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Trash talk: recycling center reduces waste

The 19th Civil Engineer Squadron Recycling Center on Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., helps prevent millions of tons of recyclable items from going into landfills daily by educating base personnel on proper waste management. The self-funded design allows all proceeds from recycled items to be put back into the program. (U.S. Air Force graphic by Airman 1st Class Grace Nichols)

The 19th Civil Engineer Squadron Recycling Center on Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., helps prevent millions of tons of recyclable items from going into landfills daily by educating base personnel on proper waste management. The self-funded design allows all proceeds from recycled items to be put back into the program. (U.S. Air Force graphic by Airman 1st Class Grace Nichols)

The 19th Civil Engineer Squadron Recycling Center on Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, contributes to the prevention of millions of tons of recyclable items from going into landfills daily by educating base personnel on proper waste management.

On Oct. 31, 1991, President George H. Bush signed an executive order declaring that all federal agencies will promote cost-effective waste reduction and recycling of reusable materials from waste generated by federal government activities.

Since then, Team Little Rock personnel have worked to save money and reduce waste at the base recycling center.

The self-funded design allows all proceeds from recycled items to be put back into the program. The team promotes recycling awareness and encourages members to not dismiss even one aluminum can.

"People often think that one soda can doesn't matter," said Ronnie Shaw, 19th CES Qualified Recycling Program manager. "Even if only half of the base population drinks soda and recycles the can daily, we could earn approximately $25,000 toward recycling annually and keep approximately 75,000 pounds of aluminum out of the landfill yearly."

The base may be fined every time banned items such as car batteries are improperly disposed of. By diverting those items from being thrown away, the center helps save money that could otherwise be essentially sent to the landfill.

Patrons are encouraged to pre-sort items before bringing them to the facility by keeping white paper separate from colored paper, such as sticky notes or documents with colored logos.

Additionally, a self-service shredder is available for paper with Personally Identifiable Information and For Official Use Only documents.

"The purpose of the facility is to prevent recyclable materials from ending up in landfills," said Wally Garron, 19th CES Recycling Center warehouse manager. "We're going to run out of land one of these days, we have to change things now to prevent that."

For more information about recycling, contact the 19th CES Recycling Center at (501) 987-6611.