ANSBACH, Germany (July 19, 2019) -- As part of the weekly Army Professional training, the Environmental Department of U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach's Directorate of Public Works organized a field trip for community members to a local recycling facility, near Gunzenhausen.
Manfred Ortner, operations manager at the local recycling facility, took the small group around and briefed them about the essentials of recycling and why it is important to minimize contaminants that degrade the purity recycled materials.
He took the visitors around, stopping at each of the huge storage areas. Some filled with cans, some with large piles of glass, each pile neatly separated by its color. Other stations contained large bales of cardboard and paper or big cubes of crushed plastic household items and crushed metals.
Ortner patiently explained the reasoning as to why separating the different reusable materials is essential.
He pointed out that even the smallest amounts of earthenware, stoneware, or porcelain, disposed in public glass containers and mixed in with ordinary glass "will contaminate an entire batch of recycled, newly manufactured bottles, causing bubbles in the glass and easy breakage, generally making the entire batch useless."
Facility employees are taking great care, sorting the materials into recyclable components, some of which are sold back to companies to remanufacture new products, like glass bottles, according to Ortner. Other material is processed for further recycling by different companies.
Despite the fact that German law requires all of its residents to properly sort and dispose of their garbage as much as possible, waste management facilities like the one near Gunzenhausen are having to fine-tune the recycling process at their facility, explained Jutta Seefried, solid waste program coordinator for USAG Ansbach.
Seefried pointed out that properly separating trash is the law for everyone, including members of the U.S. Forces. "It is good for the environment and saves money for the garrison," she said. "The better community members separate their trash before it is collected, the less our garrison has to pay to dispose of it," she says.
USAG Ansbach is always looking for additional means and ways to separate recyclable household waste, according to Seefried.
The most recent initiative is addressing the recycling of cooking oil and grease. Residents of specific buildings at Katterbach and Urlas housing are already part of this pilot project, which encourages every household to separate and dispose cooking oil and grease in special containers, provided for that purpose. This project began in mid-May and will run until the end of Oct.
"Community residents, who are not part of this pilot project can also support this program by dropping their cooking oil and grease off at the Recycling Center at Katterbach Kaserne," said Seefried.
For more information on recycling household waste contact the DPW, O&M Division at: DSN 467-3403, or CIV 09802-83-3403. To view more photos, visit https://www.flickr.com/photos/usagansbachphotos/albums/72157709853688911