Christine Luciano | Army Soldiers from the Regimental Support Squadron, 3rd Cavalry Regiment, recycle cardboard and then high five to being environmental stewards.

Fort Hood is celebrating Earth Day and Arbor Day, and proclaiming April as Sustainable Environment Month. With an official proclamation, Col. Todd Fox, Fort Hood garrison commander and the Cen-Tex Sustainable Communities Partnership are celebrating environmental stewardship in the region. This year’s Sustainable Environment Month features a Month of the Military Child Fest and Earth Fest event, an annual Earth Day school event for more than 700 students, recognition as a Tree City USA community and a Net Zero Waste award presentation to military and civilian activities for their commitment to the environment.

The environmental efforts of Fort Hood’s soldiers, civilians, and families have gained recognition at the state, national and federal levels. Recently winning awards from Keep Texas Beautiful, Keep America Beautiful and the Secretary of the Army, the awards are a reflection of the community’s commitment to environmental excellence.

Fort Hood is leading the way in environmental resiliency, while enabling and supporting military training. Soldiers and civilians help to maintain environmental standards within the motor pools and workplace areas, ensuring compliance of hazardous material, pollution prevention, air, water, energy, solid waste and recycling.

Families are also doing their part to support the installation’s Net Zero Waste 2020 efforts by recycling, repurposing and wasting less. Their efforts are a win-win for the environment and the community.

As a result, last year Fort Hood recycled 14.4 million pounds of material and gave $135,000 back to the community to sponsor Nature in Lights, Oktoberfest, Month of the Military Child, fireworks for the Independence Day celebration, UFC Fight Nights and other events.

Services at Fort Hood Recycle and the Classification Unit make it easy for individuals to recycle almost everything and do their part for a greener community.

Fort Hood Recycle is upgrading equipment and renovating the facility to make recycling easier and more convenient. In the fall, single stream recycling will expand across the installation. Without having to spend time sorting, the new service will make it simple to recycle plastics, papers, metals, cardboard and glass all into one bin. Miscellaneous recyclables like holiday lights, athletic shoes, toner cartridges, scrap metal, pallets, CDs and DVDs will need to be taken to the recycle center.

To help Fort Hood units, contractors and civilian activities with their recycling efforts, the recycle center is providing small desk-side containers and 35-gallon containers for use, at no charge. The facility is located on 72nd Street and is open from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday.

The Classification Unit offers a household hazardous waste service for Department of Defense personnel and their family members, over the age of 18, to safely dispose of unwanted paints, detergents and cleaners, pesticides and herbicides, non-vehicle batteries, aerosol cans, oil and filters. The collection center’s easy and free service reduces the household hazardous waste into the environment and unused leftovers are placed into a storage facility. The collection center is located on 37th Street and Ivy Division Road and is open from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday.

The Environmental Division has many programs that focus on enhancing mission readiness and environmental excellence on the installation. Environmental professionals take advantage of opportunities to educate and engage soldiers and their families to take responsibility for improving their community and serving as environmental stewards.

Pay it forward and incorporate green practices into your daily routine, and make every day Earth Day. Do your part by setting the example, getting involved in the community, and helping educate everyone — from children to soldiers and leaders.

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