FORT HOOD — Fort Hood recycled 765 tons of material more in 2013 than in the previous fiscal year, and is working to keep increasing that number.
The post’s Directorate of Public Works has offered recycling for more than 20 years, but over the past few, officials have ramped up efforts as Fort Hood aims to be waste-free by 2020. To meet that goal, the Fort Hood Recycle Center added Styrofoam No. 6 recycling and will soon offer hard drive shredding, said Mike Bush, post recycling manager.
Officials also purchased a more powerful baler to more efficiently bale plastics, but it’s
also capable of handling aluminum cans and steel.
“This one baler can do the job of all three we have now,” Bush said, adding they hope to purchase more new equipment. “The end goal is to be more efficient.”
The Fort Hood Recycle Center generated about $1.4 million with Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service Sales assistance in 2013, Bush said.
The biggest effort in recycling is often educating the public and collecting material, said Jennifer Rawlings, sustainability coordinator with public works’ environmental division. With Fort Hood’s population constantly changing, education is always needed.
“That is one of the downsides, but hopefully we are creating a culture,” she said.
This education piece is needed in units, as well as in housing. “Our focus is on housing because they are the No. 1 producer of waste for the landfill,” Rawlings said. Military units come in second.
To collect recycling, Fort Hood Family Housing has 96-gallon, single-stream recycle containers at each home on post. These recyclables are picked up by WILCO Recycling. About 170 tons more were collected in 2013 than the 2012.
Residents also can bring material to the center or to several drop sites on post, where it is sorted and sold at the center along with what’s collected from Fort Hood units and through partnerships with the cities of Harker Heights and Gatesville.