USAG Wiesbaden recycling initiatives taking shape
May 7, 2013
WIESBADEN, Germany - A new recycling and re-use center on Clay Kaserne, improved trash collection points in Hainerberg and Aukamm Housing, and regular inspections are aimed at encouraging everyone to properly separate their refuse and save.
"Proper separation of waste is extremely important," said Marty Hanson, an environmental specialist with the Directorate of Public Works. "Recycling is the law in Germany."
While military community housing residents don't currently pay fines for not properly separating, they do cost the government more money - "money the garrison doesn't have," said Hanson.
When the new trash collection points are installed, the amount of containers will reflect the number of dwelling units in each building. They will be fenced in with lockable doors for the residents and sliding doors for the city's refuse collectors. Signs will be in place explaining how the separation process works, and building residents will be responsible for keeping their recycling areas clean and neat.
A combined effort by various DPW agencies will take a hard look at the recycling habits of housing residents. "We'll be performing inspections to determine how well families are separating their trash with the long-range goal of reducing the size of containers."
Stickers will be issued indicating if refuse is being properly separated - "green for a good job," he said. If too many red stickers are awarded, building coordinators will be required to visit the garrison commander and explain why recycling isn't taking place.
A similar program, known as Rumbling Rubbish in Heidelberg, resulted in a cost savings of about half a million dollars a year in refuse disposal costs, Hanson said.
"It's all about saving the taxpayers' money. It's a very simple way to cut costs," he said.
"In order to properly separate their trash, people have to have the proper containers in their quarters," Hanson added, explaining that it doesn't cost much to set up a simple separation system in one's kitchen. "You don't have to spend a lot of money. You can use cardboard boxes and line them with plastic."
Hanson added that off-post housing residents should use their local recycling facilities and not those on-post to dispose of refuse.
The new recycling and re-use center on Heinig Street (behind the Arts and Crafts Center on Clay Kaserne) will replicate one that used to operate in Heidelberg's Patrick Henry Village, according to Mark Holt, DPW director. "Estimated construction completion time is this May, and we will push to open no later than June, subject to availability of staffing - paid and volunteer."
For more information about recycling call Peter Zeisberger at civ (0611) 705-6869 or check out the garrison's Recycling Page online at www.wiesbaden.army.mil/sites/directorates/Refuse_Schedule.asp.