Post officials urge proper recycling
August 3, 2011
FORT BENNING, Ga. " Fort Benning wants Soldiers, residents and employees to recycle, but do so within the framework of post policy.
The Quality Recycling Program establishes clear guidelines for what can and can’t be salvaged or reused, along with where it must be disposed, Environmental Management Division officials said. The installation must comply with state and federal law, faces routine inspections, and is subject to penalties and notices for illegal dumping and other waste violations.
“It’s more than just making sure aluminum cans go in the right spot. We have to account for it all,” said Chris Hamilton, chief of the Environmental Programs Management Branch. “If Fort Benning does not deal with an issue in a positive way, it can spin out of control. … That’s why we need a lot of cooperation from the public. Our main job is to get things recycled and not put them in local landfills.”
There is no curbside recycling pickup in post housing. But several recycling trailers can be found on Main Post, parked near various housing and public areas.
Residents should not leave recyclables outside a container if the trailer is full because it will be treated as litter, said Fort Benning temporary recycling manager Ted Williams, who also oversees underground storage tanks and hazardous and solid waste. Within the next four months, the installation is set to receive 15-20 additional trailers for use at Sand Hill, Kelley Hill, Harmony Church and other spots on Main Post. Two large ones will be positioned outside Building 4 after personnel move back in.
“People are under the wrong impression that if the trailers are full, they can just dump it there whether it’s in or out of the container,” Williams said. “They have to put recycling materials in the containers.”
John Brent, chief of the Directorate of Public Works’ Environmental Management Division, said household recycling trailers can’t be placed in post housing areas. The Residential Communities Initiative contract doesn’t allow it, he said.
“The last thing we want is people taking hazardous waste and throwing it on some back road or in the woods,” he said. “We’re trying to keep this installation as clean as possible because it could hamper training in the future if we get cited for not meeting regulations. … Until we figure out a system that allows for a more convenient method of disposal, we appreciate residents utilizing the trailers set up around post.”
Fort Benning has a financial incentive to recycle as well, he said. Sales revenue covers Quality Recycling Program operating expenses, and the remainder is divided between the Environmental Management Division and Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation.
“Those funds come directly back to the community, so there’s a direct benefit,” he said.
Among recent market changes, Fort Benning no longer recycles glass since it’s become cheaper to manufacture and import. Brent said transportation costs are too high in glass recycling and the post doesn’t generate enough volume to support the effort.
For more information about installation recycling rules as they apply to residents and military units, call 706-545-7570 or 706-545-1007.
Quality Recycling Program:
Military and unit recyclables are handled by the Defense Logistics Agency, while Fort Benning’s Material Recycling Facility is responsible for household and office recyclables. That includes office paper, newspaper, cardboard, mixed paper, mixed scrap metal, aluminum and aerosol cans, pallets, used metal or aluminum oil filters, and plastic. Hazardous waste isn’t part of QRP, but household hazardous material such as paint, insecticide, solvents, batteries, oven cleaners and bleach may be turned in at the Centralized Hazardous Material Control Center in Building 377 on 10th Mountain Division Road.
• Household recycling trailers are located at or near:
Building 5205, Harmony Church
McBride Elementary School, Custer Road
Library, Building 93, Wold Avenue
Building 1628, classroom, Carey Street
Child Development Center, Building 8, Indianhead Road
Soldiers’ Plaza, Building 2627, Dixie Road
Old Infantry Museum, Building 396, Baltzell Avenue
Building 9236, between Mall Bowling Center and Class Six Shoppette, Marne Road
The trailers are under surveillance and marked with warnings about illegal dumping, which may result in fines and/or criminal prosecution. Normal pickup is Monday and Friday. If a container is full any other day, call 706-545-7579 or 706-358-8504.
Office recycling bins are emptied every Thursday. The Material Recycling Facility on Jamestown Road, just south of 8th Division Road in Harmony Church, is open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays, except holidays.
A used oil program is set up for military units only. A contractor will come out, pump the oil and store it in one of two 10,000-gallon tanks at Harmony Church. For service, call 706-545-1559.
Recycling for dollars
A look at revenue generated by the post recycling program through sales in the first two quarters of fiscal year 2011:
Material Recycling Facility
17,100 aluminum cans " $31,406
150 tons of cardboard " $23,897
62 tons of mixed paper " $4,742
Defense Logistics Agency
195.5 tons of brass " $876,896
65 tons of other metals " $42,794
36 tons of tires " $10,710
Source: Environmental Management Division