GHG has G2G: Sheppard focuses on emission reduction

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Brittany Curry
  • 82nd Training Wing Public Affairs

Since the start of the “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” campaign in the mid-1980s, green movements have continually been a part of the overall global effort to better the planet’s environment.

Over 30 years later, that goal hasn’t changed and Sheppard’s recycling program is targeting ways to reduce landfill waste.

“Recycling is a Team Sheppard effort—a real way for each of us to truly make a difference,” said Donna Sykes, contracting officer representative over Recycling. “In order to make recycling efficient and effective, we all need to pitch in.”

Since President Obama signed Executive Order 13693, “Planning for Federal Sustainability in the Next Decade,” March 19, 2015, Sheppard’s direction became specifically focused on efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Sheppard’s strategy in reducing GHG emissions is to focus on its footprint in landfills, which contribute to the overall emissions, Sykes said.

Sykes stated that Team Sheppard reduces GHG emissions specifically through the base’s waste versus recycling diversion goal of 50 percent of all non-hazardous solid waste, including food and compostable materials.

“We want to be able to reduce, reuse and recycle 50 percent of what we generate on Sheppard,” Sykes said. “Only as a last resort do we want to dispose of waste into landfills.”

In fiscal year 2016, Sheppard collected 334.14 tons of cardboard, reselling it at its current price of $195 per ton. This resulted in Sheppard not only earning approximately $65,000, but also saving the base nearly $10,400 in landfill costs.

The money earned through this process is used to assist in paying for the recycling contract, Sykes said.

Another example of Sheppard reaching diversion goals was through its recycling of 34.14 tons of glass in the same fiscal year.

Although there is no buyer for glass, the Recycling Center was able to give the glass away, reducing Sheppard’s landfill cost by nearly $1,200, Sykes said.

“Recycling is a win-win endeavor,” Sykes said. “We help our environment, reach our diversion goals, and earn money to pay for the contract. I want give a huge thank you for the individuals and organizations that are recycling and urge everyone to make every effort to recycle.”

Check in to Sheppard’s Facebook page on Earth Day, Saturday, April 22, to learn more about the Recycling Center and all it has to offer.

The products recycled at Sheppard include cardboard, pizza boxes with all food removed, mixed paper, such as magazines, flyers and newspaper, toner cartridges, tin, heavy metals, copper, mattresses, furniture, mixed plastics, along with many others.

As a reminder, the items deemed unrecyclable and unable to be placed in dumpsters are fluorescent lightbulbs, tires, paint, car oil and chemicals. For removal of these products contact Universal Waste.

For more information, contact the Recycling Center at 676-4600.