Marine Corps Base Ramps Up Recycling Efforts

1
The 2nd Marine Logistics Group looks to reduce its solid waste sent to landfills by 50 percent. Photo: Cpl. Jessica Gonzalez, 2nd Marine Logistics Group

They do their part to protect the country. Now they’re doing their part to protect the environment.

Marines and sailors at the 2nd Marine Logistics Group in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina have begun new recycling program, which includes individual service member recycling cans and larger recycling bins lining the base. The base has a goal to reduce solid waste sent to landfills by 50 percent, according to a Marine Corps press release.

“We recycle when we’re at home,” Gunnery Sgt. Ethan J. Mahoney, environmental compliance coordinator for 2nd Marine Logistics Group says in the release. “A lot of Marines grew up recycling, but once they get to the barracks there’s no real way to recycle. It’s very vague on how they’re supposed to do it, so we put recycling containers in every room in the barracks, and we have recycling dumpsters around 2nd MLG’s [work spaces and barracks].”

The recycling program pays for itself. The recyclables are processed, recycled and sold, earning money for the actual recycling program and pollution prevention education projects on the base.

Some education is still needed to show service members what is and is not recyclable through the program. The recycling dumpsters, which collect cardboard, plastic bottles and glass, have signs saying what types of each material can and can’t be recycled. Though the restrictions on recyclables might sound like a deterrent, officials are confident the program will succeed.

“Once we get [the service members] to understand their responsibilities to the environment, it will really take off,” Mahoney says in the release.