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Fort Rucker makes recycling easy

Marcus Stanford, recycling technician, sorts and deposits electronics into a container at the Fort Rucker Recycling Center. (Photo by Jeremy Henderson)

Marcus Stanford, recycling technician, sorts and deposits electronics into a container at the Fort Rucker Recycling Center. (Photo by Jeremy Henderson)

Published: September 25, 2014

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (September 25, 2014) -- Fort Rucker’s Recycling Center processes a wide range of materials to help reduce waste and maximize the community’s efforts to “think green.”

According to Melissa Lowlavar, Fort Rucker environmental management branch chief, recycling is an investment in the future.

“Recycling as much as possible will ensure that our children’s children have all the resources they need to live on this planet,” she said.

“A simple way Families can stress the importance of recycling to their children is by letting them have an active role,” she added. “Let your children wash out the plastic bottles.  Let them segregate the paper, cardboard and other items into designated containers.  Let them help deliver your recyclables to the Recycling Center.  Tell them that what they are doing is helping the earth.”

A simple Internet search reveals several educational tools to help foster a deeper understanding of recycling and its benefits, Lowlavar said.

Matt McGee, Corvias Military Living community management director, said Soldiers and Families on post have easy access to recycling containers and the convenience of curbside pickup.

“Each home on post comes with a 35-gallon rolling-recycling container that is picked up every Monday, and the program is free to use and no sign up is necessary,” he said. “Corvias uses MDI (Mark Dunning Industries, Inc.) to pick up all on-post housing recyclables.

“The materials that are allowed in each container are: aluminum, steel and tin cans; cardboard; paper bags; books; No. 1 and 2 plastic bottles; any type of paper; and pizza boxes,” he added. “We also recycle appliances, HVAC units and other metal items utilizing a local recycling provider. If residents have metal items, such as a barbecue grill, they can call the community office to learn how they can have it recycled.”

According to McGee, since April 2006, Corvias residents have recycled about 1,575 tons of material. But not all things can be dropped into the recycling containers.

“Things that cannot go in the container are plastic bags, Styrofoam, yard waste, wax cartons and glass,” he said. “Residents can put those items in their regular garbage bins.”

According to Lowlavar, an incentive program is available for government organizations that have a Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation fund account.

The program pays organizations with DFMWR funds for bringing segregated recyclables to the recycling center. The type and quantity of materials turned in each quarter determines amounts. Materials included are aluminum cans, plastic bottles, paper and cardboard. Unsegregated materials and materials picked up by the center do not count towards earned credits in the program. See EMS-WI-SW011, QRP Incentive Program, for detailed information about the program.

Although the Recycling Center accommodates a wide range of materials, some items require special care and are handled by the hazardous material control center.

“The list of household trash that would be considered hazardous materials is very lengthy,” Lowlavar said. “It includes items such as (some cleaners), bleach and latex paint. The best thing to do with these items is to use the entire product for its intended purpose. If this is not feasible, individuals should try to find a proper disposal location.

“On post, individuals may use the HMCC for items that they collect,” she added. “Also, home improvement stores take back some hazardous material items.  Also, some manufacturers will take back unused portions of their product.”

Residents on post must adhere to additional guidelines for the disposal of the following items:

Used Antifreeze — Collect in a plastic container with a lid, label as “used antifreeze” and turn in to the Fort Rucker Hazardous Material Control Center (598-1311) for recycling.

Used Batteries — Collect used batteries and turn them into the HMCC for recycling. Users must properly separate some batteries (lithium, ni-cad, mercury, nickel metal hydride, and silver-zinc) to prevent short-circuiting during storage and transportation by either placing batteries in the original inner package, taping the positive end of the batteries, or by using plastic “baggies” to separate individual batteries.

Used Oil — Collect used oil in a container with a lid, label the container “Used Oil” and transfer to a collection tank. The DFMWR Auto Craft Center at Building 1902 can be used if no tank is located nearby. Do not leave containers of used oil unattended. Make sure the used oil is properly poured into the collection tank and the lid to the collection tank is closed.

Fluorescent Light Bulbs — Used fluorescent bulbs have special labeling requirements - contact DPW-ENRD for labels or information. Collect in original boxes and take to HMCC. The HMCC (598-1311) will issue a receipt that can be used at the Base Supply Store for new bulbs.

This article was originally published at

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