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The do's and don'ts of recycling on base

Recycling can have long-lasting and positive effects on the environment.  Achieving an 80 percent recycling rate would eliminate the green-house gases generated from 2,500 automobiles. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tim Chacon)

Proper recycling procedures ensure that Guard units are working to minimize their impact on the environment, are saving money and are following laws and regulations. (Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tim Chacon)

TUCSON, Ariz. -- The 162nd Fighter Wing Environmental Management Office reminds base personnel of a few "Do's and Don'ts" to keep the unit's recycling program working efficiently.

FLUORESCENT BULBS
Do turn your all fluorescent bulbs in to civil engineering at the material control office. These bulbs are turned in and recycled. Check with your building manager for the correct procedure in your shop. This includes the "Green Tipped" bulbs.

Don't throw fluorescent light bulbs in the garbage bins. This could lead to fines from the City of Tucson.


FIBERBOARD MATERIAL
Do throw fiberboard material (example: cereal boxes) in the garbage. The base does not recycle material with fiberboard cardboard at this time.

Don't put fiberboard material in the bins to be recycled with the corrugated cardboard.


PACKING MATERIAL
Do remove all packing material before putting the boxes in the corrugated cardboard baling area. Some packing material is collected by TMO for reuse.

Don't leave Styrofoam or other packing material in the corrugated boxes that are to be recycled. Any foreign material like plastics can contaminate our entire load to the point of eliminating any recycle profit.


SEPARATE PAPER FROM CARDBOARD
Do remove all paper from corrugated boxes you have left to be recycled. Just because it is corrugated box doesn't mean you can fill it with paper to be recycled as cardboard.

Don't leave paper inside the corrugated box to be recycled. Put paper in the paper recycle roll-off.


PAPER IN PLASTIC BAGS
Do
empty your plastic bag full of paper, even the finely shredded paper, into the roll-off and throw away the bag. The type of paper that is recycled is paper that you would use in a printer or copier. Small pamphlets and book pages (without the covers) are okay.

Don't put plastic bags in the paper recycling bin. Our agreement with the recycler is that only paper is thrown in their roll-off.


BREAKDOWN BOXES
Do
break down the corrugated cardboard large boxes to a size that will fit on the conveyor belt.

Don't leave boxes that are too large to put on the conveyor belt without breaking them down


STACK CARDBOARD NEATLY
Do stack larger cardboard pieces either between the bins or against the wall at the back of the shed. If they are that large you will need to break them down so that they are flat.

Don't lay large pieces of cardboard on top of the bins. Many are laying cardboard across the tops of the bins which restricts others from placing their cardboard in the bins. In addition, some are placing the cardboard so that it bridges across several bins. This severely restricts space and increases the amount of effort needed to get the cardboard to the conveyor.


SMALL PIECES IN LARGE BOXES
Do
put smaller pieces into the medium sized boxes if it is convenient for you.

Don't fill the huge boxes with so much other cardboard that is impossible for one person to lift.


SCRAP METAL
Do put scrap metal in the roll-off bin; aluminum in the bin by sheet metal and contact the environmental office to turn in copper and brass.

Don't put non-metal items in the scrap metal bin. It is okay if the item I mainly metal with small amounts of plastic or wood, etc. Don't throw items that have a demil code in the metal recycle bin. This is a violation of Air Force instructions.


LASER PRINTER CARTRIDGES
Do take your laser printer cartridges to the collection box located outside in the TMO area. Only put laser cartridges in this collection area if they are in a box. Cartridges without a box will be thrown out.

Don't put copier toner cartridges or printer ink packets or empty copier toner containers in the Laser Printer cartridge collection box. We only recycle Laser Printer cartridges.


Many of these items may seem minor but if a number of different shops on base deviate from the prescribed recycling process, problems can mount up quickly. To download these tips for quick reference click here.

The environmental office is available to assist or answer questions. Please call 295-6579.