By Connor Wolanski, Army Flier Contributing WriterJuly 12, 2012
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (July 12, 2012) -- Fort Rucker is taking its recycling program to the next level with the introduction of a machine that will save the post both money and landfill space.
The disintegrator, located at the recycling center on the corner of Minute Man Street and Third Avenue, will be going into operation within a week or two.
"The disintegrator is an industrial-sized paper shredder," said Ralph Hawn, security specialist with the security division of the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security. "It's built for classified, secret material," he added, referring to what is commonly known as personally identifiable information, or PII.
While the disintegrator is certainly a boon for all of Fort Rucker's residents, not just anyone can walk into the Recycling Center and use this machine.
"You've got to have a little bit of training," said Hawn. "People who want to use it can schedule through our office, in Bldg. 5700, and if it's their first time using it we'll show them how to turn it on safely and how to avoid any accidents."
Hawn added that several organizations around post have already requested use of the disintegrator and he expects it to become available for use by mid-July.
"Right now I'm working on getting the instructions finished up and posted," said Hawn. "Safety's already been down to look at it."
Getting the disintegrator to the Recycling Center was no easy feat, according to Hawn, but the machine should start to pay dividends soon after going into regular operation.
"The goal is for the environmental folks and the recycling folks to get a contract with a company that can sell [compressed paper] to make money back for the installation," he said.
"If you can do that, then you eliminate the trucks needed to transport paper to the landfill, you're saving on fuel, and you don't have the personnel transporting paper to the landfill -- so the machine is then paying for itself."
The local environment will also benefit from the disintegrator's usage.
"This will reduce the total volume of paper that goes into the landfill by 90 percent," said Hawn. "One and one-half recycling bins of disintegrator-compressed paper is equivalent to five bins and four large cardboard boxes full of shredded paper -- so you're saving quite a bit of room."
In addition to the paper shredder proper, the disintegrator also boasts a CD and DVD destroyer and a degausser, which eliminates unwanted magnetic fields and also has a hard drive destruction unit to safely dispose of sensitive material.
Future additions and improvements to the disintegrator are still a possibility. In particular, Hawn shared that he hopes to acquire one piece of equipment for the disintegrator that functions like a large magnet, removing small bits of metal from the compressed paper to purify it and make it more valuable to companies interested in buying.
To contact DPTMS's security division to set up training for disintegrator use, call (334) 255-3542 or visit the office in Bldg. 5700, Rm. 275. The office is open Mondays through Fridays from 7:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.