EPA: Agency saves taxpayers’ money and promotes efficiency
In celebration of America Recycles Week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized the Department of Veterans Affairs, Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Decatur for reducing greenhouse gases by recycling water, and decreasing water consumption.
“I congratulate the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center for their efforts to improve efficiency and minimize environmental impact,” EPA Region 4 Deputy Administrator Beverly Banister said in a news release. “Their commitment to efficient resource management is saving the American taxpayer money and is an example for others to follow.”
The Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center is one of five federal facilities nationally recognized for conserving resources and saving taxpayers’ money as part of the Federal Green Challenge (FGC). The main campus sits on a 26-acre campus and includes 19 clinics throughout metro Atlanta. The center reduced greenhouse gases by recycling water and decreasing its water consumption. The facility reduced its consumption of water by 1,000,000 gallons by installing new urinals and toilets. All urinals in the facility are now waterless and toilets low flow. The facility recycled 4,682 gallons of water and captured 350 gallons of rainwater which was utilized for landscaping. The facility also utilizes a food pulper which saves 4682 gallons of water per year. In the future the facility plans to capture its grey water as part of a green roof project on one of its buildings.
The 2019 FGC awards recognize the achievements of participating facilities in Fiscal Year (FY) 2018. In FY18, 334 federal facilities took steps to improve efficiency, save resources and reduce costs as part of the Challenge. Participants saved around $37 million across natural gas, fuel oil, paper purchasing, water and municipal solid waste categories.
The FGC is a voluntary, fiscal yearlong commitment under EPA’s Sustainable Materials Management Program, in which participants focus on efficiently managing their resources to reduce the costs of building operations, maintenance, and supplies.