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This past December, Armstrong World Industries named the National Security Agency (NSA) in Ft. Meade, MD as its 2009 Ceiling Recycler of the Year. Over the past 14 months, the government agency has recycled more than 400,000 square feet of discarded ceiling tiles. The award was presented to NSA at a ceremony at the National Cryptologic Museum, the NSA’s principal gateway to the public.
This Armstrong award recognizes companies and organizations that make significant environmental contributions through their recycling initiatives. Other recipients recognized for their recycling achievements have included General Motors, Nike, Pfizer, and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
NSA began recycling its old ceiling tiles in September 2008 as part of the Armstrong Ceiling Recycling Program. The program, established in 1999, is the nation’s first and longest running program of its kind. It enables facility managers to ship ceilings from renovation projects to an Armstrong ceiling plant as an alternative to landfill disposal.
Earlier EPA Recognition
The NSA was also recognized for recycling actions by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in September 2009 wit the annual EPA, Region 3 [mid-Atlantic region), Environmental Achievement Awards program. Through the partnership of the Occupational Health Environmental and Safety Services (OHESS) organization, the Installations and Logistics organization (I&L), and the general workforce, more 11 million pounds (5,815 tons) of materials were diverted from landfills and recycled by the NSA Fort George G. Meade campus during the 2008 calendar year.
There are four broad classes of sources for the recycled material from NSA: Facilities-Related materials, Automated Data Processing Equipment (ADPE), Universal Wastes, and Employee-Derived Materials. The facilities-related recycled materials category contained the largest amount of recyclables at 3,278 tons. Most of these recyclables were derived from rehabilitation and construction projects. In addition to its ceiling tile recycling efforts with Armstrong World Industries, the NSA campus also recycled construction metal, paving millings, raised flooring cardboard, concrete and pavers, and cable reels and pallets.