VICENZA, Italy - The United States Army Garrison Italy commander signed a recycling policy Aug. 20 that refers to Army and Italian regulations concerning proper disposal of recyclable and non-recyclable waste, and implements mandatory solid waste recycling to the maximum extent possible.

Garrison Commander Col. Erik M. Berdy approved the policy that further prohibits improper disposal of recyclable items into a dry waste container; and disposal of waste generated from outside USAG Italy (Darby and Vicenza military communities) into a waste container on any garrison installation.

Command emphasis is being placed on increasing our recycling rates, and this policy is being used as the kickoff for this campaign.

Many people may not know the VMC spends $2.35 million per year for recycling/refuse collection. By comparison, natural gas costs $2.15 million annually here. It costs roughly $2,000 per roll-off for the disposal of non-recyclable (dry waste), while cost for recyclables is approximately $70.

A 2016 Solid Waste Study showed that 67 percent by volume of Vicenza dry waste is recyclable. One can easily see how maximizing recycling rates can save USAG Italy a significant amount of money, money that can be better used for mission and community support.

So what is recyclable here in Italy? Practically everything. Items must be segregated into the following categories: umido (food waste) and clean (e.g. not contaminated with food) items including glass, plastic and cans, batteries, and paper. These are collected through USAG Italy custodial contracts.

Larger items such as electronics can be taken to your municipality or the Caserma Ederle/Del Din eco centers.

At Darby, large items may be brought to the Solid Waste Accumulation Point; and batteries to containers located across from the post office and the Depot Coffee Bar.

Pharmaceutical waste is collected at the Ederle Medical Clinic, or personnel can bring it to any pharmacy for proper disposal. Eco islands are also located throughout USAG Italy; there you can place separated waste into the proper containers.

Examples for dry waste (non-recyclables) are items such as: rubber, audio and video cassettes, CDs, dishes, cutlery, toys, pens, wax paper, laminated paper, nylon stockings, rags, diapers, sanitary napkins, cosmetics, vacuum cleaner dust, shoes, incandescent light bulbs, and ceramics/porcelain.

The Directorate of Public Works is currently working to procure recycling containers for VMC and DMC offices and barracks, and Villaggio housing. By purchasing these bins, the garrison is making an investment of approximately $180,000 to better facilitate recycling efforts. The goal is begin distribution of these containers in late October.

Please join us in supporting this important Army sustainability initiative. This will ultimately support the mission, enhance well-being in the community, and protect the environment.

For more information, contact the USAG Italy solid waste/recycling compliance manager, Kurt Brownell, at DSN 637-8266, comm. 0444-61-8266, or kurt.a.brownell.civ@mail.mil.

For hazardous waste inquiries, please contact Wayne Hagwood, DSN 637-7442, comm. 0444-61-7442, or wayne.c. hagwood.civ@mail.mil.