By Rose L. Thayer

Fort Hood Herald

Fort Hood has won the 2011 Secretary of the Army Environmental Quality Award in both the installation and team categories.

The award is the highest honor in the field of environmental science conferred by the Army and recognizes environmental restoration, natural resource conservation and overall environmental quality initiatives by Army installations, according to information from Fort Hood.

"Basically what these awards do is let everyone know the credibility of the programs that we actually have," said Steve Burrow, chief of environmental programs within Fort Hood's Directorate of Public Works. "(They mean) that the Army is serious about the environment and taking care of the environment."

Some of the programs Fort Hood was recognized for include implementing a highly effective utility management control system, leveraging solar thermal systems, establishing the Cen-Tex Sustainable Communities Partnership and developing a community outreach and environmental training program.

Burrow said he's extremely proud of the Fort Hood recycling program for being recognized in the team category award.

"I've been associated with it since early on and we improve and we continue to have a very successful outreach program," he said. "It's been nothing but positive for the installation."

Fort Hood's recycling center is the largest successful, sustainable such facility in the Army. In its last two fiscal years, it sold more than 17,000 tons of materials and provided more than $500,000 to support Fort Hood community events and pollution prevention projects, according to the directorate.

Burrow added that this recognition shows exactly why Fort Hood was chosen by the Defense Department for the Net Zero Waste program, which aims to close the post's landfill by 2020.

"It is everyone's responsibility to think and act green and make recycling a part of their daily routine," said Jaycee Turnquist, recycling operations manager, in a statement. "More recyclables means more money for Fort Hood soldiers and support for family events, while helping the installation work toward Net Zero waste (by) 2020."

Fort Hood will go on to represent the Army in the Secretary of Defense Environmental Awards Program this spring. Winners of that competition will be recognized in a Pentagon ceremony June 6.

Contact Rose L. Thayer at rthayer@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7463. Follow her on Twitter at KDHreporter.

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