Fort Rucker expands recycling
Jason Dykes, URS contractor, Kent Tate, URS contractor, and Melissa Lowlavar, environmental branch chief, begin to unload a truck filled with cardboard and pack it into a baler April 15 at the Fort Rucker Environmental Center.

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (April 22, 2013) -- Fort Rucker continues to expand and promote recycling on post by accepting new materials and creating a new organizational recycling incentive program that debuts April 24 at the Earth Day Expo at the festival fields from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

In order to promote recycling, the Environmental and Natural Resources Division at the environmental center and the hazardous waste center created the program, which will expand the current recycling program, according to Melissa Lowlavar, environmental branch chief.

"If [an organization] brings in a certain amount of poundage of a certain material [they] will get a voucher for a certain amount from Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation," she said. "But [organizations] must bring their recyclables to the center properly cleaned, separated and segregated."

The incentive program is for organizations on post, but the main requirement to be a part of the incentive program is that the organization must have an environmental officer.

"It can be fun for organizations to challenge each other in a competition to see who can turn in the most stuff and it encourages groups to have an environmental officer or contact," said Lowlavar.

New materials are also now being received, such as glass and electronic waste.

Glass has to be segregated into different containers when brought in. Green, clear and brown glass must be kept apart. The same goes for all other recyclables, such as aluminum and plastics.

The center will continue to pick up paper and cardboard only, but if an organization wants to get credit in the program for the donation, the organization will have to cancel that pick up. To discontinue service, call 255-0468.

Anyone is allowed to use the recycling center and it collects what is considered typical, recyclable material year round. Although electronic waste is accepted year round now, it is not a part of the incentive program.

"It is super easy to drop things off at our centers. No hassle, no paperwork and no fees. We couldn't make it any easier," said Colleen Quinlan, Fort Rucker Environmental Office hazardous waste manager.

Cardboard, aluminum, paper, mixed plastics, wood pallets, compact discs, old toner cartridges, used oil and metals are accepted at both centers.

"We are trying to be a good steward and assist the community in recycling to help the environment. We need to save the resources that we have and reuse what can be reused," said Lowlavar. "Sooner or later there isn't going to be any more land to make landfills out of. We want to sustain what we have for future generations."

Parents should teach their children about recycling, according to Lowlavar, because they are not going to know about it any other way.

"When I was a child it was big, big, big, buy, buy, buy -- all that adds up in our landfills. We need to teach children while they are young how to conserve and how to live sustainably, that way they will know how to do it in the future," she said.

Another important reason to live a greener lifestyle, according to Lowlavar, is that recycling saves money, as well.

"The more you can reuse the better because you don't have to buy new materials, and we only have so many resources here that are available," she said.

The environmental branch chief had tips on how to be green, as well as how to save money while staying green.

Reuse daily products like plastic bags for trash bags, and jars for organization and storage.

What you can't reuse, recycle. Recycle as much as you can even if it takes a little bit more time than throwing it in the trash.

Use green chemicals or homemade cleaning materials such as baking soda and white vinegar.

Don't throw garbage out of your car window.

Don't waste water. Shut off the water when you are washing your dishes and brushing your teeth. Fill the dishwasher or washing machine up instead of running it half-full.

Make sure you buy Energy Star appliances and energy-efficient windows.

Use the sun. Open the blinds and curtains to light and heat the house, and close them at night to keep the heat in.

For anyone wishing to recycle materials or to register their organization for the new incentive program, the recycling center at Bldg. 9322 and hazardous waste center at Bldg. 1315 are open Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Page last updated Mon April 22nd, 2013 at 10:31