Recycling, your responsibility

by Airmen 1st Class Keith James, 18th Wing Public Affairs
Kadena Air Base

KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- Recycling is the responsibility of everyone here, and understanding the proper methods to recycle is vital.

Saving more than $1 million annually by recycling, Kadena conserves its natural resources and prevents the need to mine new resources which increases carbon emissions that destroys our natural habitats.

A year after the implementation of the new recycling, refuse policy, Kadena has produced results.

"Right now we are recycling at about 45 percent," said Vincent Adams, 718th Civil Engineering Squadron solid waste manager. "Our shared goal between workers on Kadena and residents in military housing is 55 percent by 2015 and 65 percent by 2020."

While continuing to follow that policy of properly separating recyclables and trash into clear trash bags it's important to know where each type of recyclable goes.

Recyclable materials should be separated into the following groups: plastics (including styrofoam); metals and glass; white paper; mixed paper, shredded paper separate from non-shredded (magazines, mail, cereal/soda boxes, books, newspapers, food can labels as long as it doesn't have plastic or bubble wrap attached) green waste (leaves and grass) and corrugated cardboard.

Items such as automotive batteries; electronic waste; large scrap metal pieces like lawnmowers (gas and oil drained), bicycles (tires and seat removed) BBQ grills (cleaned out); cooking oil in original container (used or unused); and tree branches less than 6 feet in length can be left curbside or taken to the recycle center (located at building 871 near Karing Kennels).

Adams also stressed the importance of cleaning and peeling off labels on cans, plastic bottles and containers.

Tires, propane tanks, motor oil, antifreeze and filters should be taken to an auto hobby shop or an Army and Air Force Exchange Service Station. Paint and excess household chemicals, toner cartridges, fluorescent bulbs, and batteries can be taken to an Eagle Hardware self-help facility.

"By recycling, Kadena is saving money, and generating funds for future environmental and energy initiatives which further reduce costs and pollution," he said. "The key is becoming more aware of the items we are buying so that we have less waste to begin with."

For more information on how to recycle or  about the refuse and recycling program, contact the Kadena Recycling Center at 634-2833 or the 718th CES environmental office at 634-5425 or 2600. You can also visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/KadenaRecyclingProgram.

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