FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — The Fort Leonard Wood Recycling Program has several options available for individuals with access to the installation.
With three drop-off locations — two of which are open 24/7 — customers can bring their items and help sustain the planet any time, day or night.
“Recycling is one of the key elements to sustaining our future,” said Recycling Program Manager Pete Cruz. “It means correcting our past, forward thinking and acting to minimize environmental impacts and waste today.”
Cruz said the importance of recycling can be found in its long-lasting effects.
“It reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills and incinerators, conserves natural resources such as timber, water and minerals, and prevents pollution by reducing the need to collect new raw materials,” he said. “Recycling also saves energy and reduces greenhouse gasses, supports American manufacturing and conserves valuable resources.”
According to Robert Schultz, an environmental protection specialist with the Directorate of Public Works’ Environmental Division, Fort Leonard Wood processed nearly 8,400 tons of recyclable material last year — an accomplishment he said that starts with one person choosing to recycle.
“The first, and most essential, part of the recycling process starts with each individual’s efforts,” he said.
Locally, Shultz said recycling on Fort Leonard Wood benefits service members and their families in more ways than one.
“In addition to the environmental benefits of recycling, the program actually generates revenue for the installation,” he said. “Many of the (Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation) activities on post are made possible through funds from recycling efforts.”
Fort Leonard Wood’s three recycling locations include the Recycling Center, which is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays, and is located in Bldg. 2549, off Ordnance Drive; and 24-hour multi-bin drop-off locations located on the northeast side of the Main Post Exchange parking lot, and between the PX Mini Mall and the Commissary.
To avoid confusion, each bin is labeled with the recyclable item that is intended for the container.
Cruz said items that may be recycled on Fort Leonard Wood include:
- office paper;
- scrap metal;
- ink and toner cartridges;
- mixed paper, including newspaper, manuals, magazines, colored paper and phone books;
- clear, green and brown glass;
- aluminum cans; and
- used motor oil.
Appliances, like stoves, refrigerators, washing machines and dishwashers may be dropped off at the scrap metal bin, but Cruz asked that those individuals also check in at the Recycling Center office. He said any item with a coolant or refrigerant must be purged and drained prior to drop-off. These chemicals are considered restricted items — other restricted items include batteries, antifreeze, household cleaners, wet or greasy boxes or paper products, and plastic- or wax-coated paper and binders. A full list of restricted items is available at the Recycling Center.
Cruz said electronics are collected during the two e-waste events held each year — for Earth Day in April, and America Recycles Day in November.
In addition to the three recycling locations on post, Cruz said the installation also has a compost area for individuals looking to recycle yard waste — including leaves, grass clippings and branches four inches in diameter or less. The compost area is located along FLW 30, on the south side of the installation, about 1.5 miles east of FLW 1. Clean fill — which includes soil, rocks, used asphalt and brick — can also be dropped at the compost site, as long as there are no painted bricks or blocks, rebar or other metals. The compost area is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays.
Hazardous waste may be taken to the City of St. Robert Transfer Station, located at 3 J.H. Williamson Jr. Dr. in St. Robert.
Cruz asked that customers be mindful about where they place their items when dropping off recyclables, and the condition they’re in. In addition, customers should make sure products are not contaminated with oil or other products, and that miscellaneous garbage is not mixed in — improper disposal can be costly to the program, and can ultimately lead to less fun for everyone, he said.
“It adds a cost to the operation,” Schultz said. “Any additional cost to the operation is going to reduce the revenue that we generate for the community.”
For more information on the Fort Leonard Wood Recycling Program, call 573.563.3880.