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Recycling center helps environment

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. -- Several plastic jugs are loaded into a recycle bin for transport as recyclables are organized April 11, 2011. The recycling center accepts materials from paper and aluminum to plastic. For each category of recyclable material there are different sections that should be separated, such as colored and clear plastics.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kenny Holston)(Released)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. -- Several plastic jugs are loaded into a recycle bin for transport as recyclables are organized April 11, 2011. The recycling center accepts materials from paper and aluminum to plastic. For each category of recyclable material there are different sections that should be separated, such as colored and clear plastics. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kenny Holston)(Released)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. -- Jennifer Weber, wife of 1st Lt. Christopher Weber, 509th Medical Support Squadron and son Gabe Weber recycle plastic at Whiteman’s Recycling Center April 11, 2011. Airmen and their families using the recycling center can help save thousands of dollars by keeping trash companies from having to pick up the waste while also helping the Air Force stay eco-friendly. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kenny Holston)(Released)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. -- Jennifer Weber, wife of 1st Lt. Christopher Weber, 509th Medical Support Squadron and son Gabe Weber recycle plastic at Whiteman’s Recycling Center April 11, 2011. Airmen and their families using the recycling center can help save thousands of dollars by keeping trash companies from having to pick up the waste while also helping the Air Force stay eco-friendly. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kenny Holston)(Released)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. -- Recycling bins are set in place as members of the Whiteman Recycling Center prepare to sort out recyclables April 11, 2011. The recycling center accepts materials from paper and aluminum to plastic. For each category of recyclable material there are different sections that should be separated, such as colored and clear plastics. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kenny Holston)(Released)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. -- Recycling bins are set in place as members of the Whiteman Recycling Center prepare to sort out recyclables April 11, 2011. The recycling center accepts materials from paper and aluminum to plastic. For each category of recyclable material there are different sections that should be separated, such as colored and clear plastics. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kenny Holston)(Released)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. -- Members of the Whiteman Recycling Center transport recycling containers to organize recycled materials April 11, 2011. Airmen and their families using the recycling center they help save thousands of dollars by keeping trash companies from having to pick up the waste while also helping the Air Force stay eco-friendly. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kenny Holston)(Released)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. -- Members of the Whiteman Recycling Center transport recycling containers to organize recycled materials April 11, 2011. Airmen and their families using the recycling center they help save thousands of dollars by keeping trash companies from having to pick up the waste while also helping the Air Force stay eco-friendly. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kenny Holston)(Released)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. -- Members of the Whiteman Recycling Center empty shredded paper from a dumpster April 11, 2011. The recycling center accepts materials from paper and aluminum to plastic. For each category of recyclable material there are different sections that should be separated, such as colored and clear plastics. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kenny Holston)(Released)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. -- Members of the Whiteman Recycling Center empty shredded paper from a dumpster April 11, 2011. The recycling center accepts materials from paper and aluminum to plastic. For each category of recyclable material there are different sections that should be separated, such as colored and clear plastics. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kenny Holston)(Released)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. -- Mr. Mark Davis, head supervisor at Whiteman’s Recycling Center leans against a recycling dumpster while waiting for the next load of recyclables to arrive April 11, 2011. Airmen and their families using the recycling center can help save thousands of dollars by keeping trash companies from having to pick up the waste while also helping the Air Force stay eco-friendly. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kenny Holston)(Released)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. -- Mr. Mark Davis, head supervisor at Whiteman’s Recycling Center leans against a recycling dumpster while waiting for the next load of recyclables to arrive April 11, 2011. Airmen and their families using the recycling center can help save thousands of dollars by keeping trash companies from having to pick up the waste while also helping the Air Force stay eco-friendly. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kenny Holston)(Released)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. -- Located in an understated, quiet area with more than 20 metal bins and several parked trucks, it would be easy to assume this square lot is just another working site.

The lot, however, is a way this Air Force Global Strike Command base continues to do its part to help the Air Force stay eco-friendly. It helps not only the base and the community but also the earth.

The recycling center is where trash is turned into cash. Thousands of dollars are saved by recycling instead of having trash companies haul away our junk.

Mark Davis, recycling center supervisor here, said during the 2009-2010 fiscal year the recycling center processed more than 560 tons of recyclable material, which would have cost more than $12,000 to be hauled away by a trash company, and was sold for $90,248 to outside companies.

There are three ways Team Whiteman members can recycle. They can drop off their recyclable materials at the corner of 3rd Street and McConnell Avenue on base, at a trailer in the Whiteman Commissary parking lot (currently located west of the Whiteman Exchange due to parking lot under construction until June), or at designated drop-off points and have the recycle center members pick it up.

Mr. Davis said it's a win-win situation. The revenue collected is deposited into a specific account from which the expenses of the program are paid and some goes to morale, welfare and recreation projects on base. Additionally, it is a way everyone can help keep our environment cleaner.

"It's a harsh truth but we are eventually going to run out of resources on earth, so it's important for us to do our best to make them last as long as possible," Mr. Davis said. "By recycling we are re-using materials instead of producing new ones."

The recycling center accepts different materials, from paper and aluminum to plastic. For each category of recyclable material there are different sections that should be separated, such as colored and clear plastics.

Mr. Davis, a 40-year recycler, has worked in the recycling center for more than eight years and said he is amazed at how committed people are to recycling.

"Rain or shine, they bring their material," Mr. Davis said. "It would be great to see more of that commitment go around."

Anyone with base access can bring their recyclables to the recycling center. It is open 24 hours a day for drop off, and personnel are available from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Patrons are asked to follow instructions before dropping off their recyclables because it makes the sorting process easier, and customers are encouraged to clean their recyclables prior to recycling.