By Ms. Tiffany D Wood (Leonard Wood)March 3, 2016
The Fort Leonard Wood community recycled nearly 26,000 tons of material on post in fiscal year 2015.
To put that amount into perspective, half of the Titanic, 2,000 African Bush elephants, 124 blue whales and NASA's entire space-shuttle fleet each weigh or weighed about 26,000 tons.
"Fort Leonard Wood recycles a lot," said Craig French, the installation's recycling, Solid Waste and Storm Water Program manager.
Large amounts of brass from ranges, electronics collected during e-cycling events, newspaper, white paper, acid batteries, cardboard, asphalt and aluminum cans contribute substantially to the thousands of tons of material recycled each year on Fort Leonard Wood, according to French.
French, who has overseen the fort's recycling and solid waste programs for the past eight years, said the installation's recycling efforts have steadily increased during that time.
That rise is due to many things, he said, such as an increased knowledge in and appreciation for recycling.
"Command emphasis and support for the recycling program has increased greatly," French said. "Recycling awareness promotion and education have increased along with availability of recycling collection bins and recycling participation awards."
The 795th Military Police Battalion received Fort Leonard Wood's recycling achievement award for the first quarter of fiscal year 2016.
Sgt. Nora Johnson, the battalion's environmental noncommissioned officer, said the battalion's goal is to make recycling a habit for the cadre and Soldiers in training.
Two ways the battalion works to meet this goal is through education and enforcement.
"The battalion incorporates environmental and recycling training annually into its demanding training schedule," Johnson said. "Additionally, each companies' environmental program is inspected about once every six months as a part of the battalion's command inspection program."
In addition to the environmental benefits, she said the installation's recognition program for recycling also encourages the battalion.
"Our battalion has now received the recycling award twice and it feels great to have such an accomplishment out of all the units on Fort Leonard Wood," Johnson said. "That is the motivation for this battalion."
Military units are not the only organizations to benefit from the post's recycling program. According to French, recycling also helps the fort's Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation programs.
"Recycling benefits Fort Leonard Wood because funds generated by the Fort Leonard Wood recycling program, including brass, all come back to Fort Leonard Wood," he said.
"Those funds are then spent to support the recycling program, and FMWR facilities and programs for Soldiers, their Families and the community," he added.
FMWR events paid for by the fort's recycling efforts include: the spring egg hunt, Fourth of July celebration, winter holiday tree lighting and extended hours at the fitness centers.