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Federal Green Challenge

New England Federal Green Challenge Awards | 2014

Recognition is an important part of the Federal Green Challenge (FGC). Awards were given at the regional level in the categories of Waste, Electronics, Water, Energy, Innovation and Leadership.

In the New England region, the 2014 award winners are the Manchester Medical Center, 104th Fighter Wing of the Massachusetts Air National Guard, Boston Healthcare System, Hanscom Air Force Base, Winchester Engineering and Analytical Center and the New England Healthcare System.


New England Regional Award Winners

Waste

Manchester Medical Center, Department of Veterans Affairs, Manchester, NH

The VA Manchester Medical Center increased its recycling rate from 80.87 tons in 2012 to 129.4 tons in 2013, a 60% improvement in one year. The facility's single stream recycling program increased tonnage by launching an education program that improved staff compliance and by adding well placed recycling bins. Enhanced purchasing practices and product inventory management also helped to decrease waste and grow the recycling rate. This work was supported by the "Greenhealth Tracker," a database tool designed for healthcare facilities that records and analyzes waste volumes and costs.

Electronics

104th Fighter Wing of the Massachusetts Air National Guard, Department of Defense (DOD), Westfield, MA

The 104th Fighter Wing of the Massachusetts Air National Guard achieved a 98% increase in the amount of electronics recycled on Base, recycling a total of 1.17 tons of electronics in 2013. The success of the e-waste recycling program was based on facility- wide awareness (supported by Base-wide emails, posters, and articles in the monthly newsletter), an expansion of accepted items (from computer items and keyboards to copiers, printers, and fax machines), and a central recycling location that stayed open five days a week.

Water

Boston Healthcare System, Department of Veterans Affairs, Brockton, Jamaica Plain, and West Roxbury, MA

The VA Boston Healthcare System achieved a 7.8% reduction in water consumption from 2012 to 2013, with a net water savings of 7.6 million gallons. The results were the culmination of several construction related activities across the System's three campuses. Completed projects included boiler plant upgrades that reduced fuel consumption and reduced make-up water requirements, a water distribution upgrade that addressed leaks from pipes and plumbing fixtures, and controls on cooling towers that eliminated unnecessary evaporation of water.

Energy

Department of Defense, Hanscom Air Force Base, Hanscom, MA

Hanscom Air Force Base, Department of Defense (DOD), Bedford, MA Hanscom Air Force Base reduced the use of fuel oil by 61% in 2013, a reduction of 397,541 gallons of oil. The majority of the savings was achieved by switching three of four boilers to cleaner-burning natural gas. Other actions that helped the system achieve optimal operational efficiency included repairs to the distribution system and improved boiler controls. Taken together, Hanscom's conversion to natural gas and efficiency measures resulted in a net reduction of 1,225 metric tons of the greenhouse gas carbon-dioxide.

Innovation

Winchester Engineering and Analytical Center, Food and Drug Administration, Department of Health and Human Services, Winchester, MA

The Winchester Engineering and Analytical Center achieved a 30% reduction in energy use in 2013 (a decrease of over 376,000 kWhs) by employing an innovative set of practices used to update a laboratory built in the 1950s. The efforts included an analysis of room and equipment-use data and the installation of energy efficient equipment, including the HVAC system. A Green Team education campaign also encouraged employees to turn off laboratory equipment and shut down computers, monitors, and printers at the end of the day.

Leadership

New England Healthcare System, Department of Veterans Affairs, Bedford, MA
VA New England Health Care System (VISN) demonstrated leadership in 2013 by promoting and measuring improved environmental performance and fostering a culture of continual improvement at the eleven healthcare facilities that it oversees in New England. This was accomplished by instituting a strategic plan for the VA New England Health Care System that elevated the profile of environmental goals and engaged executive management. Efforts were also made to improve the capabilities of Regional VA Centers by rolling out software to track waste, providing training, collecting data, upgrading vendor contracts.

The significant waste streams amounts recycled for FY 2013 included: 547 tons of cardboard, 220 tons of comingled glass, plastic and paper, 124 tons of landscaping materials, 365 tons of metals, greater than 850 tons of paper, 402 tons of wood, 4.3 tons of reusable biomedical waste containers, 8 tons of batteries, 182 tons of waste oil, 3.5 tons of printer cartridges, and 4,685 tons of construction and demolition debris that was beneficially reused or recycled.

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