FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. – Volunteers and members of Fort Campbell's Directorate of Public Works (DPW) participated in Project Clean Streams at Wohali Pavilion, June 9, in an effort to ensure clean, safe lakes and streams.
DPW Environmental Division hosts Project Clean Streams annually as part of its mission to ensure the waterways have clean water and are free from toxic contaminants. The event is a cost-effective way to remove litter from the waterways and provide upkeep for the environment.
“Most of the time, your groundwater is someone else’s drinking water. You want to make sure pollutants and other hazardous chemicals don’t contaminate it,” said Crystal Alfaro, Storm/Groundwater Program manager for DPW Environmental Division.
The clean-up began promptly at 9 a.m. with morning temperature nearing 75 degrees. Volunteers sectioned into two teams positioned on either side of Fletchers Fork. Each team and went their separate ways down the sides of the banks, collecting any trash on-site.
“Some of the things that were found today, and what is typically common during our annual Project Clean Streams event, is a great deal of trash from families using the local water sources for events and recreational purposes.” Alfaro said. “In the past, before we took some initiatives and closed off the more accessible areas to privately owned vehicles, we used to find tires, furniture, and piles of scrap metal.”
A combined total of 690 pounds of trash was collected near Fletchers Fork. Members collected 540 pounds of scrap metal and recyclables, 100 pounds of trash, and 30 pounds of glass, plastic bottles, and aluminum cans.
“Water is a far bigger problem for just one person to handle. It’s a group effort.” Alfaro explained. “The more people we can reach then the more people monitoring the pollution from day-to-day activities. Then we can certainly have a bigger and better impact on keeping our water quality high.”
Households can help prevent contamination caused by stormwater runoff and pollution by safely disposing of household chemicals and making use of the installation’s hazardous waste disposal and recycling services.
“Don’t litter. Be conscious of what you’re doing, especially when it comes to pollutants. We have facilities on post to dispose of things properly,” said John Daffin, environmental specialist for DPW Environmental Division. “There is a Recycling and Convenience Center on post, making it very easy to safely and properly dispose of waste." Items that can be recycled at the center include cooking oil, cardboard, plastic, aluminum cans, privately owned electronics like cell phones, cordless phones, household computer equipment and other electronic gaming equipment.
According to Alfaro, all items collected during Project Clean Streams are taken to the Fort Campbell Convenience Center for recycling. Non-recyclable trash is discarded at the Bi-County landfill. On-post residents may use the Recycling and Convenience Center for recyclables, household hazardous waste (HHW), trash and bulk items. Residents off post may use the facility only for dropping recyclable items. Off-post personnel may use the HHW collection event(s) sponsored by Tennessee Environment and Conservation, usually twice annually. Currently there is no HHW event for Kentucky off-post residents. Off-post Solid Waste Convenience Centers in Stewart County: http://www.mcgtn.org/bi-county/stewart-countylocations-and-hours; Montgomery County: http://www.mcgtn.org/bi-county/locations.
“Educate your family, friends, and neighbors about protecting our local streams and waterways,” Alfaro stated. “Start educating youth, so it builds that foundation to take care of things when they’re older.”
Fort Campbell’s Recycling and Convenience Center, 6802 A Shau Valley Rd., is open Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Saturday from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., and Sunday noon-4 p.m. For more information, call 270-798-5695. A complete list of accepted items can be found at https://home.army.mil/campbell/application/files/3916/6507/1466/A-66_Recyclables2022.pdf
Project Clean Streams clean-up effort is a unit- and family-friendly event. For more information on Fort Campbell’s efforts to protect the waterways, visit https://home.army.mil/campbell/index.php/about/Garrison/dpw/environmental.