Fermilab to highlight recycling and restoration efforts at Expo
Fermilab will highlight the lab's electronic recycling program and prairie restoration efforts at the EnvironExpo on Saturday, April 21.
A 50-inch plasma TV, free DVDs and a pile of junk. It will be a mixture of high tech and low tech at Fermilab's display at the second annual Batavia EnvironExpo scheduled for Saturday, April 21 at Batavia City Hall from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This year's theme: "Working Today for a Better Tomorrow: Reducing Waste and Carbon Dioxide."
"We'll present the lab as a good neighbor, as an environmentally responsible neighbor," said Eric Mieland, an environmental specialist at the lab. "That's one of the primary reasons we want to do this."
Fermilab has award-winning programs in electronics recycling and prairie restoration. Both will be highlighted at the expo, with a TV slideshow about ecological land management; a poster illustrating the studies by Argonne Lab researchers on the Fermilab prairies' ability to store carbon; free copies of Fermilab's prairie DVD ("Part and Parcel of Nature"), and a scuplture of old electronics parts held together with cable cords and glue, assembled by Wayne Braun of Business Services' Property-Inventory Control.
EnvironExpo coordinator Ann Drover, who expects about 1500 people to attend, said she is excited about the lab's display. "I know it's going to attract a lot of visitors," she said.
Fermilab is ahead of the "e-cycling" curve. In 2005, Fermilab sent 90,000 pounds of electronics to commercial recyclers as a way to minimize effects on the environment. And Fermilab's model prairie restoration project is the perfect spot to study plants' ability to store carbon in their roots.
"Ecosystems grab carbon out of the air and sequester it underground to get it out of the atmosphere," said Rod Walton, the lab's ecologist. This could help slow global warming.
"We hope to show people that connection between restored prairie and the rest of the environment," Walton said.
Drover described Fermilab as a model of sustainability. "We are so lucky to have Fermilab," she said. "When [Batavia] becomes more green, we can take on some of that know-how."