Fort Wainwright kicks off recycling program
August 19, 2010
- recycling program
FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska - On Aug. 16, Capt Timothy Hall, HHC USAG commander and Fort Wainwright recycling coordinator, watched as two men from K & K Recycling Inc. positioned a large yellow recycling bin on a wide open space of ground, just past the far end of the Commissary parking lot, behind the furniture store.
John Lowry, truck operator and Phil Cole, Project Development manager, brought the first of four recycling bins creating a new recycling collection point.
Hall has been working with K & K Recycling Inc. to develop the program and will expand it within the coming months with three more collection points on the post.
"As for now, the locations of future bins are being evaluated, but will be in place by October of this year," Hall said. The collection bins are labeled with large signs and with bright colors of yellow, blue, green and red, highly visible and easily read from a distance. There is ample room to pull up beside the receptacles with access available from either side.
"The targeted materials for Fort Wainwright's recycling program are mixed paper, corrugated cardboard, aluminum and tin cans, glass, and items that are made of types #1 through #7 plastics," Hall said. "These materials comprise between 50 and 60 percent of Fort Wainwright's municipal solid waste. Opportunities to recycle other materials will be periodically evaluated and incorporated into the recycling program, if feasible."
Paper and cardboard products will be placed in the blue bin for recycling. Some products to keep in mind for this bin would be white paper, the type you would use with your computer (remove any metal clips or binders), plain cardboards (waxed or plastic coated are NOT recyclable), newspapers (inserts can also be included), magazines, telephone books and the like. Keep in mind, the FWA recycling program is not cleared for the destruction of classified documents. These documents should be destroyed IAW AR 380-5.
Point of interest: Recycling one ton of paper saves 17 mature trees, 7,000 gallons of water, three cubic yards of landfill space, two barrels of oil and 4,100 kilowatt-hours of electricity - enough energy to power the average American home for five months. (EPA, 2008)
Plastics will be collected in the yellow bin. Only plastic containers bearing the number designation of 1 through 7 can be recycled and those numbers can be found on either the top or bottom of the plastic containers. Some common items in your house or work may be drinking bottles, milk, food and condiment containers, foam egg cartons and meat trays, shampoo and soap bottles - even grocery bags can be recycled. After emptying a container, a quick rinse with water to clean out any food, grease or oils, metals and other contaminants will complete half the job of recycling. According to www.cleanair.org, every year we make enough plastic film to shrink-wrap Texas.
Aluminum and tin items will be placed in the green bin. Items to keep in mind are beverage cans, food cans, but oddly enough, aluminum foil and aluminum pie tins are not for recycling.
Glass items colored or not, will be placed in the red bin.
This is a recycling collection point for only items marked on the bins. Batteries, oil, hazardous chemicals, furniture, tires and other items should not be set beside or in these recycle bins.
"As far as motivation is concerned it will, in my opinion, be part education and part lifestyle change," Hall said.
Recycling programs, like so many others, are not accomplished by a single appointed person or group. "If the military community doesn't embrace the program then it will not be successful," Hall said, "By taking this step, Fort Wainwright is leading the community in sustainable programs."
Phil Cole of K & K Recycling Inc. talked a little about what will happen to the materials after they're collected from the bins.
"We're blazing new trail", he said. "We're setting the standard for the entire Interior, not only for Fort Wainwright." The paper and cardboard collected will be used in the first combined heat and power plant in the state of Alaska. Cole said. The plastics will be recycled into new products. Glass collected will be taken and pulverized into aggregate which could be used for traction sand and building materials. Lastly, the aluminum and tin will be bailed and shipped out.
"Our goal is insure that this current recycling program is a sustainable program," Hall said. And with this new program having been planned out to such an extent between Hall and K & K Recycling Inc. adding the support of the Fort Wainwright community, it looks like success is the bag.