Recycling has reached across the nation, to homes, apartments, institutions and the U.S. military. One location in particular is Moody Air Force Base in Valdosta, Georgia, which is turning a fledgling program into an example of recycling initiative.
In early summer, 1990, because of his personal environmental interests, Lieutenant Colonel Jon Lindsay suggested that the base start a multimaterial recycling program. Coincidentally, the Air Force Division of Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) offered a plan for starting such a program. As in most instances of perfect timing, Lt. Colonel Lindsay has helped to institute a comprehensive multimaterial recycling program on the base that includes steel and aluminum cans, glass containers, office paper, computer paper, cardboard and plastic.
The program currently provides a central collection area to which the various organizations on the base (divisions and offices) bring the recyclable materials. “At some point in the future,” said Lt. Colonel Lindsay, who is Chairman of the Recycling Committee, “we may have collection facilities at various locations on the base, and we’re considering curbside
collection for the housing units here as well. For now, we’re making great progress, with the support of our volunteer base Recycling Committee, individuals, and our Wing and Group leaders, who strongly favor this environmental program and are helping to promote it.”
Steel cans are being collected from various base locations, especially food and beverage service areas. Lt. Colonel Lindsay anticipates that a collection receptacle will be placed at the dining hall kitchen for containers used in food service, such as steel cans.
The Recycling Committee has raised awareness through the base newspaper, bulletin boards, interpersonal communication, letters and the support of other departments and base leadership personnel. This program is voluntary - on the base and throughout the Air Force.
While base personnel currently conduct the program, the base will shortly contract with the Air Force Defense Reutilization and Marketing Organization (DRMO) so that materials will be collected from the base by a hauler. The DRMO currently conducts the Air Force’s scrap metal recycling programs - such as for bulk ferrous metals.
“We’re looking at a number of future developments,” said Lt. Colonel Lindsay, “including educational programs for children, and working with the community of Valdosta. Right now, our program is helping to divert solid waste from the area’s landfill - if we can work with the community, I believe that we can jointly divert even more material and significantly extend landfill life. As individual consumers and as part of the Air Force structure, we know that what we once called trash is now a resource.”