By Ingrid Barrentine/Northwest GuardianJanuary 7, 2011
A change in waste pickup on McChord Field has led to some confusion about what goes into the gray single-cart recycle containers.
As part of the Joint Base Lewis-McChord merger on Oct. 1, 2010, LeMay Incorporated took over McChord Field's waste services contract. In addition to being the solid waste services provider for all of Pierce County, LeMay has been the Lewis Main and North solid waste contractor for several years.
Shelia Albrecht-Martin, the JBLM Public Works solid waste and recycling outreach coordinator, said the new single-stream recycling system is actually easier to use because nearly all recyclables go into the same 90-gallon cart.
"(The new system) mimics what Pierce County does," Albrecht-Martin said. "All of the (accepted) recyclables are going into the cart now. They aren't being processed at the recycle center."
The McChord Field recycling system differences aren't major, but they are distinctive enough to have caused unsightly pile-ups at some curbsides. Notable changes include the following:
Aca,!Ac Pizza boxes: Under the old system, pizza boxes could be placed in the recycle bin. Now they can't, as soiled and greasy paper products contaminate recycling.
Aca,!Ac Glass: Glass is no longer picked up and can't be placed in the single stream carts. Instead, it should be brought to the Lewis Main or McChord Field recycle centers.
Aca,!Ac Household hazardous waste: Light bulbs and batteries are considered HHW. No HHW of any kind can be dropped off at the McChord Field Recycle Center, but should be taken to any Pierce County HHW drop-off location or to Building 1210 on Lewis Main.
Aca,!Ac Toner cartridges: Toner cartridges are no longer picked up by a waste and recycling contractor, but can be recycled at both Lewis Main and McChord Field Recycle centers.
Aca,!Ac Cardboard: Cardboard is collected in separate blue bins to ensure that all cardboard revenue is kept on the installation. What's allowed in the single-cart recycle container is determined by its value, Albrecht-Martin said. If a commodity costs more to recycle then it's worth, then it probably won't be accepted.
According to Albrecht-Martin, cardboard is one of the most lucrative recycling commodities on JBLM. A lot of people don't know about the monetary rewards recycling brings to JBLM, she said.
Nearly 75 percent of the recycling proceeds from 2008 returned to the JBLM community. Programs funded by recycling include the new park and playground at Army Family Covenant Park, the Checkerspot butterfly study project and Jensen Family Health and Fitness Center child-care services.
"One of the biggest misconceptions to point out is just because (an object) has a recycle symbol on the bottom, doesn't mean you can throw it in the recycle bin," she said.
On McChord Field, there are many single stream and cardboard recycling stations where building tenants and barracks residents can bring their recyclables. To make recycling easier, Albrecht-Martin encourages people to order recycling receptacles that can be placed in rooms or under desks and could then be emptied at the larger stations as needed.
Cardboard bins, under-desk recycling bins, and scrap metal recycling bins can be ordered free of charge by contacting Public Works at 253-966-6444 or by going to their website at: http://www.lewis.army.mil/publicworks/sites/services/dumpsters.htm.
JBLM recycle centers information
Location: Building 5290. Across the street from the Commissary, near 12th Street and Nevada Avenue.
Hours of Operation: Monday to Saturday, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed all federal holidays.
Location: Building 516. Past the Exchange and Commissary, on South Gate Road.
Hours of Operation: Tuesday to Saturday, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed all federal holidays.
For more information: Contact the JBLM Outreach Coordinator at 966-6444 or LeMay's Outreach Coordinator at 381-5169.
Ingrid Barrentine: email@example.com