The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is recognizing the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) White Sands Test Facility in Las Cruces, NM, for their efforts in increasing the amount of waste recycled from 158 tons in 2011 to 10,756 tons in 2012, resulting in a 6,708% improvement. This achievement by the facility has earned them the award for the Highest Overall Level of Performance nationally in the Federal Green Challenge.
The Federal Green Challenge (FGC) is a national effort under EPA's Sustainable Materials Management program that challenges federal agencies throughout the country to lead by example in reducing the federal government's environmental impact. Federal agencies are recognized through the FGC for outstanding efforts that go beyond regulatory compliance and strive for annual improvements in selected areas.
In 2012, nearly 300 participating federal facilities, representing 500,000 federal employees, reduced their environmental footprint in several target areas, which in many cases resulted in significant cost savings. Some of the accomplishments made by the FGC participants included diverting more than 360,000 tons of waste, saving over 52 million kilowatts of electricity, saving 488,000 gallons of oil, and reducing potable water usage by 133 million gallons.
These combined efforts resulted in an estimated cost savings of more than $31 million to the U.S. taxpayer.