AIKEN, S.C. June 26, 2019 – Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS) was honored with the 2019 Smart Business Recycling Award from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) for their outstanding efforts in recycling and waste reduction.
South Carolina aspires to reach a 40 percent recycling rate by 2020, which means that 40 percent of waste produced in the state is recycled or composted instead of being sent to a landfill. SRNS contributes to this goal through recycling, reusing, and implementing sustainability practices in all aspects of business at the Savannah River Site (SRS).
SRNS is responsible for solid waste management at SRS and serves as the recycling provider for the more than 12,000-person SRS workforce that spans 310-square miles. In 2018, the company recycled 504 tons of municipal-type waste (glass, metal, paper, etc.) out of a total 872 tons; that’s a recycle rate of 57.8 percent, well above the state goal.
“It is an honor to receive this award in recognition of our ongoing waste reduction achievements as well as our dedication to preserving and protecting the nation’s natural resources,” said Amy Meyer, SRNS Environmental Compliance Manager. “SRNS has a high-efficiency recycling program that is integrated into everyday work. These recycling and sustainability programs are what allow such diverse missions to achieve the current recycling rate of 57.8 percent. As a work force, we are actively seeking innovative and new ways to further reduce waste generated at SRS.”
SRNS has also sought out opportunities to beneficially reuse their waste. Instead of dumping over 21,360 metric tons of asphalt and concrete left over from paving major Site roads, SRNS pledged to use the material to repave secondary Site roads as well as roads in Orangeburg County, South Carolina.
Additionally, the environmentally-conscious team utilizes several waste reduction and sustainability practices. Wood waste is used to power the onsite biomass facility, most of the light-duty vehicles were replaced with alternative-fuel models, and energy-efficient electronics were purchased to reduce greenhouse emissions. Solar-powered technology and drones are also used to reduce the Site’s energy consumption. All of these practices have contributed to decreasing waste disposal costs and solidifying the Site’s reputation as an environmental steward.
Employee engagement initiatives, events, and outreach programs continuously communicate the importance of recycling to both employees and the local community. Through a partnership with the non-profit Savannah River Site Community Reuse Organization (SRSCRO), excess government equipment and materials are sold, and the revenue is divided among surrounding counties in South Carolina and Georgia to aid with infrastructure improvement projects.