By U.S. Army Environmental CommandOctober 29, 2008
November 15 is the official date of America Recycles Day, a celebration instituted 10 years ago by the National Recycling Coalition in an effort to encourage Americans to reduce the amount of trash going into landfills by recycling and buying recycled products.
The U.S. Army wants a piece of that action, too. Installations across the Army have well-developed solid waste disposal programs, and as an institution the Army diverts almost 65 percent of its solid waste from landfills. That number is even higher for demolition and construction waste. The Army diverts 74 percent of those materials from landfill disposal, effectively recycling almost a million tons of wood, metal, wire and other building supplies. Efforts like this have resulted in a $110 million total Army savings in landfill disposal costs.
In the recently ended fiscal year 2007, both the U.S. Army Garrison at Daegu, Korea, and Fort Hood won Secretary of the Army environmental awards based, in part on their recycling programs. At Daegu the environmental quality team initiated a qualitative recycling program that resulted in a solid waste diversion rate increase from local landfills of 250 percent, and increased their recycling revenues 171 percent. Environmental managers at Fort Hood analyzed waste streams throughout the installation and implemented projects that saved 3 million gallons of water and recycled 1 million gallons of hazardous waste.
On the occasion of the national America Recycles Day, the Installation Management Command and the U.S. Army Environmental Command want to encourage Army Soldiers, families, civilians and contractor staff to save natural resources by making a conscious effort to recycle paper, glass, and plastic. Beyond the usual recycling bins, here are some other good ideas how:
Cell phones for Soldiers. Join Cell Phones for Soldiers Network. Installations can become a designated drop off site for old cell phones. Phones are sent to ReCellular, which pays Cell Phones for Soldiers for each donated phone - enough to provide an hour of talk time to soldiers abroad. Visit the website: www.cellphonesforsoldiers.com to obtain promotional materials, labels for mailing cell phones, and additional information.
Electronics Recycling. Reduce the amount of difficult-to-recycle items, such as old TVs, CRTs and household electronics, which end up in installation dumpsters and unauthorized dumps. Installations can choose their preferred recycling provider or work with UNICOR, a government corporation, to recycle these chunky household, non-government electronics. UNICOR is a government corporation that uses the recycling program to provide job training skills. Contact UNICOR at 202-305-3768."