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Vol. LIX, No. 13
June 29, 2007

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NIH Receives White House Electronics Recycling Award

  On hand for the White House award are NIH'ers (from l) Capt. Ed Rau, Dan Reggia, Diane Frasier and Don Wilson.  
  On hand for the White House award are NIH'ers (from l) Capt. Ed Rau, Dan Reggia, Diane Frasier and Don Wilson.  
Do you ever wonder how NIH handles the thousands of pieces of computer equipment that turn over here and how we minimize the environmental impact of this activity?

NIH was recently selected by the Office of the Federal Environmental Executive (OFEE) as a winner of the 2007 Federal Electronics Reuse and Recycling Campaign as a result of its emphasis on recycling and reuse. Federal agencies were encouraged to compete in this campaign which began last November and ended in March. NIH won in the large civilian agency category based on the quantities of used electronic equipment that were reused or recycled. The total last year was over 260 tons.

NIH received the honor at a ceremony held at the White House. Accepting on behalf of NIH were: Diane Frasier, director, Office of Acquisitions Management and Policy, OFM; Dan Reggia, chief, Property Utilization Branch, OLAO; Don Wilson and Capt. Ed Rau, Division of Environmental Protection, ORF.

The award-winning program is operated by the Property Utilization Branch, OLAO. Their first goal is to reuse property within NIH. Laboratories here frequent the warehouse in Gaithersburg in search of various types of scientific and computer equipment that is available to them at no cost. Many items are in excellent condition. Other federal agencies in the area can also obtain the equipment; the FDA, NIST, USGS, Departments of Defense and Justice and the Smithsonian Museums are the most frequent customers. Each year, $10 million to $20 million of NIH equipment is reused by other federal agencies, eliminating the need to purchase new equipment and saving taxpayer dollars.

NIH also operates an extensive school donation program for public and private schools (grades K-12) that can generally qualify to receive computers, printers, monitors and other IT equipment. Colleges and universities throughout the country can also qualify for donations of scientific equipment. In all, the branch averages $25 million to $30 million in equipment donations to schools annually.

Electronic equipment not acquired by federal agencies or schools is either sold or shipped to a General Services Administration facility for recycling. The recycler pays the government for the items. Proceeds from sales are used to offset NIH disposal and operating costs. The current recycling facility meets all EPA regulations and certifications for processing and disposal of the equipment.

Environmental improvement goals such as these are supported by the NIH Environmental Management System (NEMS); many employees are working to help find ways for NIH to minimize its environmental impact. For more information on NEMS, visit or email NIH Record Icon

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