Fort Johnson Recycling Center encourages community to recycle

By Angie ThorneNovember 8, 2023

Fort Johnson Recycling Center encourages community to recycle
1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Chris Bergeron, senior technician, weighs the recycling on the scale at the Fort Johnson Recycling Center. (Photo Credit: Angie Thorne) VIEW ORIGINAL
Fort Johnson Recycling Center encourages community to recycle
2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Chris Bergeron, senior technician, puts recycled materials where they belong at the Fort Johnson Recycling Center. (Photo Credit: Angie Thorne) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT POLK, La. — Before you throw that piece of paper or aluminum can in the trash, take a moment to think about whether that item can be recycled. If so, make the extra effort to do so. Why? Because as a member of the Fort Johnson community, you’re not only actively working to improve the environment, but also financially supporting the installation’s quality of life.

It all starts at the Fort Johnsons Qualified Recycling Program’s Recycling Center, buildings 3620⁄3622, located at the corner of Georgia and Maine Avenues, where Soldiers can take part in the Riches from Recycling program.

Terrill Turner, Directorate of Public Works Environmental and Natural Resources Management Division, environmental protection specialist installation recycling program manager, said he would like to thank units for their participation in the program.

“Over the last year we have seen an increase in participation,” he said.

Beyond the environmental benefits, the Riches from Recycling program highlights how recycling on post can also provide a financial benefit to military units. Military units on the installation have the opportunity to earn cash at their battalion level from recycling materials at the Recycling Center. To contribute toward unit funds, units and their Families should:

•Recycle cardboard and paper (mixed or white) at the Recycling Center’s bay #2 during business hours — Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. For Soldiers and Family members to get credit they must bring their recyclables inside, not to the 24-hour drop off.

•Request that the weight of the recyclable materials be tracked and delegated to the unit upon drop off. A QRP employee will be available to assist in weighing the materials and ensuring it is correctly recorded for the unit.

•Follow the Recycling Center on Facebook by searching for Fort Johnson Environmental Management Division for tips on recycling and reducing waste and additional information.

“The recycling dropped off at the recycling center for the Riches from Recycling program are tracked and go right back into unit funds,” Turner said.

Above and beyond that program, the recycling brought in by the rest of the Fort Johnson community is just as important and funds the Recycling Center itself, as well as many quality of life events at Fort Johnson.

Kristoffer Rector, Qualified Recycling Program operations manager, said they are completely self-sustaining and the funds earned at the recycling center are used to fund the recycling operation first.

“We pay for our own contract labor force, maintenance and equipment,” he said.

After that, the money supports the Catfish Derby and Fort Johnson Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation events such as the Louisiana Hayride, Snowflake Festival and tree lighting, Freedom Fest fireworks, and movie nights.

“The money also pays for things like pollution prevention and energy awareness,” Rector said.

In fiscal year 2023, the Recycling Center contributed $147,000 for Fort Johnson events and projects.

“The community should be proud of themselves for contributing that kind of money through their recycling efforts, as well as preventing 563 tons solid waste from entering the landfill,” Turner said.

But recycling isn’t just about saving the environment.

“By recycling, we preserve precious resources, reduce pollution and create a sustainable future for generations to come. It might sound cliché, but one person can really make a difference,” Rector said.

Turner asks the community to continue supporting the Recycling Center. “Together we can continue to make Fort Johnson a better place and a station of choice. Remember, the more we recycle the more we can support Fort Johnson Soldiers and Family members,” Turner said.

For more information call 337-531-7556.