Kadena implements new recycling, refuse policy
U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Bridger Staker, 18th Component Maintenance Squadron avionics intermediate technician, grabs a box of clear trash bags while shopping at the Exchange on Kadena Air Base, Japan, Sept. 23, 2013. Beginning Oct. 1, Kadena Air Base will implement a new recycling policy which will make it mandatory for work centers and military family housing residents to separate all waste. Under the new policy, members will be required to use clear plastic bags and properly sort refuse and recycling materials. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Amber E. N. Jacobs)
by Staff Sgt. Amber E. N. Jacobs
18th Wing Public Affairs
9/24/2013 - KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- Beginning Oct. 1, Kadena Air Base will implement a new recycling policy which will make it mandatory for work centers and military family housing residents to separate all waste.
Under the new policy, members will be required to use clear plastic bags and properly sort refuse and recycling materials.
"Kadena has already been using clear bags for the recyclables, but now members will need to use them for the trash," said Vince Adams, 718th Civil Engineer Squadron solid waste manager. "We hope to get people to think about how much recyclables they are actually throwing away verses how much they are throwing into a recycling bin."
The updated policy will hold residents and work centers responsible for their adherence to the new standard for properly disposing of waste materials.
"The immediate change to the community is more accountability for ensuring your recyclable items are separated from your trash," said Kelly Livingston, 718th CES asset management flight chief. "If you don't recycle, your trash will not be picked up."
The new policy is the result of high refuse disposal costs, totaled approximately $5.7 million during fiscal 2012, while the recycling program generated $983,104 with a 22 percent recycling diversion rate.
"As our recycling rates increase, we will drive down the costs for the installation," Livingston said. "The recycling program, will generate additional revenue, and we will be able to provide more resources to the community."
The money the recycling program saves the installation annually will be used to improve the recycling program as well as other programs throughout the base.
"We will be able to use the money we save to improve the recycling program," Adams said. "We can also use it for other environmental projects to reduce energy, and at the end of the year we can give back to the (Morale, Welfare and Recreation) MWR program."
Recyclable materials should be separated into the following groups: plastics (including styrofoam); metals and glass; white paper; mixed paper (magazines, mail, cereal/soda boxes, books, newspapers, food can labels, etc.); and green waste (leaves and grass).
The following items do not require bagging and can be left curbside or taken to the recycle center (located at building 871 near Karing Kennels): cooking oil in original container (used or unused); automotive batteries; electronic waste; large scrap metal pieces; flattened cardboard; and tree branches less than 6 feet in length.
Tires, propane tanks, motor oil, antifreeze and filters should be taken to an auto hobby shop or an Army and Air Force Exchange Service Station. Paint and excess household chemicals, toner cartridges, fluorescent bulbs, and batteries can be taken to an Eagle Hardware self-help facility. Batteries may also be placed in specifically-labeled bins at the Kadena Exchange front entrance.
For more information about the refuse and recycling program, contact the Kadena Recycling Center at 634-2833 or the 718th CES environmental office at 634-5425 or 2600. You can also visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/KadenaRecyclingProgram.