Recycling bins add convenience
Melissa Lowlavar, Directorate of Public Works Environmental Management Branch chief, drops an empty plastic bottle into one of the new recycling bins July 22. Fort Rucker received 48 recycling bins through a grant provided by Keep America Beautiful and The Coca-Cola Foundation to be placed at various locations throughout the installation.

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (July 25, 2013) -- Fort Rucker has many initiatives to promote sustainability and environmental wellness, but the installation has taken it one step further by trying to get its Soldiers, Families and civilians involved in the fight against waste.

The installation received 48 recycling bins last month through a grant provided by Keep America Beautiful and The Coca-Cola Foundation, according to Melissa Lowlavar, Directorate of Public Works Environmental Management Branch chief.

"We found the grant available online and we did some research and found that it was available to government entities," said the EMB chief. "We got online, filled out the forms … and we got the 48 bins that we can use to collect plastic, glass and aluminum."

"These bins will allow Fort Rucker to move closer toward diverting 50 percent of the waste stream from disposal while developing a cost-effective recycling program," said Al Townsend, DPW Environmental and Natural Resources Division chief, in a press release.

Due to recent budget constraints, DPW has been looking for ways to continue its sustainability efforts and promote recycling even under certain fiscal restraints.

"We've been trying to expand our recycling across the post," said Lowlavar, "but with limited personnel to go out and pick up recyclables and limited funds to purchase bins that we could use, this was a great opportunity for us.

"This way, we can get bins for people to use and encourage them to bring the recyclables to the recycling center so that they would not have to be on our pickup route," she continued.

The exact locations of where the bins will be placed have yet to be determined, but Lowlavar said they will more than likely be placed in high-traffic locations, such as Aviation training classrooms, Bldg. 5700 and the museum.

"We want to get the bins in areas where the most people can get use of them, but also want to put them in locations that people are able to bring the bins back to the recycling center themselves," she added.

The types of materials that will be able to be put in the bins are No. 1 plastics, such as soda and water bottles, aluminum cans and glass. The bins for glass containers will only be available in certain areas since not all organizations on post utilize as much glass as others, said Lowlavar. The glass containers will also be separated according to color -- green and blue, brown and clear.

She also asks that people that put containers into the bins make sure they are rinsed out and have no food particles on or in them.

"One of the main barriers to recycling is convenience. Providing a recycling bin helps communities overcome that barrier," said Matthew M. McKenna, president and CEO, Keep America Beautiful, in the press release.

"By increasing access to recycling today, we build sustainable communities for the future," said Lori George Billingsley, vice president, community relations, Coca-Cola North America Group.

Fort Rucker was one of 156 local government, schools, colleges and other community groups nationwide to receive a grant, according to the press release. Recipients were chosen by Keep America Beautiful based on a number of criteria, including level of need, recycling experience and the ability of applicants to sustain their program in the future.

The Bin Grant program awards recycling bins directly to recipients and leverages volume buying discounts, the release read. In its seven years of operation, the Bin Grant program has placed more than 29,000 recycling bins in more than 500 communities in 48 states and the District of Columbia.

Lowlavar said that for those that won't have access to the new recycling bins that the incentive program for recycling still exists, which earns people Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation credits for organizations to be used at many DFMWR facilities.

For more information, call 255-0484.

Page last updated Thu July 25th, 2013 at 12:46