Logo

Employee Spotlight - Chris Dean

Author: ACTenviro Corporate
Date: February 3, 2024

Chris Dean-01
Chris Dean-01

Chris Dean has been with our team for 11 years and runs what he calls an “island” for ACTenviro. As Site Manager of the Sandia branch in Albuquerque, New Mexico, he manages 19 people and three programs: hazardous waste management, pollution prevention and recycling, and solid waste disposal. While he handles one client, they have many locations from which Dean is responsible for picking up and managing various kinds of waste. 

“We have our own database where Sandia submits requests for us to pick up either hazardous waste or solid waste or do pollution-prevention tasks,” Dean says. “Each day, our guys check the request system to see what types of things we are going to pick up that day. There’s probably a couple of hundred buildings out here that do mostly research and development, and they all generate everything from the most exotic chemical waste to just cardboard, plastics and all kinds of stuff that can be recycled.“

“Before we can pick anything up, as far as haz waste goes, we have to characterize it. They’ll list all the chemicals they want picked up. Then our chemist goes through and characterizes it first, which means he assigns all the waste codes to it, to make sure that when it comes to our facility, we can get rid of it. This is a permitted facility, so we have 365 days to get rid of any kind of waste we get. We have to take a close look at everything before it comes in and make sure it’s something that we have a disposal facility for, or we find alternatives for things like explosives or radioactive materials.” 

MicrosoftTeams-image (2)
MicrosoftTeams-image (2)
MicrosoftTeams-image
MicrosoftTeams-image

It’s a big job, but one Dean has been preparing for his entire professional life. He holds undergraduate degrees in Biology and Chemistry, as well as two master’s degrees: one in Toxicology and one in Biochemistry and Microbiology. For many years, he ran the Department of Health Laboratory for Environmental Chemistry for the state of New Mexico, at which he held quite a few positions, including EPA Auditor, Director of Quality Control, and Forensics Investigator and Expert Witness. He retired from the state lab and, in 2006, he began working at the Sandia site as the Site Chemist. When ACTenviro took over in 2012, Dean became the Site Manager. 

Part of Dean’s work at Sandia is helping the company achieve its ambitious “zero waste goal”: of all the solid waste generated by the laboratory, they aim to recycle or repurpose up to 90% of it. According to Dean, the city of Albuquerque recycles about 24% of its waste, and some recycling powerhouses in California approach 30%. Under Dean’s watch, Sandia has reached 68%. 

To achieve that number, Dean credits the fact that ACTenviro actually sorts the trash, which doesn’t happen in most places. “We do it all here, and we’re super-organized about how we do it, and then everything’s baled and weighed,” he says. 

MicrosoftTeams-image (3)
MicrosoftTeams-image (3)
MicrosoftTeams-image (1)
MicrosoftTeams-image (1)

“We have a giant bay, and we dump everything on the floor. It’s all in bags — we have the janitorial staff throughout Sandia trained to bag cans and plastic bottles together, and shredded paper and some other stuff. When we dump the trash on the floor, we sort stuff out into various groups like plastics or cans or metals or wood. Then that’s all redirected to recycling, where the baler bales all the trash that’s going to the landfill, rather than just dumping the truck into the landfill.” 

As impressive a number as 68% is, Dean doesn’t rest on his laurels. He is focused on reaching Sandia’s 90% goal through incremental improvements. They have recently started composting the huge number of paper towels generated on the whole campus, using hundreds of containers for the sole purpose of collecting paper towels or food. They’ve started recycling toner cartridges, as well. 

Dean devotes about 70% of his time to hazardous-waste management and the remaining 30% to pollution prevention and solid waste. It’s a formula that is clearly working. ACTenviro’s team consistently receives performance awards at the highest level, scoring a grade of “A” from Sandia for fulfilling their site contract. 

“We don’t do things the way everybody else does,” Dean says. “Everything is very customized to Sandia. We’re working with them to make sure they’re compliant with everything, and they don’t violate RCRA and DOT’s myriad of regulations. The performance award gives us a little bit of satisfaction.” 

Join the team!

Are you interested in working with Chris and ACTenviro’s other awesome team members? Check out our Careers page to learn more!

ALL LOCATIONS

California
San Jose (Corporate Offices and Working
Facility)
967 Mabury Road
San Jose, CA 95133
Phone: (408) 548-5050
24.7 ER: (866) 348-2800
Fax: (408) 548-5052
Dixon
6940 Tremont Road
Dixon, CA 95620
Phone: (800) 559-3274
Los angeles
12235 Los Nietos Road
Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670
Phone: (714) 545-2191
SUNNYVALE - APPLE
1210 Elko Drive
Sunnyvale, CA 94089
Phone: (408) 548-5050
Fax: (408) 548-5052
san diego
2010 W Mission Road
Escondido, CA 92029
Phone: (858) 925-2500
sacramento
4 Wayne Court, Building 9
Sacramento, CA 95829
Phone: (916) 299-4228
inland empire
600 Iowa Street
Redlands, CA 92373
Phone: (909) 406-4400
merced
265 Riggs Avenue
Merced, CA 95341
Phone: (209) 722-4228
Fax: (209) 722-8228
Oregon
portland
13600 SE Ambler Road
Clackamas, OR 97015
Phone: (971) 279-6780
New Mexico
ALBUQUERQUE
208 Murray Road SE
Albuquerque, NM 87105
Phone: (505) 445-9400
Fax: (505) 445-9401
ACTreatment (TSDF)
6137 Edith Boulevard NE
Albuquerque, NM 87107
Phone: (505) 349-5220
Fax: (505) 344-7986
El Paso
511 Highway 213
Chaparral, NM 88081
Phone: (575) 824-0164
ARIZONA
Phoenix
6212 S 75th Avenue #4
Laveen Village, AZ 85339
Phone: (602) 842-9160
Tucson
5568 N Camino De La Tierra
Tucson, AZ 85705
Phone: (520) 471-4672
Texas
dallas
4730 Bronze Way
Dallas, Texas 75236
Phone: (469) 518-6400
Fax: (469) 518-6402
HOUSTON
1700 North E Street
La Porte, TX 77571
Phone: (713) 568-2500
Fax: (713) 568-2501
Colorado
denver
4295 Kearney Street
Denver, CO 80216
Phone: (720) 386-2900
Pennsylvania
Fort Washington
500 Office Center Drive
Suite 400
Fort Washington, PA 19034
Phone: (626) 224-1666
Washington
spokane
1809 E. Houston Ave
Spokane, WA 99217
Phone: (509) 503-1300
Fax: (509) 503-1301
seattle
2923 S J Street
Tacoma, WA 98409
Phone: (253) 249-8273
Copyright © 2024 ACTenviro. All Rights Reserved
Anthem MRF | Resources | Glossary | Terms & Conditions | Privacy Policy
footer logo
crossmenu