Reuse is more important and environmentally rewarding than recycling or waste-to-energy incineration, according to the waste management hierarchy. These highlighted programs are examples of how reuse has been successfully applied in a variety of large office and laboratory settings at Sandia.
The Chemical Exchange is a free web application and service for excess unused chemicals to be shared between laboratories at Sandia. The objective is to reduce the volume of unused laboratory chemicals sent for disposal and to decrease the need to purchase new chemicals. Thousands of pounds of chemicals have successfully been supplied to new users over the past year.
Lead is a regulated material at Sandia. Controls are in place for when a process no longer requires some or all of the lead in its possession. Clean, excess lead is submitted to the Lead Bank, where it is documented and made available to others within Sandia who may need it, without charge. When sufficient scrap lead is accumulated, it is sold to a domestic lead smelter and the proceeds are used to fund the continuance of the Lead Bank. No one may purchase new lead without first checking the Lead Bank.
Office Supplies and Equipment
When departments need supplies and equipment, or if they have a surplus, there are two reuse options. The first is to post what they need or want to give away using the "Gives & Gets" internal website. The second option is to send items or browse through material at the Reutilization Yard. Both options are free to all participants onsite.
Toner & Ink Exchange
This program was established to handle excess printer supplies. Departments frequently were left with extra ink and toner when upgrading or replacing older printers. The Toner & Ink Exchange website is a clearinghouse where workers can obtain these excess supplies. By encouraging staff to check the website before ordering new printer supplies, Sandia has saved an estimated $415,000 over seven years. Sandia won a Department of Energy Pollution Prevention Star Award for this program in 2005.