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ORAU employees set record for recyclables collection on Earth Day 2017

Nearly six tons of technotrash and paper were collected at event that exemplifies company's environmental commitment

OAK RIDGE, Tenn.—ORAU employees recycled nearly six tons of technotrash and paper during the company's annual Earth Day collection event.

ORAU employees collect recyclable technotrash at the 2017 Earth Day Recycling Event

Anthony Crider, Chuck Scott, Bob Kapolka, Sally Shipley, James Buckner and Seth Howard of ORAU's Environment, Safety and Health Department sort through items recycled by employees during the 2017 ORAU Earth Day event. Click image for high resolution version.

As part of this year's two-day event, ORAU accepted more than 11,690 pounds of technotrash (computers, related accessories or other electronic items) and paper for secure shredding. This year's total broke 2016's record-breaking collection by 165 pounds.

More than 82 pounds of unwanted or unused medications were collected as part of Operation Medicine Cabinet in collaboration with the Allies for Substance Abuse Prevention and the Oak Ridge Police Department. Additionally, 39 pairs of gently used glasses were collected for the Lions Club's Recycle for Sight program, which distributes used glasses to people who need them.

ORAU hosts the annual event to encourage employees to bring in unwanted items from home for recycling or reuse. Since 2010, ORAU employees have recycled more than 33 tons of material from their homes as part of the company's Earth Day recycling and donation events.

"For our employees, commitment to environmental conservation goes well beyond an annual event," said Tom Wantland, ORAU Director for Environment, Safety and Health. "Earth Day gives us all an opportunity to renew our commitment to recycling efforts throughout the year."

As an organization—whose corporate office building in Oak Ridge was the first new, gold-level, LEED-certified office building in Tennessee—ORAU also maintains its environmental commitment through recycling. In 2016, the company recycled 64 tons of materials, marking a continuing trend of recycling more than it throws away. ORAU's recycling efforts have been so successful that the net weight of recyclables exceeds what ORAU sends to landfills.

About ORAU

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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