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Madigan wins annual JBLM ‘Aluminum Can Challenge’

Directorate of Public Works, Environmental

Published: 12:03PM November 29th, 2012

Recycling is always big on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, but during the month of November, special attention is paid to diverting waste from the landfills.

All year long, units have been competing for unit funds to see who can recycle the most aluminum cans – the Aluminum Can Challenge culminated at the end of October with winners announced in November. Not only do winners get bragging rights, they also receive up to $500 for their unit fund accounts. This is the last year for this competition at JBLM as it will be replaced with another award program, the Net Zero Award, which will have bigger prizes and more robust criteria, encompassing all environmental and sustainability efforts.

Madigan was this year’s first place winner in the large unit category, bringing in 690 pounds of aluminum cans to the recycling center.

“Madigan attributes the success of this award to Linda Palmer, Chief of Environmental Services Branch, and her housekeeping staff for collecting and staging cans for recycling. Other notable contributors were Madigan Troop Command support and Department of Preventive Medicine, Environmental Health Service,” said Mike Kyser, Deputy Chief of Environmental Health Service for Madigan Healthcare System.

JBLM isn’t the only community focusing on recycling during November — America Recycles Day is a national event on Nov. 15. JBLM participated by holding its fourth annual Recycling Extravaganza in front of the Lewis Main Commissary. Community members brought in personal documents to shred, received a free CFL bulb, brought in 25 plastic bags to receive a free reusable bag and three non-perishable items to receive a free T-shirt.

Overall, 3,600 pounds of documents were shredded and recycled; 700 pounds of clothes and bedding were donated to the Arc of Washington; and a wide assortment of items was donated to The Rescue Mission including turkeys and fixings for the holidays, TVs and video game consoles.

Organizations from in and around the JBLM community were there to provide information and education on ways to incorporate sustainability into day-to-day life while saving money. LeMay, Inc., was there to answer questions about recycling; JBLM’s Energy Program, partnered with Tacoma Power, was there to answer questions about reducing energy bills; and the Arc of Washington and The Rescue Mission shared information on ways to give back to those in need.

LeMay, Inc., JBLM’s recycling and refuse contractor, has participated every year. “It’s a great opportunity to connect to the folks on base and find out if we’re performing to their expectations; if there are special needs they’d like to see met; and we can get information to them to solve some of their recycling and waste reduction issues,” said Charlie Maxwell, Public Relations Director for LeMay, Inc.

The children weren’t left out: The Reading Tree participated by giving away free children’s books. This is part of an ongoing program on JBLM. Reading Tree book drop boxes are located in various areas around the base. They give back to JBLM by providing children’s books for giveaway during events such as this and paperbacks that are given to the Warrior Transition Battalion.

When asked why we recycle, one child said, “To save money! And to save trees.”

Aluminum Can Challenge Winners

Small Units

• 1st - 4/6 ARS B Troop - 165 pounds

• 2nd - 472 Signal Company - 107 pounds

• 3rd - PHCR West - 72 pounds

Medium Units

• 1st - 63 Ordinance - 176 pounds

• 2nd - 5/3 FA B Company - 52 pounds

• 3rd - 513 Trans - 49 pounds

Large Units

• 1st - Madigan - 690 pounds

• 2nd - 4/160 SOAR - 191 pounds

• 3rd - 627 LRS - 135 pounds

Civilian Organizations

• MICC - 25 pounds

• DPTMS Range Control - 35 pounds

Recycling changes coming soon

Changes are coming your way under the new recycling refuse contract. What does this mean for you on JBLM?

Due to inflation, recycling and refuse are significantly more expensive than when the previous rates were established 10 years ago. The new 10-year contract has built-in opportunities for cost reduction but they require organizations to take advantage of recycling and composting opportunities that cost less than refuse disposal.

Don’t let it interfere with the mission. Organizations can preserve taxpayer dollars and extend current budgets by maximizing product efficiency, reuse, and the purchase of recyclable materials; maximizing curbside recycling; and utilizing recycling drop off centers.

For more information: 253-966-6444.