HomeNewsArticle Display

Recycling center expanding operations to include housing

Billy McCasland prepares paper collected from recycling bins located throughout the base for processing. The recycling center generates revenue by selling processed material to local paper mills.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Adam Bond)

Billy McCasland prepares paper collected from recycling bins located throughout the base for processing. The recycling center generates revenue by selling processed material to local paper mills. (U.S. Air Force photo by Adam Bond)

Recycling center director Robert Marks maneuvers a towering stack of cardboard bales to a staging area behind the recycling center.   (U.S. Air Force photo by Adam Bond)

Recycling center director Robert Marks maneuvers a towering stack of cardboard bales to a staging area behind the recycling center. (U.S. Air Force photo by Adam Bond)

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. -- Since the Keesler Recycling Center began in 1995, it has kept many thousands of tons of recyclables out of landfills and put it back into material use.

The recycling center is operated by three workers and processes all of its own material right on base. Robert Marks, recycling center manager, estimates that the recycling center processes some 1,200 tons of recyclables each year.

"The goal is to lessen the landfill burden as much as possible," Mr. Marks said. "Air Education and Training Command has placed Keesler on a 40 percent recycle limit. This means that 40 percent of all landfill items must be recycled."

To help achieve this goal, bins have been placed throughout the base and a 24-hour line of bins has been set up along the recycling center's fence. Recyclable materials include paper, cardboard, toner cartridges, metal, aluminum, plastic, glass, wood and electronic devices. Items that can't be processed include waxed cardboard and paper, tobacco containers, carbon and biodegradable papers.

Environmentally hazardous waste materials such as batteries and light bulbs won't be accepted at the recycling center but should be handed over to the environmental office.

According to Mr. Marks, the recycling center generates $130,000 per year in cost savings to the base by selling processed material to area paper mills and scrap metal facilities.

Currently, the recycling center collects recyclable items from on-base facilities only. However, beginning July 1, waste and recycling from base housing are being consolidated into one program.

"Recycling is everyone's job, not just mine," said Mr. Marks.

The recycling center, located at Building 4004 on Chappie James Avenue, is open 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

For more information, call 377-4546.