• Recycled cans are awaiting processing at the Fort Jackson Recycling Center. The installation will host a recycling event Nov. 15.

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    Recycled cans are awaiting processing at the Fort Jackson Recycling Center. The installation will host a recycling event Nov. 15.

  • Stephanie Gillian, post solid waste manager, shows off electronics trash collected at various sites on post. Community members will have a chance to recycle electronics Nov. 15 at the Officers' Club.

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    Stephanie Gillian, post solid waste manager, shows off electronics trash collected at various sites on post. Community members will have a chance to recycle electronics Nov. 15 at the Officers' Club.

FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- On Nov. 15, Fort Jackson will celebrate America Recycles Day with an art contest, recycling drive, education displays, music vendors and more.

"We want to make people on Fort Jackson aware of what can be recycled," said Stephanie Gillian, post solid waste manager. "It's to educate them on the importance of recycling, and to educate them on the opportunities here at Fort Jackson."

The contest entries must be made of at least 50 percent recycled materials or waste, and will compete in four different categories, including Best Use of Recycled Materials, People's Choice, Kid's Recycle Winner and the Grand Prize. The grand prize is a $500 gift card.

America Recycles Day is the only nationally recognized day dedicated to promoting and celebrating recycling. Fort Jackson's celebration takes place 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Officers' Club. Activities are scheduled that day in the parking lot and Regimental Room of the Officers' Club.

"In the parking lot, we will be taking clothing donations for the Fort Jackson Thrift Store," said Lisa McKnight, the post's environmental awareness and outreach training coordinator. "And we will be doing a book exchange. The library doesn't need any books, nor do they have any to donate, so it's going to be a 'free-for-all table.'"

Crafters will be selling their work, and organizations such as the Department of Health and Environmental Control and Richland County government will also have tables set up for the event.

Recycling events also have benefits that aren't as immediate.

The U.S. Department of Defense requires Fort Jackson to recycle at least 44 percent of its solid waste, and at least 60 percent of its construction and demolition waste, Gillian said.

"Through these kinds of events, this is how the community can help the installation meet these goals," she said. "They are a part of helping us meet these Armywide regulatory requirements."

The event is also designed to collect scrap metal and ewaste such as computers, television sets and stereo equipment.

"The state of South Carolina has essentially banned electronic waste from landfills," Gillian said. "You can't put a television or computer into a garbage can. They'll either take it out of your garbage and leave it in your driveway, or they just won't pick your trash up. These items cannot go into a landfill."

The options for discarding electronic waste in Richland County are mostly limited to scheduled recycling events for e-waste. Because of these restrictions, some people opt to dispose of the electronic equipment illegally.

"We've got a Conex box full of e-waste that we collected from fire breaks and out at Semmes Pond," McKnight said.

Gillian said that all data on recycled electronic devices will be destroyed by a certified electronics recycler. McKnight said Fort Jackson recycling events provide opportunities for people to safely dispose of sensitive paperwork and computer hard drives.

"We've arranged for a company that picks up electronic items for Richland County to come on post for this one day," she said, "to collect personally owned electronics."

Gillian said the goal is to create quarterly e-waste recycling events on Fort Jackson in the future. For more information, visit www.americarecyclesday.org.

Page last updated Thu November 8th, 2012 at 00:00