SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii - Recycling is easy; yet, landfills all over the world are filling up.

The United States has 3,091 active landfills and more than 10,000 old municipal landfills, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

They are running out of room.

According to the EPA, thousands of tons of items placed in these landfills could have been recycled.

In an Armywide effort to "go green," U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii (USAG-HI) is raising awareness of the services provided by the Schofield Barracks Army Recycling Center. Recycling bins around the installations are an effort to create effective and efficient avenues for Soldiers, family members and Department of Defense employees to recycle materials.

The Army Recycling Center, located at Building 1087-B, Schofield Barracks, serves all USAG-HI installations including Aliamanu, Fort Shafter, Schofield Barracks and Tripler Army Medical Center.

"If it can be recycled, we'll take it," said Victor Mercado, Schofield Army Recycling Center supervisor.

Mercado pointed at numerous containers filled with cans, plastic and glass bottles, green waste, paper products and cardboard.

"We get items from units, individual Soldiers and many of the offices around post," he said.

Mercado pointed to a large box of printer ink cartridges and opened a container filled with shredded paper.

"All of these items are recyclable in some way," said Mercado. "There is always a way to reuse; sometimes it just takes a bit of effort."

The Army Recycling Center is not a deposit refund center, so "HI-5" containers taken to the center are considered a donation.

Acceptable items include dry cardboard, newspaper, white office paper, toner cartridges, scrap metal, phone books, glass, plastic and aluminum beverage containers, wood pallets, and untreated, unpainted wood waste.

A new cell phone recycling initiative is also in effect. Soldiers and family members can donate their old cell phone by calling 808-656-5411 or 808-864-1048.

Proceeds from the program go toward funding Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation events for Soldiers, as well as funding for important pollution prevention and environmental projects.

The center also recently introduced a magazine recycling program. The Army Recycling Center is now accepting magazines, brochures, catalogues and other glossy paper products.

Recyclables can be dropped off at the Army Recycling Center, Schofield Barracks, or offices can request a pick up. Only industrial pick-ups are allowed; residential is not included.

USAG-HI is looking towards the future, actively exploring the market to include more recyclable commodities and recycling center facility and equipment upgrades. These endeavors will ultimately expand the program, increasing the amount of material that the garrison recycles annually, said Rufus Guillory, recycling/P2/solid waste, program manager for USAG-HI.

The overall goal of the Army Recycling Center is waste diversion. Former President George W. Bush signed Executive Order 13423, "Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management," Jan. 24, 2007, which requires all facilities to maintain waste prevention and recycling programs in the most cost-effective manner possible.

A solid waste diversion goal, set by the Department of Defense, is to divert a total of 40 percent of all solid waste produced from our landfills.

Traditionally, waste diversion means keeping materials out of landfills via source reduction (reuse, donation) and recycling (including composting and remanufacturing).
"Our goal is to eliminate the amount of recyclable materials that go into the landfill," said Mercado. "

Recycling is appealing because it offers a way to simultaneously reduce the amount of waste disposed in landfills and save natural resources.

Additionally, recycling helps to sustain the Army mission and is a mandatory Army directive.

Request a Recycling Center pick-up for your unit or office by calling 808-655-0011 or by visiting the Directorate of Public Works (DPW) Web site at <a hef=""></a>.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16