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Drug Enforcement Administration Western Lab Wins EPA Federal Green Challenge Award for Electronics Recycling

JUN 09 (SAN FRANCISCO) –Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regional Administrator Jared Blumenfeld presented the Federal Green Challenge award to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Western Laboratory for increasing its electronics recycling more than any other federal agency in 2014. Mr. Blumenfeld presented the national award at the DEA National Lab Directors Conference.

“We applaud DEA’s waste reduction achievements and hope they inspire more organizations to keep electronics from ending up in landfills,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “Through their hard work, the staff at the Western Lab achieved amazing results – recycling and donating thousands of pounds of electronics in just one year.”

“Last year presented a unique opportunity for the Western Laboratory to participate in the electronic recycling program at an unprecedented level.  Our environmental management team quickly recognized the challenges that the relocation of our laboratory would bring to our traditional recycling activities,” said DEA Western Laboratory Director Bryan Henderson.  “This challenge was utilized as an opportunity to make significant contributions to the recycling program as the team identified and streamlined the equipment necessary to complete our mission.  Through dedicated teamwork with several DEA components we were able to exceed our goal and contribute in a positive manner to the Federal Green Challenge recycling program.”

In 2014, the Western Lab recycled and donated more than 8,200 pounds of electronics – resulting in a nearly 10 percent increase over its baseline from the previous year, an increase greater than any of the over 400 Federal Green Challenge participants nationwide. This was accomplished using a certified electronics recycler to collect and recycle electronic equipment with no useful life and donating operational lab instruments to colleges and universities. The lab also held e-waste collection events and recycling education activities to increase awareness among staff members.

Responsible electronics recycling can reduce the environmental and human health impacts from improper recycling, divert waste from landfills, help provide quality reusable and refurbished equipment to those who need them, reduce energy and water use, and prevent environmental harm associated with mining and processing of new materials. Certified electronics recyclers must meet high environmental and safety standards by maximizing reuse and recycling, minimizing risks to human health and the environment, ensuring safe management of materials by downstream handlers.

The Federal Green Challenge is a national effort under EPA's Sustainable Materials Management Program encouraging federal offices to reduce their environmental impact. Agencies strive for annual improvements in waste, electronics, purchasing, water, energy and transportation. In 2014, agencies diverted over 390,000 tons of waste from landfills, saved nearly 80 million gallons of water, sent 450 tons of end of life electronics to certified recyclers, and saved U.S. taxpayers over $24 million.

Learn more about the Federal Green Challenge: www.epa.gov/fgc/awards/2015.html

Learn more about electronics recycling: www.epa.gov/epawaste/conserve/materials/ecycling/index.htm

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