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GSA E-Recycling Event in Roanoke, VA, Collects over 20 tons of Electronic Waste
The U.S. General Services Administration, in partnership with UNICOR and the Salem Veterans Affairs Medical Center, recently hosted a free electronic recycling event for local, state, and federal agencies in the Roanoke, VA area on May 5, 2015. Six agencies contributed to the successful collection of 41,995 pounds – or 20.9 tons – of electronic scrap, such as computers, printers, monitors, and keyboards. This was a great turn out for a first time event, and customers stated hopes that this will continue annually. The electronics were collected by UNICOR, a division of the Federal Prisons Industries that offers training and rehabilitation to inmates. The goods will be broken down and recycled for material content.
This event was good for the environment and helped those in prison learn a skill. It was also the federal government's way of being good neighbors to state and local agencies in the Roanoke area. E-recycling ensures responsible disposal and reuse of electronics. Electronic products are made from valuable resources and highly engineered materials, including metals, plastics, and glass, all of which require energy to mine and manufacture them. Reusing and recycling consumer electronics conserves natural resources and avoids air and water pollution, as well as greenhouse gas emissions that are caused by manufacturing virgin materials.
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SSA National Support Center Achieves LEED Gold Certification
The Social Security Administration National Support Center (SSA NSC) in Urbana, MD, was recently awarded Leadership in Energy & Environmental (LEED) Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. GSA collaborated closely with SSA and contracting partners to design and construct the state-of-the-art NSC, which replaces the existing National Computer Center, located at the SSA headquarters campus in Woodlawn, MD.
Traditionally, data centers rank among the largest power users in modern facilities.The GSA-led project team committed to aggressive goals for energy performance, ultimately achieving 30% energy savings compared to a typical data center. Sustainable design and construction elements included:
- Aggressive water conservation efforts, including 190,000 gallons of rainwater storage for use in irrigation and cooling towers.
- Data center design separates hot air return from the cold air distribution, saving energy as well as utilizing hot air return to heat the remainder of the facility. This also allows for higher operating temperatures significantly reducing the cooling requirements.
- A 6-acre photovoltaic solar panel field that provides renewable electrical power to the entire campus, saving more than $150,000 per year in energy costs.
- Site design and construction that incorporated sustainable products and diverted over 90% of debris from landfills with a thorough construction waste management plan.