FORT BRAGG, N.C. - Weight tends to have a bad connotation, unless, of course it refers to recycling. The more weight, the better a person or organization has done at reducing the amount of goods headed to local landfills.

The Office of the Federal Environmental Executive announced in January that Fort Bragg has won the 2008-2009 Federal Electronics Reuse and Recycling Challenge Award.

Through the Electronics Reuse and Recycling Campaign, federal agencies compete to recycle and reuse electronic products. During the competition, which ran from Oct. 1, 2008 to Sept. 30, 2009, Fort Bragg led the large military facility category with more than 1.3 million pounds.

In total, more than 15.8 million pounds of electronics were reused or recycled.

Electronics are classified into two types-government and personal, said Tim Nance, qualified recycling program manager, Environmental Compliance Branch, Environmental Division, Directorate of Public Works.

Government electronics are reused and recycled through the Defense Reutilization Management Office, Nance said. Collection events are held every three months at the North and South Post Exchange locations for personal electronics. Some of the items collected at those events include televisions, computer monitors and keyboards.

Items are also accepted free of charge Monday to Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the DPW recycling facility behind Building 3-1137 on Butner Road, said Nance.

Because Fort Bragg has been designated as a qualified recycling program, money saved through recycling can be reinvested back into the installation. In past years, the money has been used for equipment and operations.

According to Nance, some of the QRP funded projects for fiscal years 2006 to 2009 include $70,000 for an access controlled potable watering point, $25,000 for tree spading and $170,000 for an energy project at Smith Lake Stables.

"Since 2005, the recycling program has funded in excess of $1 million of Morale, Welfare and Recreation and environmental projects," Nance said.

Other recycling initiatives implemented by Fort Bragg include the recycling incentives program, a trash for cash program that rewards participants with credits that can be used at any Directorate of Family, Morale and Recreation facility; cooking oil recycling; office paper, plastic bottle and aluminum can recycling at all Fort Bragg schools.

"Recycling improves our daily lives and helps to protect our planet for the future," said President Barack Obama in a 2009 America Recycles Day Presidential Proclamation. "Through recycling, we conserve energy, consume less of our precious natural resources, decrease the amount of waste deposited in landfills and reduce greenhouse gas emissions."

The more than 15.8 million pounds of electronics reused or recycled was an increase of more than six million from the previous year's campaign and ERRC participants are responsible for life cycle energy cost savings of $85.8 million, according to the Executive Office of the President, Council on Environmental Quality.

In related news, Fort Bragg won the fiscal year 2009 Secretary of the Army Environmental Award Natural Resources Conservation for a team or installation.

The installation will later compete for the Secretary of Defense Environmental Awards.

The Secretary of the Army Environmental Award ties into the garrison's number one strategic goal of sustainability and meets the strategic objective of having sustainable land use across the installation, said Paul Wirt, chief of the Environmental Management Branch, DPW.

Various chiefs worked together, including the Endangered Species Branch, Range Control, the Environmental Division, Planning Division, wildlife and forestry chiefs, as well as wildlife biologists and the Directorate of Plans, Training and Mobilization.

With installation personnel working across the board, Fort Bragg was able to carry out the following natural resources conservation accomplishments:

- Fort Bragg surpassed its red-cockaded woodpecker recovery goal of more than 350 potential breeding groups, allowing the installation to remove training restrictions on 3,100 acres of land because of that recovery.

- Instituted a pine replacement program for trees impacted by construction.

- Used fire or controlled burns to maintain the health of long-leaf pines.

- Hosted the first U.S. Army and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service coordination meeting, transferring Fort Bragg's RCW recovery techniques to other installations.

Although it could not be considered for the team conservation award, Fort Bragg also hosted an Army-wide Sustainability In Progress Review in January, Wirt said.

Fort Bragg has a history of winning sustainability awards. The installation became a sustainability leader when it won the inaugural Secretary of the Army Sustainability Award in 2008.

"When we talk about sustainability, we talk about the environment and the mission," Wirt said. "We obviously feel that we do that better than anyone else in the Army."

Page last updated Fri February 19th, 2010 at 09:51