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News > Feature - JBSA-Randolph facility serves as recycling hub
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Gerardo Gutierrez, JBSA-Randolph Recycle Center technician, transfers paper prior to recycling Aug. 8. (U.S. Air Force photo by Don Lindsey/ Released)
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JBSA-Randolph facility serves as recycling hub

Posted 8/15/2013   Updated 8/15/2013 Email story   Print story


by Robert Goetz
Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph Public Affairs

8/15/2013 - JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas -- A memorandum from the office of the undersecretary of defense in February 2008 urged installations to "make every effort to maximize nonhazardous solid waste diversion" to reduce the volume of solid waste disposed and the overall cost of nonhazardous solid waste management.

At Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, the hub of that effort is the recycling center on the far east side.

"We recycle cans, plastic, glass, toner cartridges, paper, cardboard and metals," Clarence Denis, Randolph Recycling Center manager, said. "But we no longer accept electronics; there's not a market for it."

The active-duty members, Department of Defense civilians and contractors who work at Randolph can play a major role in the effort by using bins in their workplaces that store plastic, glass, cans and paper for recycling; bins for cardboard are typically located outside facilities. Recycling center employees collect the items on a regular basis.

"Making the choice to recycle is a matter of personal effort that means taking a few moments to consider what you're getting ready to throw away and determining if it can be recycled and placing the recyclable items in the appropriate large recycling bins in our office areas," David Meyer, 902nd Civil Engineer Squadron contracting officer representative, said. "As a matter of practice, if everyone would adjust to starving the trashcan and feeding the recycling bins, it would help tremendously."

The recycling center, which is operated by contractor Osirus Inc., features an industrial shredder as well as baling machines for shredded paper and cardboard, Denis said. People with personal documents to shred can drop them off at the center for employees to handle or they can personally shred the documents themselves; they may also bring shredded paper for baling.

Sensitive materials, such as Freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act documents, are shredded at the center, Denis said. People can place those documents in the locked bins in their workplaces or bring them to the center.

"But people don't have to shred those documents themselves," he said. "I want everybody at Randolph to trust the recycling center on Privacy Act materials."

The center also offers drop-off capability 24 hours a day; dumpsters for cans, glass, plastic and cardboard are located outside the gates.

All of the items processed at the center are sold to recycling companies, which benefits Randolph and the recycling center, Denis said.

The Randolph Recycling Center, which recycled 1,246 tons in fiscal 2012, is striving to reach the DOD's diversion goal for nonhazardous waste without construction and demolition waste. That goal was 40 percent in 2010 and is increasing 2 percent each year until 2015, Meyer said.

"For fiscal 2012, Randolph had 29.87 percent and for fiscal 2013 so far it's 26.45 percent," he said. "JBSA-wide the percentage is 17.20 percent."

Meyer, who oversees the Integrated Solid Waste Management contract, said it's important for more people to recycle so they can do "the right thing for the environment" and lower the Air Force's solid waste disposal costs.

"For our nation, recycling saves energy and fuel, and reduces greenhouse gases," he said. "The key to our success is using the system we already have in place to its full extent. If we all pitch in we can make a difference."

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