CNS achieves mission success in recycling

  • Posted: Tuesday, November 14, 2023, 4:49 pm

CNS celebrates America Recycles Day

Celebrated annually on November 15, America Recycles Day, also known as National Recycling Day, began in 1994. The day serves to raise awareness about recycling and the purchasing of recycled products. It’s a reminder to all that how we recycle and reuse products is important.

That message resonates with CNS employees, because in Fiscal Year 2023, both Pantex and Y-12 saw substantial increases in recycled materials. While it is a win for the environment, the work also helps support the sites’ national security missions.

Y-12 recycled more than 5.8 million pounds, which is a record number of materials. This exceeds last year’s record amount recycled by more than a million pounds.

The recycling coordinator at Y-12, Lisa B., is encouraged by these achievements. “This means every employee took part in the program. It takes the entire plant doing their part to have such success. Each employee plays an important role. The more we recycle, the more we are able to keep items out of the landfill or items going off-site as waste.”

Pantex recycled more than 1.54 million pounds for FY 2023, which is close to an 8% increase over the previous year.

The intention isn’t simply to recycle more materials, but also to become more efficient in our practices. Alicia B. of Pantex Environmental Compliance notes that her group is working on a new initiative with Waste Operations to get a paper briquette machine. This equipment addition will fast-track the transition of waste paper into functional reusable material.

Sustainability has worked in tandem with Waste Operations to overcome obstacles at Pantex. “To have over 1.5 million pounds recycled this year, and the fact that we have continually been able to increase that number can be attributed to these groups working hard at finding recyclers in the Amarillo area,” she said. Waste Operations administers and manages
multiple recycling contracts through CNS Procurement. It is these contracts that essentially authorize us to offer materials to the recycler and take credit for diverting that material from landfill disposal.

Both sites ultimately attribute success to increased employee awareness and contributions. Adding recycle repositories around the sites has helped make recycling easy and convenient. Technological advances and vendor participation have allowed items to be recycled that would have previously ended up in the landfill or hazardous waste disposal.

“Employees should be proud to be a part of an organization that is so dedicated to keeping as much material as possible from going to the landfill,” said Jeremy P. of Y-12 Sustainability. He added, the goal is to create new material streams every year. This can only continue to foster an environment for recycling success at CNS.