Great Lakes Sailors Kick off New Recycling Effort

Story Number: NNS110929-27Release Date: 9/29/2011 9:02:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (SW/AW) John J. Mike, Commander, Navy Region Midwest/Naval Station Great Lakes

GREAT LAKES, Ill. (NNS) -- Members of Navy Region Midwest Best Business Practices/Innovation (BBPI) volunteered for the second phase of its ongoing Single Stream Recycling Program, Sept. 19.

This program helps bring the base in compliance with Executive Order 13514, which requires federal facilities to become more eco-friendly.

The 510 student Sailors living in the USS Franklin barracks are the first to implement an aggressive pilot campaign that aims to send half of the waste produced by the building's residents to recycling facilities instead of landfills-an amount that would bring Franklin within 2015 mandated levels.

To help reach 50 percent trash diversion, BBPI staff members, like Jennifer Smith, wanted to ensure recyclables weren't ending up in the trash. As part of the five-month first phase, the team spent four weeks performing initial waste analysis, or, simply, sorting through Franklin's garbage.

"It wasn't as bad as it sounds," said Smith. "During our analysis we found on average that 36 percent of the garbage was recyclable. We know we can do better, so we took the common recyclable items we found [in the trash] and tailored our program to it," Smith said.

BBPI uses low-tech measures to solve a simple problem.
New students receive recycling training during orientation; every floor has a trademark blue recycling bin placed next to the trash cans with posters stating what is and what isn't garbage; and senior Sailors are assigned to inspect each waste station.

"We are trying to introduce Sailors to our goal." said Lt Cmdr. Jason Brianas, Training Support Center Great Lakes' operations officer, of the changes. "We want them to know that everyone is a leader when it comes to recycling."

Franklin Sailors did not disappoint. Three days in, the first trash analysis showed immediate results. Of the day's 27 pounds of waste generated, only 8.89 percent were recyclables.
"I hope this keeps up," said Smith, whose eventual goal is to bring the number to zero.

Administrators plan to use Franklin as a model to implement the final phase of their program, which will get all of Great Lakes' personnel 'thinking green.'

"This is just an introduction to what we want to implement base-wide," said Brianas. "We want to take the metrics we establish here to build a successful program throughout Great Lakes."

Signed by President Barack Obama in 2009, Executive Order 13514 requires federal agencies to safeguard the environment by implementing measures that conserve energy, reduce emissions and cut down on waste.

For more information on Executive Order 13514 and how it affects the Navy, visit
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