Fort Riley, Kansas



Recycle Center helps Soldiers stay, save green

By Kalene Lozick | 1ST INF. DIV. POST | October 12, 2017

     A new state-of-art sorting machine the Recycle Center at Camp Funston Sept. 2016.

     The single-stream processing system can handle the many types of materials the center receives from across the installation.

    The Recycle Center receives truckloads from the Corvias on-post military housing, various offices, motor pools across the installation and dining facilities.

     “One thing that is over at the drop-off is cooking oil,” said Chris Otto, recycle and solid waste coordinator for the Directorate of Public Works - Environmental Division. “We take recycled cooking oil. The new Post Exchange has a drop-off for cooking oil as well. We get (cooking oil) from the dining facilities, they come and drop it off (rather) than down the drain. We can sell it.”

     Throughout fiscal year 2017, the Recycle Center has sold “about $850,000 worth of materials,” Otto said. “After paying for the Recycle Center staff payroll, vehicles and other operating expenses. Army regulations let us spend money on pollution prevention projects and to fund the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation.”

      The price of goods fluctuate due to commodity prices. Meaning, the current market price for recycled goods may vary month-by-month.

     The lowest commodity price for recycled goods are No. 3 through No. 7 plastics. These goods can be sold, current market prices for $50 per ton, Otto said.

     The highest commodity price, with current market trends, are No. 2 natural plastics for $540 per ton. No. 2 natural plastics are milk jugs.

     “I never realized how much of a global market is out there until I got into it,” Otto said. “What goes on in China affects what goes on here, just like any other commodity. There’s a lot going on than what we see in Manhattan, Kansas, and Fort Riley.”

     Fort Riley’s Recycle Center gives incentives to Soldiers across the installation to compete against one another in saving money through the Troop Incentive Program.

     If the commodity prices fluctuate as the market predicts, the troops will gain by saving the environment through recycling programs, Otto said.

      Money earned through the TIP goes toward unit events such as battalion balls and family days.

      Matt Acosta, material handler for Fort Riley’s Recycle Center, said diapers and food items shouldn’t be put in recycling bins.

    “Diapers and food items are the kind of stuff we need to educate the public on making sure they stop,” Acosta said. “It gets nasty and contaminates our product. The cleaner the product, the better the money for us.”

      For more information, call the Recycle Center at 785-239-2094. To drop off recycled goods, visit the center at building 1980 on Camp Funston.


Tag recycling