Recycling 101

Not only is Sheppard one of the leaders in training Airmen to protect the nation, it’s also one of the area’s leaders in protecting the environment through its recycling program. Left, John Spooner and Billie Jo Jones, employees of Contracting Consultants, the civilian contractor that provides labor for the recycling program, pick up recyclable materials Monday morning in Bunker Hill. (U.S. Air Force photo/John Ingle).

Not only is Sheppard one of the leaders in training Airmen to protect the nation, it’s also one of the area’s leaders in protecting the environment through its recycling program. Left, John Spooner and Billie Jo Jones, employees of Contracting Consultants, the civilian contractor that provides labor for the recycling program, pick up recyclable materials Monday morning in Bunker Hill. (U.S. Air Force photo/John Ingle).

Billie Jo Jones, an employee with Contracting Consultants, dumps some items in a recycle bin during a Monday-morning pickup in Bunker Hill. (U.S. Air Force photo/John Ingle).

Billie Jo Jones, an employee with Contracting Consultants, dumps some items in a recycle bin during a Monday-morning pickup in Bunker Hill. (U.S. Air Force photo/John Ingle).

SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Recycling materials used every day is one way adults can ensure a future quality of life for future generations. 

But, it can also save significant dollars for the Air Force.
"Everyone is a vital partner to the base Recycling Program," said Mr. Rick Milhollon, recycling program manager. 

The Sheppard Recycling Program is a leading recycling program in the Wichita Falls area. Last year, the base recycled over 9.7 million pounds a month and managed to divert an average of 68 percent of our solid waste from the landfill. 

Yet, 80 percent of recyclable materials from Sheppard are still ending up in the trash, said Don Smith, recycling center manager. To continue the success of the recycling program, base-wide participation of all main base and military family housing residents is encouraged. 

"The Sheppard recycling program focuses on source separation at main base work centers and military family housing units," he said. 

Mr. Smith said the recycling program is only as successful as the people who use it. It also takes a commitment from Team Sheppard personnel.
"It's that easy," he said. 

Being an active participant isn't limited to just setting out a recycling bin at the curb. Mr. Smith said it's also about having items separated prior to pick up, and if dropping off items at the recycling center, pay close attention to where items should be placed.
"Please be sure to put all items where they belong, in the proper receptacles," he said. 

The Sheppard Recycling Program avoided $6 million in landfill disposal costs in 2005 and generated over $45,000 in profits from the sale of recyclables. Not only does recycling help the environment, it also pays off. 

"It's not trash you are throwing away when you don't recycle, it's valuable dollars you are throwing out," Mr. Milhollon said. 

For example, a ton of aluminum cans generates approximately $800 when sold, and throwing a ton of aluminum cans in the landfill costs $28 in fees. Sheppard loses $800 in revenue from the sale of aluminum and pays $28 to land fill a ton of cans. 

That ton of discarded aluminum costs Sheppard a total of $828, not to mention wasting valuable natural resources. 

The base Recycling Center is located on Heritage Drive in Bldg. 2140 adjacent to the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office. It's open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., and from 1 to 3:30 p.m. 

Stop by to drop off any of the following: newspapers, magazines, mixed paper, cardboard, plastic containers (No. 1 & 2 only), tin, aluminum, grocery bags, glass (all colors), tree debris, yard waste, scrap wood and scrap metals.
Call 676-4600 for clarification on any item to drop off. 

Residents of base house should remember to place recycling containers at the curb no later than 7:30 a.m. on Mondays for Wherry Housing and the west and south sides of Bunker Hill; Fridays for Capehart and the east side of Bunker Hill. 

The best idea is to put the recycle bins out the night before. 

Remove them no earlier than 5 p.m., unless they have been emptied.