CRANE, Ind. - Crane Army Ammunition Activity received its first check for more than $60,000 from Bedford Recycling, Inc., at a ceremony June 26, as part of its new contract to sell recyclable material to the local company.

CAAA Commander Charles Kibben received the check from Bedford Recycling President Larry Parsons for the first amount of material sold to the company. During the ceremony, Kibben stressed the importance this new partnership will have for Crane Army.

"This serves us in ways that you cannot even begin to imagine. It gets rid of some of the older things we have here and makes space in our warehouses for the future. It is good for the future goals of our organization," Kibben said. "This really is a win-win partnership for everyone involved."

The process for recycling the material is fairly straightforward. Ammunition demilitarization projects generate recyclable materials. This material, along with proper documentation, is separated in roll-off containers provided by Bedford Recycling. When a container is filled, Crane Army contacts Bedford Recycling and schedules a container transfer. Bedford Recycling moves the container, processes the material and sells the material. Based on the material weight, type of material and the scrap metals exchange price, Bedford Recycling prepares a check reimbursing CAAA.

"It is a great opportunity for the base here. There is a tremendous amount of material stored on base. With the partnership we have, we will be able to come on base and clean out some of those locations. And the value of the material will far outweigh the cost of our coming on base. So you will be getting money for all the material coming off the base, which is something you haven't been able to do in the past," Parsons said. "This first check is for more than $60,000 and represents only a week of removing material."

CAAA Supervisory Program Manager Randall Burcham explained that once Bedford Recycling sends a check to Crane Army, the money is shared. He said, "This program will return revenue from recyclable material generated by ammunition demil projects to the overall ammunition demil program. The revenue will be sent to the U.S. Army's Product Manager Demilitarization. Forty percent of the revenue will be returned to CAAA. The returned funding can be utilized to improve demil equipment and facilities. PM DEMIL will utilize the other sixty percent to fund additional demil, research and development, facility improvements and process improvements."

The idea for the program originally came from Letterkenney Munitions Center in Pennsylvania. LEMC management initiated a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt project in March 2007 to learn the best way to conduct business for the resale of scrap munitions material. After LEMC successfully demonstrated it could sell its scrap metal and use the money to reinvest into its own programs, CAAA sent one of its employees to see how the program could be duplicated.

Previously, it was not legal for an ammunition activity or depot to sell its own scrap metal, but CAAA Resource Business Division Chief Jerry Tompkins explained a change in the law paved the way.

"After finding out about the changes in Public Law (Fiscal Year 2007 John Warner National Defense Authorization Act, Section 353 of Public Law 109-364, which codifies 10 USC 4690), I went to LEMC in late January, 2007, to see how they implemented the changes. I went to see what it would mean to CAAA, and import the concept back to Crane. CAAA also met with representative from Blue Grass Ammunition Depot and looked at their business practices."

Tompkins said Crane took the best practices from both ammunition facilities and began working internally to see how those practices could be implemented. He said, "Working with (Planner and Estimator) Robin Hart and (Process Improvement Specialist) Kevin Doerner, and using lessons learned from both LEMC and Blue Grass we put together a process map on operations at CAAA."

Doerner said the information gained from other installations that already had recycling programs proved to be very helpful in Crane designing the process for its own program. He said that through this LSS inspired program, Crane had another option rather than sending its material to the Navy or the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service, which did not return the money back to CAAA.

Once the program was in place and reviewed for legality by the Joint Munitions Command, CAAA's contract office worked to find a local company that could do the job. Crane Army Contracting Specialist Rachel Eaggleston said Bedford recycling was one of two proposals received for the Crane Army Demil Recycling Agreement. She said it was reviewed and found to be much more favorably to the Government in the share profit analysis, therefore we chose them.

"They have been in the recycle business for many years, and are 100 percent responsive to Crane Army and make a very desirable business partner," Eaggleston said.

CAAA was established in Oct. 1977 and is a tenant of the Navy Region Midwest, Naval Support Activity Crane. The Army activity maintains ordnance professionals and infrastructure to receive, store, ship, produce, renovate and demilitarize conventional ammunition, missiles and related components.