KASIERSLAUTERN, Germany — Garrison employees at Panzer Kaserne, Germany, continue to employ creative ways to re-use/repurpose materials, saving money and improving relationships within the community.
The same team that partnered with a local company this summer to recycle over 15 tons of expired paper documents identified yet another way to save money and contribute to the “Ready Garrison” efforts on becoming a greener garrison, this time with the re-use of wooden pallets.
Pallets are known as the workhorses or unsung heroes of the logistics supply chain, carrying heavy cargo, and making it easier to load and store goods in shipping containers and warehouses using pallet jacks or cargo forklifts. But, like everything else, pallets are not “free” – exporters need to supply them, and the importer/receiver of the goods must dispose of them, all of which have associated costs.
After the summer purge of paper, The Records Staging Area (RSA) team were left with nearly a thousand untreated European wooden pallets which, instead of “throwing them away” were sent to the Defense Commissary Agency, Europe (DeCA) Central Distribution Center Germersheim (CDC-G), Germany. Each of these pallets were repurposed back into the Army inventory system for a total cost savings of over 27,000 euros!
The garrison’s Chief of Administration Services Brian Raymond oversees the RSA and along with the RSA team, spearheaded the paper recycling mission this summer.
“After the success of the no-cost to government shredding mission, we had all these leftover pallets that we knew could benefit several agencies in the area. We called CDC-G, asked if they could use them and they said yes. So, The RSA Team got to work loading up the pallets to deliver to the CDC-G,” said Raymond.
The warehouse personnel, who run the RSA day-to-day operations were happy to find a new home for the pallets.
“We had these pallets here a long time and knew that we should not just destroy them, so, when we heard that we found someone that could re-utilize them, we all jumped in, rolled up our sleeves and got them loaded properly for the 1.5-hour truck-trailer shipment to Germersheim,” said Andreas Kuehn, Records Management Technician, Local National Lead.
Kathrin Magin, the Supervisory Operations Support Specialist for the CDC-G oversaw the process for receiving the pallets. According to her, “The donation of the pallets, which were in excellent condition, not only saved Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz the disposal costs, but were also a great cost savings for DeCA, who provides semi-perishable products to all the Commissaries in the European Theater.”
Douglas Nomura, Distribution Facilities Manager, DeCA CDC Germersheim, said, "These small wins resulting from the collaboration between the two organizations are a
direct benefit to the warfighter, our DeCA patrons, and our local communities."
Between the two missions, over 75,000 euros (approximately $80,000 USD) was saved!
“Identifying and executing smart, cost-effective solutions like these are a testament to the commitment of our garrison team members to improve systems and maximize resources while promoting interagency partnerships,” said Garrison Commander Col. Reid E. Furman. “Our leaders are committed to cultivating a culture of operational excellence across the garrison.”
U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz is the Army’s premier Strategic Readiness Platform overseas in delivering unmatched mobilization and installation support services to enable readiness for a globally responsive Army and providing a safe home for our Total Force community and families.