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Home : News : News
NEWS | Nov. 12, 2010

Base benefits daily from recycling program

By Mike Joseph 502nd Air Base Wing OL-A Public Affairs

The only thing that makes Nov. 15 different from any other day at the Lackland Recycling Center is it's a nationally recognized day.

Nation-wide Nov. 15, communities will promote recycling programs. It's a day to inform and educate, to create excitement about recycling benefits among neighbors, friends and community leaders.

In other words, America Recycles Day is just another day at work for Jesse Salinas and the crew at the base recycling center though they will be educating and informing the Lackland populous at the base exchange during the lunch hour Nov. 15.

From there, the staff heads out to assist USAA for their America Recycles Day. That comes on the heels of spending all day Saturday helping the City of San Antonio.

"You can't imagine how much the recycling program helps the environment," said Mr. Salinas, the Lackland Recycling Center supervisor.

Behind the recycling center main building, he pointed to a covered area with two machines underneath, a purchase made last year specifically for crushing and processing plastic bottles.

"That small bale of plastic bottles, if it weren't compressed through our machine, would fill a dumpster," Mr. Salinas said.

For Mr. Salinas and the recycling staff, every day is America Recycles Day.

In a recent three-month stretch, the center recycled more than 1.1 million pounds of material. The effect on the environment and natural resources was:

· 492,200 pounds of cardboard saved 2,460 cubic yards of landfill, 58,548,000,000 BTUs and 95,000 kilowatt hours of energy;

· 219,440 pounds of paper saved 1,870 trees, 462,000 kilowatt hours of energy and 770,000 gallons of water;

· 320,619 pounds of metal saved 288 barrels of oil, 102,760 kilowatt hours of energy and 640 cubic yards of landfill; and

· 7,740 pounds of plastic saved 120 cubic yards of landfill, 392,000,000 BTUs and 23,096 kilowatt hours of energy.

The center's outreach program, featuring children's favorite Sheriff RE Cycle, is in constant demand around the Lackland community and San Antonio-area schools. Mr. Salinas said the outreach program makes about 30 presentations a year.

"What used to be just a little table is now an entourage of a truck and trailer we take to the presentations," he said. "It just continues to grow."

A new service has also been implemented at the award-winning center, recently selected as the best recycling program at its level by the State of Texas Alliance for Re-cycling.

Between 3 and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, items like check stubs, bank statements, old mail and other personal paper data can be run through the shredding machine in a matter of minutes.

"(To help prevent) identity theft, we encourage people to bring it here, stand with us, and we'll run it through the shredder," Mr. Salinas said. "It takes about five minutes for two or three boxes. It goes into a 2,000-pound bale that will be turned into toilet paper somewhere down the line."

But it's the daily commitment to recycling by the center that makes every day special.

"What the recycling program does for the environment and in saving (natural resources) is amazing," he said. "So we encourage people to tour our facility because you'll leave here with a different attitude."

To arrange a tour of the recycling center, call 671-4800.