Commander asks for effort in recycling more on base

  • Published
  • By Brig. Gen. David Harris
  • 96th Test Wing commander
The decision you make with an empty soda can makes a big difference to Eglin's operational costs.

Nov. 15 is America Recycles Day. In celebration of that day, Eglin will host a number of events detailed below; therefore, please give the following some thought - we have an opportunity to save more than half a million dollars annually if we make a stronger effort to recycle right here.

Our pollution prevention managers in the 96th Civil Engineer Group are constantly analyzing what we throw away. This analysis has determined we dispose of an equal amount of recyclable material as we capture. At least 50 percent of Eglin's annual waste stream total of 6,000 tons is recyclable materials. These recyclable materials include white office paper, cardboard, scrap metal, aluminum cans and many others that are simply being thrown away and hauled off to landfills to be buried instead of being recycled.

It costs Eglin $164 per ton to dispose of our trash. Conversely, Eglin gets paid an average of $257 for every ton we recycle. Simple math shows us if we are throwing away 2,000 tons of recyclable materials each year, Eglin is paying $200,000 a year for disposal of items that could be recycled. That same 2,000 tons, when recycled, can generate $368,000 in revenue for the recycling program. When you combine the $200,000 cost and the $368,000 in revenue we get up to a $568,000 boost to our operating budget. That's a big improvement for a simple effort.

We do have a federal law that mandates we recycle; however, with the potential budget boost mentioned above, it's clearly the right thing for Eglin for multiple reasons. It's so easy to do. All facilities should have recycling collection points near workcenters for the most common items like office paper, cans and mixed paper.

Eglin's recycling program generates about $350,000 in revenue each year. The opportunity to increase our recycling revenue to the point where our program is completely self-sustained and be able to use any surplus revenue towards other Eglin projects is there. To achieve this we must change our culture and that starts with each of us individually.

One of the ways you can start to spread awareness is to participate in one of Eglin's Recycling Day events. Beginning Nov. 12 through Dec. 6, the Eglin Recycling Center will sponsor an aluminum can recycling contest for all units with the winner being determined by total weight of cans collected divided by number of personnel in the organization.

Win the contest and your unit will get a check for $500 just in time for the holidays to spend as you like. There will also be $300 second place and $200 third place prizes.
On Nov. 14, an America Recycles Day 5K Fun Run will be held at Weekly Pond with donated prizes from Eglin's Main Exchange for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd for both men and women categories, and on Nov. 15, take some time to visit Recycling and Energy displays at the Main Exchange from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

To find out more information, or to sign up for any of these activities, contact Eglin's Qualified Recycling Program manager, Mike Vannoy, at 882-1856.

We need everyone to contribute. Commanders, supervisors and facility managers, encourage your people to recycle more today and let's stop throwing money out with the trash!