Original Date: 06/23/1997
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Letterkenny Army Depot Recycling Program
The Letterkenny Army Depot (LEAD) Recycling Program was established and developed to recover scrap from waste streams, prevent pollution, and conserve natural resources. The major objective of this program is to provide full reimbursement of funds generated back to the installation. This program has utilized excess buildings and equipment for a successful, award winning recycling/reuse program generating $360 thousand in annual cost avoidance.
The solid waste at LEAD was land filled as garbage until 1989. An employee at the base identified the need to collect land filled materials in source separated containers and identified a market for these commodities. By utilizing an unused building, converting unused wire baskets into recycling bins, and acquiring excess material handling equipment from the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office (DRMO), the foundation of an excellent recycling program was established. To ensure that top market prices were received for the recyclables collected, the program leader chose to store collected materials in baled form. A horizontal baler was purchased to be used for old corrugated cardboard, number 1 and 2 plastics, and aluminum and metal cans. Warehouse space was free; therefore storing large quantities of materials before baling was the best utilization of equipment. At the drive-up collection center, small holes were cut in building walls to allow limited access for recyclables while reducing contamination. Training throughout the base was key to keeping large volumes of clean feed stock. Recycling bins were purchased and distributed base-wide. The custodial services were utilized to transport material from offices to each building’s collection center. Equipment turned in at the DRMO provided a valuable source for material transport vehicles for the recycling center. An excess DRMO tractor trailer allowed LEAD’s recycling program to expand off base and provide recycling drop off/collection centers for three towns within Franklin County. These small communities could not support recycling programs on their own. The 808 tons collected annually in these communities support the volume market prices for LEAD’s program.
Each year, 700 tons of wood scrap at the base are ground into mulch by a large shredder purchased from sales of recyclables. The shredded material is sold for $3 per ton. A lumber sales project was established for good, reusable lumber which collects approximately $600 weekly. More than 12,000 good, reusable pallets are sold each year for reuse. The price for each pallet ranges from $4 to $5.
This program, which has won recognition from the Governor of Pennsylvania, has turned wasted resources into a 1997 projected profit of approximately $500 thousand. The revenues generated from this successful program have been utilized to purchase recycling equipment, safety trailer and equipment, several pieces of equipment for Depot Welfare and Recreation, a break area building for employees, and a lighted welcome marquee at the Depot entrance that often announces the lumber sales bargains. Additionally, requests for instruction from other bases continue to increase.
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