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Whiteman Recycling Center
WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. – Jeff Willming, 509th Force Support Squadron material handler, puts plastic milk cartons in a recycling bin March 29 at the recycling center. Recycling plastic saves twice as much energy as burning it in an incinerator, according to recycling-revolution.com. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Nick Wilson)
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Team Whiteman: Let's go green!

Posted 4/9/2012   Updated 4/9/2012 Email story   Print story


by Senior Airman Nick Wilson
509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs

4/9/2012 - WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. -- On April 22, the 42nd anniversary of Earth Day, people from different continents, ethnic backgrounds and religions will participate in numerous "acts of green" around the globe, according to earthday.org.

In an effort to contribute to this global campaign, the staff members of the Whiteman Air Force Base Recycling Center encourage the community to reduce, reuse and recycle as often as possible.

"The world is going to run out of natural resources someday," said Mark Davis, 509th Force Support Squadron. "Hopefully recycling slows that process down."
Instead of producing extra trash, the base must pay to dispose of, these materials can be recycled to generate revenue. In 2011 Whiteman recycled more than 600 tons of biodegradable waste and earned $170K in revenue.

"We calculate cost avoidance," said Paul Edwards, 509th Civil Engineer Squadron qualified recycling program manager. "It costs us more than $100 a ton to throw trash in the Warrensburg landfill. So if you look at it from that standpoint, it's about $60K that we save the Air Force each year by recycling."

The money earned in revenue initially goes toward operation costs such as worker salaries, equipment and maintenance on vehicles and recycling equipment. Remaining proceeds go to support environmental, safety, energy, morale, welfare and recreation activities.

Materials recycled on base include newspaper, magazines, corrugated cardboard, plastic containers, aluminum cans, scrap metal, printer cartridges, plastic bags and lead acid batteries. Recycling center customers are asked that individual bags of sorted paper, aluminum cans and plastic bottles are either separated and dropped off at the recycling center in the designated bins or placed in any of the bins located near garbage dumpsters.

"Because we're strapped for manpower and money, we rely on customers to sort their materials before turning them in," Davis said.

Customers are urged to go to the recycling center rather than the recycling bin in the Base Exchange parking lot if they have large amounts of materials to recycle. The recycling center is open to Whiteman personnel and is located in building 183, at the corner of 3rd Street and McConnell Avenue.

Recycling Center personnel are available to help customers Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The facility's drop-off bins are available 24/7 for customer convenience.

As Earth Day approaches, Team Whiteman is encouraged to remember how important Mother Nature's resources are, according to Edwards.

"It's a day to sit back and reflect on what we should be doing to take care of the environment," Edwards said. "Everybody needs to be involved, even if it's just having a small container in your house. Every little bit helps."

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