Managing hazardous material on Lejeune

15 Jul 2016 | Lance Cpl. Tavairus Hernandez Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune

Base residents and employees are advised to be cautious in handling hazardous material, such as purchasing only what is needed and disposing of waste appropriately on Marine Corps Installations East-Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune.

"Reducing the quality of toxic and hazardous materials acquired, used or disposed of, is the environmental objective for the hazardous materials and hazardous waste working group," said Anthony Recob, head of resource conservation and recovery section, Environmental Management Division at Camp Lejeune June 8.

Camp Lejeune Environmental Management System personnel designed and implemented a plan to help residents properly utilize and dispose of their hazardous waste and material.

"Tenants aboard the installation should be mindful of managing hazardous material on hand," said Recob. "Always inspect hazardous material shelf life and container integrity, while identifying material that is reaching its expiration date or no longer is needed."

The environmental management division has established a Household Hazardous Material Collection program for active-duty military personnel and dependents residing in base housing units. Residents can bring their old, unused home and garage products and a military ID to the reutilization facility located on Michael Road in Building 977 to ensure proper disposal. Participants will also be able to pick up reusable materials turned in by other participants.

"This year an estimated $270,750 of unused hazardous material has been turned into the Resource Conservation and Recovery Section through curbside service," said Recob. "The Hazardous Material Reutilization Facility redistributed approximately $53,269 worth of hazardous material to Marines, civilian Marines, and tenants aboard the installation."

Chemicals that are flushed down drains, poured onto the ground or washed down storm drains end up poisoning lakes, rivers and streams. In addition, hazardous materials thrown into garbage cans and then placed in landfills can seep into the ground contaminating soil and drinking water supplies. Ultimately, the improper disposal of household hazardous materials may result in detrimental effects on the health of plants, fish, wildlife and people.

"Environmental health and safety are the key factors of hazardous material management," said Recob. "However, the base has an overall issue with this, and it depends on all of us coming together to deal with the problem."