Expanded recycling program better for environment, deployed troops Published Nov. 7, 2011 By Master Sgt. Chance Babin 380th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNS) -- An expanded recycling program at the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing offers deployed troops more opportunities to be better stewards of the earth, while also benefitting morale, welfare and recreation programs here. Officials awarded a new comprehensive contract Oct. 1 that expands the 380th AEW recycling program by adding new features and providing more colored bins and dumpsters throughout the wing. "The new features include adding the recovery of glass and increasing the rate of return on sales of recyclable items from 40 to 60 percent," said Curt Williams, the environmental program manager for the 380th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron. The contract will also expand the area of coverage to encompass the entire wing and combines refuse removal as well as the removal of construction debris, recyclables and hazardous waste all in one contract, Williams said. The new program ensures there will be collection bins closer to all dormitories, offices and shops making it easier for 380th AEW members to dispose of items properly. Personnel will see more white collection dumpsters for shredded white paper and more tan dumpsters for flattened cardboard plus new red recycling bins for glass bottles, Williams said. The dark blue dumpsters throughout the base will still be used for trash, and orange dumpsters will still be used for construction debris. Bay chiefs, shop chiefs and office chiefs will still be responsible for appointing personnel to empty the bins as needed and dispose of bagged items in the correct colored bins and dumpsters. Not only is the recycling program better for the environment, it has a direct impact on the wing personnel, Williams said. "There is a 60 percent return of all revenues back to the base to the (morale, welfare and recreation) non-appropriated fund account," Williams said. This is why it is so important that all base personnel do their part to participate in the program. Foreign items, such as cigarette butts and food wastes when mixed with the recyclable items, degrade from the value of recyclable items. Instead of letting our waste be dumped in a local landfill, Williams said, we are separating items that can be recycled, getting these marketable items to recycle vendors and putting money back into programs that benefit our folks.