Servicemembers expand war on waste
By PFC. Sullivan Laramie
| | January 30, 2013
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Marines and sailors with 2nd Marine Logistics Group ramped up their fight on waste in a recent move to improve recycling efforts here.
Base Order 5090.17 directed all servicemembers to participate in the Qualified Recycling Program, which contains basic guidelines for recycling.
The unit joined forces with the base’s Environmental Management Division, or EMD, to develop a plan to make on-base recycling easier. It is EMD’s goal to promote mission readiness by actively seeking out and implementing strategies to promote the efficient use of resources.
The base’s initiative is geared toward the reduction of solid waste sent to its landfill by 50 percent. Second MLG’s new project will put individual residents on the front lines of Camp Lejeune’s efforts.
“We recycle when we’re at home,” said Gunnery Sgt. Ethan J. Mahoney, a Fairmount, Ind., native and the environmental compliance coordinator for 2nd MLG. “A lot of Marines grew up recycling, but once they get to the barracks there’s no real way to recycle. It’s very vague on how they’re supposed to do it, so we put recycling containers in every room in the barracks, and we have recycling dumpsters around 2nd MLG’s [work spaces and barracks].”
The processed recycled materials are collected and sold to help pay for the recycling program and other pollution prevention projects on base. However, the effectiveness of recycling efforts decreases when plastic trash bags are also placed in the recycling containers. The bags, which are not recyclable, contaminate the loads and reduce the value of collected materials.
In January 2013, 2nd MLG assisted the EMD with setting up dumpsters with signs to identify the different types of recyclables and directions on how they should be separated among the containers. The different types include cardboard, glass and plastic bottles.
The unit currently has 21 recycling containers spread throughout its areas of operation here. The goal is to have a total of 39 containers, and the project may expand even further in the near future.
“Gauged on the success of this pilot program with the 2nd MLG and the [amount of recycled materials] we’re generating, we’ll try to move this beyond the 2nd MLG and take it out to the entire force,” said Capt. Brian D. Woodall, a Norwood, N.C., native and the deputy director of EMD. “This is a good way for us to see how it’s going to work, get everything in order so we can facilitate it, and push it out beyond the group.”
The program’s managers are also walking around work spaces and living quarters encouraging the Marines and sailors to participate in the recycling efforts.
“Once we get [the servicemembers] to understand their responsibilities to the environment, it will really take off,” said Mahoney.