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In this issue:
A River Runs Through It
Safety Today: E-Waste Recycling Tips
They are the Champions--of the Earth

SLAC Today

Tuesday - July 2, 2007

A series of small fans (pictured) circulate water-cooled air through new computer systems. (Click on image for larger version.)

A River Runs Through It

Children are taught from kindergarten not to mix water and electricity, yet this is exactly what new computer cooling systems recently installed in Building 50 are designed to do. Because modern computing towers create much more heat than their predecessors, innovative cooling systems are required to keep them running. One solution in new computing systems at SLAC runs cold water within a foot of delicate electronics.

"Older cooling systems can use as much electricity as the computers themselves," said Randy Melen, High Performance Storage and Computing team leader in Scientific Computing and Computing Services. "The new cooling system's instruments and equipment is quite sophisticated, making computer cooling much more efficient, reliable, and quiet."

Older systems use water to cool air that, in turn, is vented towards machines to keep them cool. In contrast, the new systems bring cold water directly into the server racks. Hot air from the circuitry is cooled in an enclosed space, and the warmed water is pumped out. No noisy, massive vents are required and the energy savings are substantial.

The new water cooling systems were first installed at SLAC the first week of June with new computer clusters for SLAC's work with the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider. The technology will also be used in coming hardware upgrades for the Gamma Ray Large Area Space Telescope. 

(Column - Safety Today)

E-Waste Recycling Tips

Image courtesy of the EPA.

Today's electronic devices are a wonderful feat and use of technology, but have created a significant waste disposal problem: e-waste. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 3.2 million tons of electronics—including computers, monitors, copiers, fax machines, printers, televisions, and other electronic items that become "obsolete" in the eyes of consumers—are sent to landfills each year. Within California alone, the California Integrated Waste Management Board estimates that there are currently 6 million obsolete computers stored in homes and offices, and 10,000 to 15,000 more electronic devices become obsolete daily. The result is a growing challenge for businesses, residents, and local governments as they search for ways to reuse, recycle, or properly dispose of this equipment.

A recent SLAC Today article described how California has increased disposal requirements on "universal wastes," common household hazardous waste items such as fluorescent lights and batteries. Now the state also requires individuals and businesses to manage e-waste as universal waste.

One result of this new legislation is that computer equipment retailers now charge computer purchasers a fee that goes into a state funded program for the recycling of the equipment. The fund helps support the market for state-approved recyclers to see that e-waste is properly managed and recycled.

In addition, all individuals and businesses are asked to adhere to good e-waste recycling practices. The following questions and answers offer guidance on how to manage e-waste at SLAC and at home.

What is e-waste and why is it a problem?
E-waste includes various electronic devices, including televisions and computer monitors, computers, printers, VCRs, cell phones, telephones, radios, and microwave ovens. These devices often contain heavy metals like lead, cadmium, copper, and chromium, which can cause serious environmental problems if not properly disposed of. Read more...

They are the Champions
—of the Earth

As part of the waste minimization and pollution prevention program, the ES&H Division has recently named several "Environmental Stewardship Champions" who have made noteworthy efforts in pollution prevention and environmental stewardship.

Jonathan Dorfan will present the 2007 Environmental Stewardship Champion certificates of recognition at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 5 in the Kavli Auditorium. Refreshments will be served after ceremony. All are invited to attend.

Beginning this year, ES&H in union with the Environmental Safety Citizen Committee plans to annually recognize employees who make positive contributions to the environment.

The environmental stewardship certificates of recognition are given to those who were involved in pollution prevention measures and reducing SLAC's environmental impact. "Pollution prevention" refers to reducing or eliminating waste or pollution at its source, instead of reducing pollution after it's created.

This year's champions participated in a wide range of activities, including equipment and technology modifications; process and procedure modifications; reformulation and redesign products; substitution of raw materials; and improvements in housekeeping, maintenance, training, and inventory control.

In addition, those receiving recognition for environmental stewardship at SLAC may qualify for regional or Department of Energy (DOE) recognition. The DOE provides these awards on an annual basis. In 2006, the DOE awarded Dieter Walz a Best-in-Class Honorable Mention for his efforts in reusing materials to build the Final Focus Test Beam Facility and in 2007, the DOE awarded Butch Byers and the Implementation Team a Best-in-Class award for their efforts in developing the Chemical Management Services program.

Click here for the list of SLAC Environmental Stewardship Champions. This year's list distinguishes some older efforts, as well as those of employees who have left SLAC. Details about the accomplishments can be found below. Please contact Rich Cellamare (x3401) with questions or to share ideas to promote pollution prevention and environmental stewardship at SLAC.

Congratulations to all Environmental Stewardship Champions!

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