FORT DRUM, N.Y. (Sept. 14, 2018) -- From recycling bins and coolant purification systems to compost filters and pest control solutions, the latest product innovations and service initiatives were the focus at the 5th annual Sustainability Expo on Sept. 11 at Fort Drum, New York.

Hosted by Fort Drum Public Works and co-sponsored by the Army Public Health Center, the expo gathered personnel from organizations and commands who make up the key players in the post's sustainability efforts. Vendors provided displays that featured green goods and services that are available to the Department of Army, contractors and the general public.

"We are required, as federal agencies, to 'go green,' and that means purchasing bio-based products, products with high recycling content and products with high energy efficiencies," said Jim Miller, Fort Drum Environmental Division chief. "The expo promotes the preferential purchasing programs within the government by marrying up the acquisition community here at Fort Drum that makes those purchases with local service providers."

Miller said that the expo is in its fifth year and has proven to be successful.

"Contracting offices are starting to get audited for compliance with these green purchasing requirements, and our own contracting office has been so proactive in this area that they've done very well with their audits," he said. "Environmental is one of those areas of interest we have at Fort Drum, and I don't think there are many installations that host something like this that targets green acquisition and purchasing. I think we're out in the forefront on this."

The expo coincided with a sustainable procurement executive briefing for senior leaders, led by Beth Martin from Army Public Health Center, who has presented workshops at Fort Drum in the past.

"She is one of the Army's leading authoritative experts on sustainable purchasing and she's here training the federal workforce on the regulations that drive green purchasing," Miller said.

Attendees could also learn more about the post's recycling programs and Anthony Reali, solid waste program manager, introduced a new Fort Drum Waste Wizard app available for Fort Drum community members.

Downloadable through Apple and Android app stores, Reali said it provides fast, current and reliable information on how and where to dispose of any particular item - such as batteries, healthcare waste, pool chemicals, mattresses and Christmas trees. It also uses Google Maps so people know the exact location of the Fort Drum Transfer Site or the Hazardous Waste Turn-in building.

The app provides specific instruction for military units, Mountain Community Home residents and civilian personnel. App users can also receive real-time notifications about waste and recycling collection events, report problems and file a PW service request directly through their smartphones.

"I think this is going to work out well. I've already had a lot of Soldiers downloading the app," Reali said.

Since the app will provide all the pertinent information from PW, the Fort Drum Recycles website has been discontinued.

"The app replaces he website, as well as all those flyers we used to print out and had to constantly update every time a phone number changed, or hours changed," Reali said. "This is going to be much easier and more convenient for people to use, and I have a feeling this is going to change the way we do business."