By Roland LangfordApril 20, 2010
RED CLOUD GARRISON - Recently, the Environmental Division of the Directorate of Public Works received an anonymous negative Interactive Customer Evaluation comment wondering why Area I does not recycle in this age of environmentalism.
The writer was concerned that many wastes should be reused. However, Red Cloud Garrison, Camps Hovey, Jackson, Castle, and Stanley do recycle, but it is not visible to most people.
All administrative, commercial, and residential wastes generated on the Army posts are picked up by a Korean contractor, who sorts the wastes at their facility for recycling. This sorting into the various categories required by Korean law and regulation, such as metals, plastics, glass, and paper is part of the waste contract. In fact, the recycling makes the contract much more cost efficient to the U.S. government since the waste contractor receives money for the recyclable materials and can then bid a smaller cost for the waste pick-up service. It is estimated that the waste contract costs about 20 percent less because of the recycling.
Even if we were to establish numerous waste bins to segregate recyclable materials at the point of waste generation, in what is known as 'source separation', we would still need people to verify that the wastes are properly categorized and separated, as well as needing multi-compartment trucks.
Our current contract includes this service, at a cost savings to us. In addition, compliance with the Korean regulations can be complex, so we rely on our licensed contractor to make the decisions as to what can be recycled and under which category.
In addition to ordinary waste, hazardous wastes are also handled by a different licensed contractor. The contractor picks up hazardous wastes and materials, including petroleum, oil, lubricants, battery electrolyte, vehicle batteries, antifreeze, light bulbs, paints, chemicals, and metals for recycling. The POL and other materials are sold through the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office for recycling at commercial activities; the antifreeze is recycled and returned to the HAZMART located on Camp Castle North for free distribution to unit motor pools.
So, the answer to the writer of the ICE comment is: "we do recycle here." It is a very efficient program, but there are plans to expand the program to include separation of clean office paper from other wastes.