos National Laboratory employees on 32 teams received Pollution Prevention awards during an Earth Day awards ceremony on Wednesday, saving taxpayers $5.6 million while also reusing, recycling, re-tasking and re-routing waste.

 “The goal of the Laboratory’s pollution prevention efforts is to reduce or eliminate waste whenever possible. The awards underline and demonstrate our commitment to environmental stewardship. Sustainability helps us accomplish our work in a manner that is socially responsible, economically sound, and protective of the environment,” said Pat Gallagher, manager for Los Alamos’ Environmental Stewardship services.

In addition to approximately $5.6 million in cost savings, the combined efforts by Laboratory employee teams lowered greenhouse gas emissions from less energy used and saved thousands of hours of labor. Additionally, pollution prevention projects recognized in the last four years have saved the Laboratory more than $30 million.

Highlights

Achievements of the Pollution Prevention (P2) award winners recognized on Wednesday include:

  • lowered risk of chemical spills and worker injuries and removed gallons of oil from the waste stream.
  • reused more than100,000 pounds of lead bricks.
  • provided exemplary service to process signs and labels for routing waste appropriately.
  • replaced supplies with “greener” more environmentally friendly products; reduced purchases of solvents, paints, aerosols and other chemicals.
  • Laboratory wildlife biologists created a safer environment for birds at the Laboratory, especially the endangered Mexican Spotted Owl, through capping hollow fence posts and creating bird-friendly roosts on power poles.
  • avoided the generation of about 2,500 pounds of hazardous waste and 1,600 cubic meters of mixed low-level waste.
  • removed seven trailers and thousands of pounds of equipment and chemicals from across the Laboratory for disposal and salvage.
  • recycled about 200 tons of concrete, 60,000 cubic feet of sediment, more than 1,000 smoke detectors, 4,800 cubic meters of electronics and 750 tons of metal.

Read the complete list of 2015 Pollution Prevention Award project winners (pdf).


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