Fort Lee Opens New Recycle Center

Team Lee members now have a larger and more convenient place to bring their recyclables.

The new Fort Lee Recycle Center, located behind the commissary, next to the salt dome, opened its gates Friday in a grand opening ceremony. Col. Michael G. Morrow and Command Sgt. Maj. June Seay, U.S. Army Garrison, Fort Lee commander and command sergeant major, assisted with the ribbon-cutting.

Carrie and Jeremiah Jagers manage Mark Dunning Industries, the company responsible for recycling on Fort Lee. They want to make recycling effortless for everyone.

“We strive to make recycling easy. For PCS moves don’t worry about breaking the boxes down we’ll take them,” Carrie said. “The packing paper is recyclable too, put that in a box and bring it to the curb. If residents need additional recycle bins, call your housing community or us, and we’ll get another out to you. We like to see more recycled materials.”

MDI encourages more offices to recycle, as well.

“More and more offices join the effort but we’d still like to see additional offices join the effort,” said Carrie. “We see a lot of paper recycled, which is great. But anything recyclable can go in the green bins, located in most offices on Fort Lee.”

In 2004, Fort Lee sent 629 tons of waste to landfills and recycled just over 79 tons of materials. Over the last four years, the amount of recycled materials continued to grow while the amount of waste sent to landfills decreased. For example, in 2007, Fort Lee recycled nearly 200 tons.

John Ballinger, recycling/pollution prevention manager for Fort Lee, credits Mark Dunning Industries with the improvement.

“I’d like to thank MDI for all the work they have done.” Ballinger said. “Our recycling program today is much better than it was before MDI got here. When they got here we recycled a diversion rate (diversion being items diverted from landfills and recycled) of 14 percent. Today, combined with the construction project debris, the rate is 67 percent. MDI has come in here and really turned the program around. They have done a wonderful job.”

The change in recycling is not only great for the environment, it is good for the budget.

“In addition to saving natural resources, we have saved $1.6 million in 2008 by diverting materials from the landfill,” Ballinger said. “That is huge.”

Morrow said one of his goals has been to make Fort Lee more environmentally friendly.

“One of the things that I really wanted to do when I came into command was to find ways to be greener,” said Morrow. “There are so many things we can do as an installation. Recycling is one of the things we can do, and do a better job of, to help the environment and each other.”

During the ceremony, Mark Dunning Industries presented a $2,000 check to Army Community Services for the Holiday Helper program, which helps needy Soldiers during the Christmas holidays.