OAK HARBOR, Wash. (NNS) -- Naval Air Station Whidbey Island's (NASWI) recycling facility held its 17th annual Dumpster Dive, April 10.
The dumpster dive is an opportunity to educate Sailors by allowing them to see what waste is thrown out around the community, said Michael Barenburg, NASWI's environmental services supervisor.
"We are just trying to change the perspective on how our community looks at waste," Barenburg said.
When trash is collected throughout the community, it is brought to the recycling center where volunteers get hands-on experience by sorting it to determine how much waste can be recycled.
"This should affect people who are part of the event and help them realize how they can help the environment," Barenburg said. "As a community, we will get a shift in thinking what we can reuse, recycle, or throw away."
More than 30 Sailors assigned to NASWI and tenant commands participated in the dumpster dive.
"I came to learn about the recycling process and to see what I can recycle at my home," said Yeoman 3rd Class Yasenia Barraza, assigned to NASWI. "At home I have a full trash can every week and I know I can cut down on the waste."
The Department of the Navy Earth Day theme for 2013 is "Global Reach - Local Action." The theme is meant to encourage Sailors, Marines, DoD civilian employees and their family members to take local action to show the Navy's dedication to protecting the environment.
Rus Hawkins, a truck operator at Navy Whidbey Recycle, said that the dumpster dive is a great way to increase awareness of neighborhood recycling programs.
"The Navy mandates we recycle," Hawkins said. "So we show the Sailors what is recyclable and they can take back that education to their commands."
Throughout the months of April and May, commands within Navy Region Northwest will be participating in various Earth Day related events like local clean-up projects.
Navy and Marine Corps commands officially celebrate Earth Day April 22. Earth Day officially started April 22, 1970 as a day to reflect on the planet's environment and ways to help keep it healthy.
For more news from Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Det. Northwest, visit www.navy.mil/local/nwpacen/.