Recycling pays off

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Deanna Muir
  • 23rd Wing Public Affairs
Recycling empowers individuals to reduce waste, conserve resources and contribute to a sustainable and environmentally-friendly society. As a military base with an average of 41.5 tons of recycled materials a month, practicing recycling habits is key to maintaining a clean and organized installation.

Moody Air Force Base’s recycling program aims to do their part by accepting, sorting and recycling scrap metals, cardboard, paper, magazines, books and aluminum, to increase responsible waste disposal. From old home appliances to mountains of unneeded paperwork, every member of Team Moody is encouraged to play a part in the reduce, reuse, recycle effort.

“Recycling is everyone’s responsibility," said Elvis Lane, 23rd Civil Engineer Squadron environmental specialist. "(Recycling should be) an everyday occurrence in their life, when they wake up in the morning, it's the environment they live in – so make your environment better by doing the right things.”

Moody does its part by in that effort from the recycling center having a Memorandum of Understanding with off-base services to manage recycling the items sorted, and, in-turn, Moody receives 2% of the profits made. The revenue earned from recycling is then used for maintenance and upkeep of equipment, whether it be forklifts or industrial-sized shredders.

“Everything we do is on the behalf of taxpayers,” said Col. Michael Gallagher, 23rd Mission Support Group commander. “The more efficient we can be with any of the resources that we have, is important. We do produce a lot of waste on this base, so any element of recycling that can be reclaimed or reused is a win.”

Along with the revenue earned from the MOU, Moody also has a Qualified Recycling Program allowing the base to recycle brass collected from the range at Combat Arms Training and Maintenance and sell it to bring money back to the base.

According to Lane, it takes approximately three years for Moody to accumulate 38-40,000 pounds of brass, and when the weight requirement is reached, a company will bid to remove it. Last year, Moody sold the brass for $110,000 which allowed the recycling center to acquire a new – much needed – forklift to continue their efforts.

“Any amount of recycling that we do is going to be good for the environment,” Gallagher said. “It's going to limit the waste that we generate and potentially garner us some proceeds down the way that can bring things on base that are beneficial to everybody.”

With bins for paper, cans and cardboard located throughout the base and frequent collection days, personnel are encouraged to use recycling bins and properly sort materials at an individual level within their units.
“We’re at the lowest level, so it’s our responsibility to recycle,” Lane said. “No matter what's going on in the world, we just concentrate on keeping the earth clean and our environment clean.”

The recycling center is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8 a.m.- 2 p.m. For more information on how to contribute to the recycling effort call 229-257-1993.