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Don’t kill Nemo, use Misawa’s Recycling Center
U.S. Air Force Senior Airman David Washington, 35th Civil Engineer Squadron recycling manager, uses a squeegee to pull cans and garbage to Hajime Sasaki, 35 CES solid waste manager, at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Feb. 11, 2013. The Misawa Recycling Center is the base’s collection area for recyclable materials. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Phillip Butterfield)
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Don't kill Nemo, use Misawa's Recycling Center

Posted 2/21/2013   Updated 2/21/2013 Email story   Print story


by Tech. Sgt. Phillip Butterfield
35th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

2/21/2013 -  MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- The 35th Fighter Wing is committed to achieving the Air Force's goal of recycling 65 percent of the base's trash by 2020. This goal will help keep trash out of landfills where it can pollute the ground, waterways, where it can kill fish, and the off-base incinerator.

Recycling center officials believe that reaching the Air Force's recycling goal can be achieved through recycling education and concern for the environment.

"We will show anyone how to do it; education is a large part of what we do," said Hajime Sasaki, 35th Civil Engineer Squadron solid waste manager.

According to Senior Airman David Washington, 35 CES recycling manager, educating adults isn't the best way to get people to recycle more; speaking to the kids is a better option.

"School is where recycling education starts," said Washington. "I can take a little fish to a school with a plastic soda pop ring around it and the kids will go crazy. They will think, 'I don't want Nemo to die because recycling didn't happen.'"

Educating children in schools, as one parent can attest to, may be paying off.

"We don't recycle as much as we should," said Heidi Wilson, Cheli School Age Program front desk clerk. "However, my eldest son keeps me on my toes when it comes to recycling. He's always like, 'Mom that soda can doesn't go in there, it goes in the recycle can.' He learns all this from school."

The center collects a myriad of items for recycling to include: cardboard, non-shredded paper products, cans, glass and plastic bottles, used cooking oil, wood and more. The center also provides easy-to-read labels on all of its bins and cages to make sorting easier.

Through recycling, the base can save 60 percent on trash disposal, which equals approximately $300,000 a year. This money can go back into the base for more morale, welfare and recreation events and facilities, added Hajime.

If you would like more information about recycling, contact the Misawa Recycling Center at 226-5446 or visit Misawa's Environmental Management page.

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