By U.S. ArmyMay 3, 2007
Letterkenny is being recognized for environmental stewardship by winning the 2006 Secretary of the Army Environmental Award.
The Secretary of the Army Environmental Award is the Army's highest honor in the field of environmental science.
In winning the Environmental Quality, Industrial Installation category, Letterkenny used Lean Manufacturing methods to deliver about 900 reinforced Army HMMMWV door kits to Soldiers in Iraq. The Lean initiatives helped the facility reduce waste, eliminate sources of pollution, improve environmental qualify and save millions of dollars in production and waste disposal costs.
Letterkenny is one of just six installations, one team and one individual to win this 2006 award for contributions to environmental stewardship.
Letterkenny cited Lean Manufacturing as the single biggest reason for the award. In the two years prior to September, 2006, Letterkenny saved an additional $725,000 as waste elimination and manufacturing became more cost effective. Repair time for High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVS) decreased 40% or $14 million.
Letterkenny significantly reduced the use of Methylene Chloride, Trichloroethylene and other hazardous chemicals and diverted 58% of solid waste from entering local landfills. This recycling rate surpassed the DoD Measure of Merit which was to divert 40% of solid waste by the end of FY05.
After diverting 4,756 tons of solid waste, Letterkenny reduced Hazardous Waste disposal costs for Blast Media by 77%. Instead of using 55 gallon drums, most spent blast media is now collected in supersacks and large roll-off containers for disposal. This initiative saves the depot over $500,000 annually in handling and disposal costs.
MORE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPROVEMENTS
Diesel fuel that is drained from vehicles being overhauled at the depot is now collected for reuse in the main heating plant saving both on disposal costs and the purchase of new fuel. The depot also set up a program where used motor oil is sold through the Qualified Recycling Program instead of being disposed.
Duel-fuel vehicles were acquired in the last two years allowing for use of either unleaded gasoline or E85 ethanol (85 percent ethanol/15percent gasoline).
Letterkenny sustains an active natural resources management program. Over the past year, the depot completed a 50-acre harvest program aimed at controlling invasive species. Fish and wildlife Habitat Improvement efforts are greatly aided by local citizen volunteers who contributed over 15,000 hours in FY06.
Letterkenny will now compete for the Secretary of Defense Environmental Award.