Base recycling center is doing its part

16 Aug 2007 | Lance Cpl. Thomas Hermesman,

Recycling is one of the biggest environmental success stories of the last 20 years, helping to save our ecosystems and preserve the Earth’s balance of life.

This is why Camp Lejeune, with the help of the Material Recovery Facility off Piney Green Road, is working to recycle as much waste material as possible.

“We recycle newspapers, white papers, shredded paper, plastics 1, 2, and 3, aluminum cans and cardboard,” said Joseph Powers, recycle and landfill manager of the Camp Lejeune Material Recovery Facility.

The center has placed dumpsters for both cardboard and paper around Camp Lejeune, Camp Geiger, Camp Johnson and New River Air Station. These dumpsters are in addition to the more than 1,500 recycling bins that are serviced each week, said Powers.

“We have trucks that go out to the dumpster sites and empty the containers daily,” said Powers.

The center loads about five tons of paper and cardboard a week. Cardboard and paper is formed into large bails by a bailing machine, which is then sold by the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office to various companies.

Garbage materials are not the only thing the recycling center reprocesses for use. Scrap lumber and wood is taken to the center and ground up into wood chips. After the wood is processed, the chips are sold to warehouse plants to use for power, said Powers.

Also, when buildings around base are demolished the rubble is pounded and smashed into gravel. The gravel is then used to pave roads and tank trails all around base, explained Powers.

Another way the center helps cut down trash is by processing yard waste and garden compost materials produced from lawn up-keep and landscaping. The material is ground up and made into a type of very fertile potting soil used by both the base and given free to anyone who wants it.

The center is open five days a week, and also has a 24-hour dump site in front of the facility for recycling.

For more information on the recycling center or the services it offers call 451-4214.