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Pantex celebrates Earth Day by practicing recycling, clean-up efforts and reducing waste

Pantex sign near a wind turbine  (Source: Pantex)
Pantex sign near a wind turbine (Source: Pantex)(Pantex)
Published: Apr. 22, 2021 at 3:11 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Pantex employees are celebrating Earth Day this year by practicing recycling, clean-up and reducing waste.

According to a news release, millions of pounds of waste were recycled at Pantex in 2020.

Pantex says the facility recycled more than 814,000 pounds of scrap metal, almost 37 tons of batteries, more than 22,000 pounds of computer and electronic equipment, 30,000 pounds of engine oil, about 1.5 tons of fluorescent lamps, more than 95,000 pounds of cardboard, about 48,000 pounds of paper, more than three tons of plastic, and 29,000 pounds of tires and rubber.

Since 2019, the facility says it has resurfaced almost 20 of its 60 miles of roads, resulting in 4.9 million pounds of recycled concrete and asphalt.

“We’ve got essentially 13 different waste stream categories in our recycling,” said Patrick Moon, Senior Manager, Pantex Waste Operations.

According to the news release, clean-up efforts continue to remove contaminants from ammunition production more than 75 years ago. To date, almost 15,00 pounds have been removed, along with 10 tons of solvents, by a soil vapor extraction system.

“Since we started irrigating and using it for various projects at Pantex, we have re-used 1.7 billion gallons of water,” according to Michelle Jarett, Pantex Senior scientist, Environmental Projects. “And that is enough water to fill the AT&T stadium in Arlington, Texas…twice.”

Pantex also partners with the five largest wind turbines in the Panhandles, generating around 64 percent of the plant’s electrical needs daily.

“I think it’s immensely successful. It’s the first of its kind for the DOE to do a behind-the-meter wind application, where we tie the wind generation directly to plant load, and basically we proved the engineering here works,” according to Dale Moon, Pantex Director of Facility Engineering.

“We were the first DOE facility to have renewable energy. And we know we’re by far the greatest generator because we’re generating about 60% of our energy needs and nobody else is even close to that in DOE,” said Joseph Papp, Pantex Senior Director of Engineering.

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