“I really believe people should take the environment more seriously.”
Spc. Angelina Castro
542nd Support Maintenance Company
Joint Base Lewis-McChord celebrates recycling in November every year as part of its 12 Months of Sustainability. Nationally, America Recycles Day was celebrated Nov. 15.
It’s an opportunity to focus on the wonderful ways to enhance our community by committing to continued efforts to decrease waste.
Specialist Angelina Castro, from the 542nd Support Maintenance Company, 13th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 593rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command, stands out as a JBLM recycling champion.
She has been at JBLM for two years, and in her work as a hazardous material technician and Logistics Readiness Center liaison, she has been assigned to her unit as environmental materials officer.
She has been trained by JBLM Environmental Division staff and advisers to handle hazardous materials. She places job orders for the Logistics Readiness Center and is a reference for her unit when there are environmental questions.
She goes the extra mile to work with the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Solid Waste team to make sure her unit has what they need to recycle all they can.
Castro credits her leadership with backing up her efforts to keep all recyclables out of the trash. Moving dumpsters away from metal or wood bins led to less cross contamination and increased recycling.
She even has a sign on the dumpster pointing out that spit bottles are not trash; they are recyclable.
She was inspired by the Sustainable JBLM Net Zero contest (which is currently being revised) and took advantage of all opportunities to expand her environmental knowledge of JBLM.
During Earth Week in April, she was part of the Prairie Oak Day restoration in the cantonment area, removing invasive plants, primarily Scot’s broom and ivy, and learned a lot from the Fish and Wildlife biologists providing the tours of this rare ecosystem.
Castro started a recycling program at her barracks when she noticed that people were throwing recyclables in the trash.
Random, spare clothes in the laundry inspired her to place a box there to collect the materials. Castro then takes them to the recycling center.
“I really believe people should take the environment more seriously,” she said.
Now that she has the programs up and running at work and at the barracks, she can pass a successful program on to another as she will be transitioning to school and to the National Guard in February.
She hopes to bring her knowledge of recycling and all the different skills she has learned about environmental protection with her into her new job.
JBLM offers opportunities to reduce, reuse and recycle in many ways: unwanted furniture or clothing can be donated to either the Lewis Main or McChord Field thrift stores.
Two recycling centers on the installation make it easy to deposit all those boxes, paper, plastic bags, clean wood, electronics and old metal things that are making way for the new Christmas gifts.
For people who are moving and have questions about disposing of household hazardous waste, call 253-967-4786.
To find out how you can help JBLM recycle go to facebook.com/sustainablejblm.