Go Search
Skip to main content

Facilities & Operations



ORNL is committed to lowering waste production in order to reduce items sent to the landfill.  Executive Order 13514 sets the goal for federal agencies to achieve 50% or higher diversion rate by FY 2015 for non-hazardous solid waste and construction and demolition materials and debris.  ORNL diverted 27% of its municipal-type waste in 2010 compared to 23% in FY 2008.  An even greater reduction has been achieved in construction and demolition waste, with 75% diverted in FY 2011 compared to 38% in FY 2008. The November 2011 issue of SCI Newsletter reports that when cleaning up the 7000 area after construction, 96.6% of the waste was sold or recycled. ORNL has won Gold Achievement WasteWise Awards from EPA for 100% LEEDs.


Wastes at ORNLORNL's Sustainable Campus Initiative has established aggressive goals for reducing the amount of waste that is sent to the landfill. One way of doing this is to take full advantage of ORNL’s recycling programs.

ORNL’s Pollution Prevention Program (PPP) conducted "dumpster dives" and sorted the contents of predominantly office trash that was headed toward landfills. They found that 30% of the waste was paper that could have been recycled. Check this report for more details on the "dumpster dives." 

To encourage even more recycling, PPP put new labels on the paper recycling bins located around the Lab listing what can and cannot be recycled. The PPP set up collection containers in offices and work areas so that everyone has access to a recycling bin.  Note that you can also reduce landfill wastes by re-using materials. Your excess office supplies, including binders and transparencies, can be sold in Property Sales via e-Prop.

Green products

In an effort to eliminate foam eating/drinking products and start a transition towards more environmentally friendly (GREEN) products, Buddy's Café switched to paper cups.

How low can we go?

Watch a video highlighting recent developments in wast reduction at ORNL.

If you have any questions about paper or other recycling programs, contact Debbie Dillener at 576-7396 or dillenerda@ornl.gov or Susan Michaud at 576-1562 or michaudsr@ornl.gov.