Joint effort clears space, increases recycling fund
November 6, 2007
Profits from recycling scrap steel increased nearly $10,000 after depot and Defense Distribution Depot-Tobyhanna employees joined forces to clear space in and around eight buildings.
Workers salvaged 1,040 steel, nested (stackable) storage racks during a four-day clean up effort. The 137,210 pounds of scrap steel were sold to a local contractor yielding $9,604.70 destined for the installation's recycling fund.
The recycling fund is used for several things, such as: reimbursement of program costs, funding occupational safety and health projects, and purchases such as recycled-plastic picnic tables for use around the installation.
"What is more significant is that this was an excellent example of 6S methodology at its best," said John Heuberger, DDTP deputy commander. "Lauren [Pond] and John [Huber] worked under some horrendous weather conditions to Sort, Straighten and Sweep with a keen eye on the Safety aspect." Pond is the recycling coordinator, Environmental Management Division and Huber is the tenant unit's safety specialist.
So far, the project has freed 7, 680 square feet of storage space.
DDTP replaced the decades-old nested storage racks with newer ones [tagged as excess] shipped here from a Defense Distribution Center in Ohio. About 6,000 racks are earmarked for replacement as the newer model becomes available.
The logistics agency has more than 1.7 million square feet of storage space available on the depot: 10 general-purpose heated warehouses, seven three-sided/other buildings, ramp storage, and more than 1 million square feet of open storage space.
Officials said safety as well as age played a part in replacing the outdated storage aids.
"Safety is our top priority," Huber said. "Plus we needed to get rid of the old, damaged, bent, buckled and broken items."
Warehouse workers discovered the new storage racks offered a multi-level storage capability that was easier and safer to stack. The stacks are safer because the corners of each rack feature a cup and ball configuration that allows them to fit together and lock into place.
"It's difficult to stack the older racks," Huber said, explaining that they have to be lined up perfectly using slide rails. "We also realized that most people in our business no longer use that style storage aid anymore," he said.
Once the replacement storage aids were on the depot, Huber approached Pond with ideas on how to dispose of the scrap steel in July.
"We're always looking for a way to recycle scrap items on the depot," Pond said. "This was definitely a good opportunity to recycle something and allow the money to stay on the depot."
Pond is also pleased with the progress of the program. "Everyone did a wonderful job," she said, expressing her thanks to the workers from the Material Movement Branch who helped load the scrap metal onto 20 flatbed trucks.
Branch employees loaded trucks and crushed up residual scrap steel not delivered to the contractor. Robert Rosencrance, motor vehicle operator, loaded the trucks; Joe Dubas, crane operator, operated the recycling crusher, and George Leggin, motor vehicle operator leader, helped consolidate the racks for disposal.
"Absolutely phenomenal team effort between Tobyhanna and DDTP," said Lt. Col. Michael Talley, DDTP commander. "Special thanks to John and Lauren for planning, coordinating, and safely executing much of the 'heavy lifting' throughout the duration of the project--including several inclement weather days," he said.
"Safety was paramount in every aspect of this operation and I commend their diligent efforts," the lieutenant colonel said. "The successful completion of the project epitomizes the DDTP motto: One team, one focus--let's roll!"
Tobyhanna Army Depot is the Defense Department's largest center for the repair, overhaul and fabrication of a wide variety of electronics systems and components, from tactical field radios to the ground terminals for the defense satellite communications network. Tobyhanna's missions support all branches of the Armed Forces.
About 5,300 personnel are employed at Tobyhanna, which is located in the Pocono Mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania.
Tobyhanna Army Depot is part of the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Life Cycle Management Command. Headquartered at Fort Monmouth, N.J., the command's mission is to research, develop, acquire, field and sustain communications, command, control, computer, intelligence, electronic warfare and sensors capabilities for the Armed Forces.