For a third year in a row, Fort Hood is celebrating recognition for environmental excellence.

Fort Hood was announced as one of nine 2013 Secretary of the Army Environmental Award winners with distinction for environmental quality at a nonindustrial installation and will go on to compete for the Secretary of Defense Environmental Award this spring.

The Secretary of the Army Environmental Awards represent 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.

Fort Hood attributes its environmental success to the full engagement and support of senior commanders and community partners, focus on soldiers’ training and Family support and environmental responsibility integrated into daily activities.

“Fort Hood’s comprehensive environmental efforts help to reduce the installation’s environmental footprint, encourage community involvement and promote environmental stewardship,” said Steve Burrow, chief of environmental programs.

The installation was recognized for its Net Zero Waste efforts, successful recycle program, environmental compliance assessment team’s efforts, training and outreach, solar energy projects and pollution prevention projects.

One example of their efforts is to reduce that amount of trash that ends in the landfill by the year 2020. As a Net Zero Waste installation, the goal means working together to recycle more in the blue recycle containers, reducing excess materials, and finding ways to repurpose products.

In the past two years, Fort Hood initiated several projects including installation-wide yard sales, implementing single stream recycling in Family housing, a partnership with the commissaries and local pig farmers to prevent spoiled fruit, vegetables and baked goods from ending up in the landfill and a partnership with Housing to donate furniture to Soldiers and nonprofit organizations.

“These initiatives have cut the amount of trash going into the landfill by about 23 percent,” said Jennifer Rawlings, net zero waste program manager.

Each year, the diversion goal increases by 5 percent and this year’s goal is 55 percent.

“Last year, we almost met our goal of 50 percent,” Rawlings said. “We diverted 48 percent of trash from ending up in landfill but a lot more can still be recycled.”

In the past year, the recycle program expanded its services to accept new recyclables like Styrofoam, hard drives, all plastics 1 through 7, metal and plastic blinds, holiday lights and shoes.

For more information on environmental and recycle services, call 287-6499.

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