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Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany

Readiness Enabler for Operational Forces  •
Recycling Program ensures tomorrow ;

By Cpl. Phuong Chau | | December 12, 2002

Sunlight heats the earth to intolerable conditions. Rising oceans push coastlines inland. Landscapes, bare and desolate, show little signs of wildlife. Four seasons seem like two, with the only recognizable weather being a hot summer and a freezing winter. The disturbing picture can remain a fictional image if people take care of the environment today.

Recycling programs such as the one on base is one way for those living today to safeguard a planet for tomorrow's generations.

Anyone can figure out that it is more efficient to recycle materials than to spend $25 for every ton of garbage sent to a landfill. With the Marine Corps giving the United States the biggest bang for its buck, recycling went along with the Corps' natural tendency to be the most efficient fighting force in existence. 

According to Lawson Vann, who is head of the base's Pollution Prevention Program, the Recycling Program is mandated by Marine Corps Order 5090.2A, the Environmental and Compliance and Protection Manual. The order requires the base to reduce waste, conserve raw materials and natural resources and reduce cost. The Base Recycling Program ensures that all base personnel are able to recycle anything that can be recycled.

Many people may picture base employees processing recycled materials using highly technical equipment, but that is not the entire picture. Actually what transpires is mainly just old-fashioned commercial business. Recycling personnel collect materials such as newspapers, aluminum and steel cans and corrugated cardboard from daily and weekly pickups in base housing and from recyclable containers throughout the base. Some of the materials are processed on base, such as crushing glass, steel drums, oil filters and aerosol cans. The corrugated cardboard pieces are lashed together into 1,200-pound bales. About 14 bales of cardboard are collected every six weeks from the base.

The materials that are not processed here are transported to recycling companies who purchase them from the base. Some materials, such as plastic, cannot be sold, but recycling personnel are working in conjunction with the city that collects the plastics. Money gained from the sale of recycled materials goes to fund the Base Recycling Program.

According to Vann, this combines for the base to recycle an average of 500 tons of materials annually.

Recycling may seem like hard work, and it is, said Vann, who feels that the success of the Recycling Program is due to the diligence of base personnel who drive the program.

"People aboard MCLB are very recycle-conscious, whether it's those at housing, base personnel or the industrial section," said Vann.

The base has close to 100 percent participation, and Vann encourages everyone to continue the strong environmental awareness.

"I think this is why the Recycling Program here is a success," said Vann.