Wednesday, September 16, 2009

EPA salutes private Pennsylvania recycling efforts

The Computer Recycle Center at Temple University
"could serve well as a model for other universities and large businesses," according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which selected the program for one of its 2009 Environmental Achievement Awards.

Originally a safe disposal collection facility for computer equipment, the Temple recycle center in Philadelphia has grown into what the EPA describes as "a dynamic assembly line operation in which equipment is picked up from departments, cataloged, evaluated, salvaged and when possible, refurbished, according to the EPA." During 2008, the center processed more than 2,000 computers and 1,800 monitors, and donated more than 300 refurbished computers to non-profit organizations and schools.

At an award ceremony today at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, the EPA saluted six private organizations in Pennsylvania (and two each in Delaware and Maryland) for pollution prevention programs that have achieved sustained and measurable environmental results.

Three of the other Pennsylvania award winners were:

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia was recognized for significant increases in the recycling, including: cardboard, paper, confidential paper, glass, plastics, metals, pallets, kitchen grease, oil, light bulbs, e-waste, linens, batteries, excess supplies donation, carpet and toner cartridges.

The Lehigh Valley Health Network of Allentown was recognized for decreasing its waste disposal, implementing new and innovative recycling programs, establishing environmental awareness training programs for employees and initiating a composting pilot program.

The Earth Conservancy from Ashely, Pa. was recognized for its work in reclaiming abandoned mine property in Luzerne County. After obtaining a $14 million federal grant in 1993 and raising $2 million from the private sector, Earth Conservancy purchased some 16,300 acres of land from a bankrupt coal company and created several comprehensive land use plans to guide its reclamation and restoration.

Read about all of the EPA award winners here.

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