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ORAU collects nearly five tons of recyclables during the annual Earth Day event

ORAU employees collect nearly five tons of recyclables during the annual Earth Day event

ORAU’s employees and retirees combined their efforts to preserve the earth’s natural resources during the company’s two-day Earth Day recycling event held last month.

As part of the two-day event, held at ORAU’s South Campus location off Bethel Valley Road in Oak Ridge, ORAU’s Environmental, Safety, and Health Office, with the help of individuals from across ORAU, accepted nearly five tons of reusable and recyclable materials from employees and retirees, including 4,216 pounds of technorecycle, 200 pounds of batteries and 998 pounds of household donation items.

ORAU invited local vendors onsite during the event to assist with secure shredding of 4,250 pounds of paper and collecting 78 pounds of medication for disposal. The Michael Dunn Center performed onsite secure shredding; Allies for Substance Abuse Prevention of Anderson County and Oak Ridge Police Department collected the unused or unwanted medication as part of Operation Medicine Cabinet.

“Last year’s donation collection was such a success we have decided to continue providing this opportunity to employees.  It is a great way for employees to learn about local non-profit organizations within Oak Ridge,” said Jennifer Clary, an ORAU Environment, Safety, and Health Specialist who organized this year’s event. “During the event, we were able to collect nearly 400 pounds of lightly used items for the Holiday Bureau and nearly 500 pounds of lightly used items for the Ecumenical Storehouse.”

The donations were collected for the Holiday Bureau, a non-profit organization that provides toys, books, games, home goods, food, and similar items to low-income families of Anderson County, and the Ecumenical Storehouse, an organization that collects, stores and distributes household items to assist people in need with setting up small living quarters. 

“This year’s Earth Day had the largest employee and retiree participation and total amount of material collected,” said James Buckner, manager of ORAU’s ES&H Office. “We also were able to share this milestone with two former ES&H directors, Tom Wantland and Bob Kapolka. Both volunteered their time to assist during the Earth Day event.”

ORAU hosts the Earth Day event to encourage employees to bring in unwanted items from home for recycling or reuse. Since 2010, ORAU employees have recycled more than 50 tons of material from their homes as part of the company’s Earth Day recycling and donation events.

As an organization—whose corporate office building in Oak Ridge was the first new, gold-level, LEED-certified office building in Tennessee—ORAU’s environmental management philosophy emphasizes sustainability through recycling, waste minimization, green purchasing, and energy efficiency. Whether it means saving more than 130,000 pounds of materials annually from landfills or ensuring that hazardous waste is handled properly, ORAU is committed to incorporating environmental responsibility into our business strategies and day-to-day operations.

ORAU Media Contacts and Information

About ORAU

ORAU, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, provides science, health, and workforce solutions that address national priorities and serve the public interest. Through our specialized teams of experts and access to a consortium of more than 150 major Ph.D.-granting institutions, ORAU works with federal, state, local, and commercial customers to provide innovative scientific and technical solutions and help advance their missions. ORAU manages the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

Media Contacts

Pam BoneeDirector, CommunicationsCell: (865) 603-5142
Wendy WestManager, CommunicationsCell: (865) 207-7953