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Wait! You can’t dump a phone booth on JBLM?

Published: 12:09PM July 3rd, 2013

The mystery culprit who dumped a full-size phone booth in a Joint Base Lewis-McChord residential dumpster didn’t follow guidelines for the disposal of bulk items on the installation.

The result was an unnecessary expense for onbase privatized housing contractor Equity Residential, said the company’s regional Facilities Manager John Scheerer.

Along with the phone booth, garbage collectors found a mattress, a large television and other bulk household items.

“Bulk items are not meant for dumpsters anywhere on the installation,” Scheerer said. “If items won’t fit inside of a garbage can, individuals should dispose of them through the bulk process.”

That process authorizes JBLM residential customers one free bulk garbage pickup service per calendar year. Residents are also allowed bulk pickup service any time they are moving out of an onbase residence. The pickup is arranged through Equity, which explains the process once the appointment is made. Residents should notify Equity seven to 10 days before they need to dispose of bulk items.

Trash service is included in BAH for onbase residents, who are given either a 65-gallon or 95-gallon garbage can depending on the size of their house. In the case of the phone booth, it was found in a multiplex residence where several households utilize dumpsters for garbage disposal. It is unclear where it came from since it was not marked, or how or when it was dumped.

“Those enclosures are designed for the buildings and homes that are near them for every day use,” Scheerer said. “It’s not designed for bulk items.”

If residents have items that are reusable and in good condition, such as furniture, Equity has partnered with two local charities that can pick up items on JBLM. NW Furniture and Goodwill Industries do not have to be sponsored to gain access to the installation, Scheerer said. There are also two thrift stores on JBLM — one on Lewis Main and one on McChord Field — that welcome donations, but residents must transport bulk items to those locations on their own.

Free drop-in recycling is available at the JBLM recycling centers on Lewis Main, Building 5290 on Nevada Avenue across from the commissary, and McChord Field, Building 516 on South Gate Road. Acceptable items include tires, electronics, appliances and metals. Scheerer said the recycling centers are a great option because the money made from recycling efforts at JBLM supports Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation programs while also fulfilling JBLM’s Net Zero goal of reducing waste through recycling. Onbase residents can also dispose of hazardous materials, like poisonous or flammable liquids, at the JBLM Environmental Services office, Building 1210 on Mann Avenue. There is no cost to residents for hazardous waste disposal.

Scheerer said if residents are finding they accumulate more garbage than can fit in their allotted garbage can, they can pay for additional trash cans through LeMay, which provides refuse service on JBLM. Residents can also pay for extra bulk pickup services throughout the year.

“We’re just trying to educate the community about the options,” Scheerer said.