Naval Air Station Whidbey Island Dives into Recycling

Story Number: NNS100415-05Release Date: 4/15/2010 12:29:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Nardel Gervacio, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Det. Whidbey Island

OAK HARBOR, Wash. (NNS) -- Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island Recycle Center conducted a waste characterization study April 14 to determine how much material is being diverted from the waste stream.

The recycle center conducted this study, nicknamed "Dumpster Diving," with volunteers from various commands and civilian contractors all contributing to the project.

The Navy's theme for Earth Day 2010, "Partnering for a Greener Future," emphasizes the Navy's partnerships with other military services, federal and state agencies, non-government organizations, industry, and civilians.

Paul Brewer, solid waste management director for Naval Air Station Whidbey Island said the teams "dumpster diving" each get a dumpster. They pull everything out of it to see if any of the items thrown away are recyclable or compostable.

"Once separated, it gets weighted, and usually it's around 75 percent of the materials in the dumpsters that are recyclable, so it teaches the team how to recycle better," said Brewer.

"We're here to show how much can be recycled and I think we all need to be educated better because a lot of us still throw out things that can be recycled, " said Linda Schuldt from Molalla, Oregon, a resident relations specialist at Forest City Residential Management.

Lt. Julie Cunningham of Chicago, assigned to Electronic Attach Squadron 129 said she was happy to lend a hand and felt her efforts will improve the local environment.

"Awareness about the environment is's to make it better for the future, and it keeps things looking nice," Cunningham said.

Out of 3,240 total pounds of waste sorted, 2,670 pounds were recycled after the morning event.

Wendy Zook, recycle crew lead said she thought the event went very well.

"Normally 75 percent of everything in a dumpster is recyclable, and today's rate is 82 percent, so today was a very good day," Zook said.

Earth Day began on April 22, 1970 and is designated as a day to reflect on the planet, environment and ways to help keep them healthy.

Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, visit

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Fireman Brian Wilson of Charleston, S.C., separates bottles from aluminum cans at the Navy Recycling Center on board Naval Station Everett, Wash.
Official U.S. Navy file photo.
June 1, 2005
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