National Recycling Week File Photo
Recycling is the top action society can do to simultaneously improve the environment, the economy and sustainable manufacturing, and to prevent waste from going into oceans. Recycling conserves finite natural resources, which is critical as the world’s population continues to grow exponentially. (Photo Credit: (Fort Lee Traveller File Photo)) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT LEE, Va. – Did you know the average person generates four pounds of trash each day and about 1.5 tons of solid waste per year?

Americans throw away 25 million plastic bottles every hour. Every three months, enough aluminum goes into landfills to build our nation’s entire commercial air fleet. Our communities toss out enough office paper each year to build a 12-foot-high wall from Seattle to New York. Surprisingly, almost half of the food in the U.S. goes to waste – approximately 3,000 pounds per second.

What all that boils down to is the sad statistic that, despite representing only 5 percent of the world population, this nation generates more waste than any other country in the world.

The annual observance of National Recycling Week took place Nov. 8-14. An Australian organization called Planet Ark started it in 1996 to bring a national focus to the environmental benefits of recycling. Now celebrating its 25th year, this established and highly regarded annual campaign continues to educate and stimulate behavior change by promoting curbside, industrial and community recycling initiatives. Additionally, it empowers people to minimize waste and manage material resources responsibly at home, work and school.

Community members are encouraged to review Fort Lee’s Recycling Policy at home.army.mil/lee/index.php/about/Garrison/directorate-public-works/environmental-management. It lays the ground rules for a program proven to be effective. In fiscal 2021, the installation recycled more than 124 tons of cardboard, 15 tons of paper, 59.4 tons of metal, 2 tons of plastic, and 880 tons of wood and vegetative waste. All told, this community kept more than 3,435 tons of material out of landfills.

The Recycling Center is on the north side of the Central Issue Facility behind the main exchange. Items that can be recycled there include cardboard, paper, cans, scrap metal, plastic bottles/containers, yard waste, wooden pallets and electronic waste.

Without exception, recycling is the top action society can do to simultaneously improve the environment, the economy and sustainable manufacturing, and to prevent waste from going into oceans. Recycling conserves finite natural resources, which is critical as the world’s population continues to grow exponentially.

In addition to last week’s observance, Nov. 15 is designated each year as America Recycles Day. In tandem, these events encourage citizens across the nation to take the pledge and commit to reduce, reuse, recycle and buy products made from renewable materials. Thank you for helping Fort Lee recycle to the maximum extent possible and reduce our environmental footprint!