Bremerton, Wash. (NNS) -- The Navy is celebrating the 39th anniversary of Earth Day April 22 by ensuring disposables are recycled properly and incandescent light bulbs replaced for energy conservation.
USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) follows strict guidelines when it comes to the proper disposal of trash and managing recyclables. Sailors on board have the responsibility of making sure those guidelines are met.
"During our last deployment, Lincoln recycled approximately 22,000 pounds of plastic waste-pucks, about 80,000 pounds of incinerator and pulpable trash," said Chief Machinist Mate (SW) Ramon Mota, repair chief from Chicago. "I feel we do an awesome job in protecting [the earth] and making sure plastics get to shore."
Machinist's Mate 1st Class (SW/AW) Claudetta Rhaburn, a Chicago native and leading petty officer in the Engineering Department, said the primary reason for the prohibition on plastic waste-disposal at sea is to stop the harming of marine life. Plastic causes a special problem since it neither sinks like glass and metal nor disintegrates like (biodegradable) garbage, paper and cloth. It also causes hazards to ships by fouling propellers, clogging seawater-intakes and evaporators, all of which cause engine failure.
The task of separating trash for recyclables is an extensive job but each department starts the process of separation in their respective shop due to the large amounts of disposables to work with.
A compressing melting unit (CMU) aboard Lincoln compresses, melts and shrinks plastic, turning it into seven to 10 pound pizza-sized pucks, later to be recycled once the ship pulls into port.
Not only has Lincoln taken part in properly sorting and recycling her disposables, but she's making strides with conserving energy-cost and reducing gas-emissions by replacing incandescent light bulbs for fluorescent ones.
In accordance with the "Energy Star Operation Change Out - The Military Challenge" campaign, Lincoln has followed suit with the Navywide demand for conservation and becoming more environmentally friendly by swapping out its lights.
Energy Star Operation Change Out is a joint effort from the Department of Energy and the Department of Defense. [The Change Out] is the first national, military-focused, energy-efficiency campaign encouraging service members to save energy, money, and protect the environment by replacing the inefficient, incandescent light bulbs with Energy Star-qualified light bulbs.
As of April 1, 12,358 incandescent bulbs have been replaced with "Energy Star" qualified, fluorescent bulbs on more than 20 Navy bases, saving over 3.4 million kilowatt-hours. Over the life of the bulbs the Navy saves $238,173 in energy-costs, and reduces greenhouse gases by 5.2 million pounds.
With the Navy's emphasis on the importance of environmental conservation, Lincoln plans to continue being at the forefront.
For more news from USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn72/.