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ORAU employees bring in almost 10,000 pounds of recyclable materials for Earth Day 2014

Activities included technotrash recycling, secure paper shredding, Operation Medicine Cabinet and a collection for gently used shoes for those in need

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 24, 2014
FY14-30

LaFollette Middle School received a $5,000 grant to outfit their classroom with the latest educational technologyORAU employee Gina Wampler carries florescent light bulbs to be recycled as Anthony Crider breaks down a cardboard box for recycling during ORAU’s annual Earth Day event.

ORAU employee Gina Wampler carries florescent light bulbs to be recycled as Anthony Crider breaks down a cardboard box for recycling during ORAU’s annual Earth Day event. Click image for high resolution version.

Annabel Fontaine shows off her ORAU Earth Day event t-shirt.

Annabel Fontaine shows off her ORAU Earth Day event t-shirt; the first 75 employees to participate in this event received one of these shirts. Click image for high resolution version.

OAK RIDGE, Tenn.—For the fifth year in a row, ORAU coordinated an annual event in conjunction with Earth Day to encourage ORAU’s 1,100 employees to bring in unwanted items from home to recycle.

As part of this year’s two-day event on April 22-23, ORAU accepted a total of almost 10,000 pounds of technotrash (computers, related accessories or other electronic items), paper for secure shredding, unwanted medicine as part of Operation Medicine Cabinet in collaboration with the Allies for Substance Abuse Prevention and the Oak Ridge Police Department, and 414 pairs of gently used shoes to donate to those in need through the Soles4Souls non-profit organization.

“ORAU’s Earth Day event has grown each year since its start in 2010 as many employees use it as a spring cleaning ritual; this event not only helps the environment by recycling unwanted items and those in need with the donation of shoes, it keeps unwanted medicine out of the hands of children or drug abusers with Operation Medicine Cabinet, which was a new element to this year’s event,” said ORAU Director, Environment, Safety and Health Tom Wantland. “Employee feedback shows that employees want to recycle, because it is the right thing to do; as an added incentive, ORAU provides t-shirts to the first 75 employees who participate in the event.”

ORAU has a long history of being environmentally friendly, which is documented in ORAU’s environmental management system and by maintaining ISO14001 certification for environmentally sound business practices. ORAU’s corporate office building in Oak Ridge was the first new, gold-level, LEED-certified office building in Tennessee.

Separate from the Earth Day event, ORAU as an organization recycles more than it throws away as it recycled more than 164,000 pounds of materials in 2013.

“At ORAU, we truly believe in doing what we can to help preserve the environment, and our culture and actions reflect this, said Wantland. “We are proud of the fact that ORAU recycles more than we throw away.”

ORAU provides innovative scientific and technical solutions to advance national priorities in science, education, security and health. Through specialized teams of experts, unique laboratory capabilities and access to a consortium of more than 100 major Ph.D.-granting institutions, ORAU works with federal, state, local and commercial customers to advance national priorities and serve the public interest. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and federal contractor, ORAU manages the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

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Pam Bonee
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Work: 865.576.3146
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Wendy West
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Work: 865.576.0028
Cell: 865.207.7953