Environmental scientist Carly Nelson works inside Hanford’s Centralized Consolidated/Recycling Center, overseeing recycling and universal waste brought to the facility and shipped offsite.

Environmental scientist Carly Nelson works inside Hanford’s Centralized Consolidated/Recycling Center, overseeing recycling and universal waste brought to the facility and shipped offsite.

RICHLAND, Wash. – It’s Earth Month every month on the Hanford Site, where workers routinely ship tens of thousands of pounds of universal waste and recycling to the site’s Centralized Consolidation/Recycling Center (CCRC) for processing.

Managed by EM contractor Hanford Mission Integration Solutions (HMIS), the center serves as a single location to process recycling and universal waste, which includes batteries, mercury-containing equipment, lamps, and aerosol cans.

Benefiting from collaboration across the site, this unique facility helps uphold EM’s commitment to environmental stewardship and builds on this year’s Earth Day theme, “Restore Our Earth.”

“Protection of the environment is at the core of our mission,” said Tom Ferns, EM Richland Operations Office environmental team lead. “We actively seek ways to increase our stewardship and decrease our impact on the earth, including recycling or reusing items used on the Hanford Site.”

The Centralized Consolidation/Recycling Center serves as a single location on the Hanford Site to process universal waste and recycling for shipping offsite, including equipment containing mercury. Environmental protection remains a critical aspect of all work performed at Hanford.

The Centralized Consolidation/Recycling Center serves as a single location on the Hanford Site to process universal waste and recycling for shipping offsite, including equipment containing mercury. Environmental protection remains a critical aspect of all work performed at Hanford.

In addition to standard recyclable items, the center accepts lead acid batteries from Hanford contractors, as well as from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, located near the site. The center recycled nearly 75,000 pounds of lead acid batteries in 2020.

Contractors can also use the center’s contracts with outside agencies to recycle used oil and spent antifreeze. Crews shipped nearly 100,000 pounds of oil and antifreeze offsite for recycling last year alone. HMIS staff also processed about 1,700 spent aerosol cans, which qualify as scrap metal, by safely puncturing them to prepare the cans for recycling.

“The CCRC plays a vital role in supporting progress at the Hanford Site,” said Aaron Fergusson, senior manager for program and regulatory compliance for HMIS. “Serving all Hanford contractors and the nearby national lab, the center demonstrates a collaborative spirit with its involvement in the large-scale environmental cleanup work being done on the Hanford Site.”

EM collaborated with the Washington State Department of Ecology to establish the CCRC in 1995 to consolidate dozens of recycling and waste collection sites across different facilities on the site.

“The center continues to serve as an example of our commitment to prioritize environmental protection on the Hanford Site,” Fergusson said.