Naval Surface Warfare Center, Indian Head Division - Indian Head, MD
Source reduction is the Navy's top priority for solid waste diversion from landfills. It includes elimination, reuse, substitution, and minimization of products to reduce quantity of waste produced. The Navy's second priority in diverting waste from a landfill is recycling. Although recycling is not new to the management of solid waste, it is gaining wider acceptance as a viable approach to the solid management and disposal problems. If present refuse generation rates continue, the costs for disposal of solid waste will jump dramatically by the year 2000. State mandated recycling goals and increased public awareness are resulting in an increased amount of material being recovered for recycling. Although costs associated with recycling are increasing, recycling is considered to be a worthwhile solid waste management tool even at a net loss in order to conserve landfill space.
Navy policy requires all naval activities to develop and implement Solid Waste Management Plans. It is the essential tool for developing and maintaining a solid waste program that is in compliance with all Federal, State, and local regulations, and DOD/Navy instructions. The Indian Head Division's (IHDIV) Solid Waste Management Plan addresses the management of solid waste including a detailed description of its Recycling Program.
The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Subtitle D, encourages solid waste management practices that promote environmentally sound disposal methods, maximize the reuse of recoverable resources, and foster resource conservation. The Maryland Recycling Act of 1988 establishes a requirement for Maryland counties to plan and implement a recycling system. Charles County has mandated a reduction of the county's solid waste stream by 15%.
As a resident and also one of the largest businesses operating in Charles County, IHDIV is committed to an effective recycling program. In FY95, IHDIV recycled 30% of its solid waste, saving approximately $50,000 in disposal costs. Although IHDIV's recycling program is not a profitable one, it reduces solid waste going to the landfills, and saves money in disposal costs. The following materials are collected for recycling purposes at IHDIV:
A challenge for IHDIV continues to be education and awareness. To overcome this challenge, information on recycling is disseminated through articles and base-wide e-mail messages. Additionally, Departments are provided with the appropriate material necessary for recycling, such as white paper, office waste recycling boxes desk-top convenience boxes and beverage can recycling containers.