White House taps Robins for prestigious Circle Award Published April 30, 2009 By Wayne Crenshaw 78th Air Base Wing Public Affairs ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- Robins has won the 2009 White House Closing of the Circle Award for its efforts to promote environmental improvement efforts. Base officials were notified of the award Monday, said Mark Summers, chief of the compliance branch in the 78th Civil Engineering Group here. The award is in recognition of environmental efforts throughout the base, ranging from the purchase of office paper with 30-percent recyclable material to using more biodiesel. "It's a broad range of procurement items," he said. The Closing of the Circle Awards are given out in a wide range of categories, including electronics stewardship, waste/pollution prevention, recycling and others. Awards are given out in separate categories for military and civilian institutions. Robins won the award in the green purchasing category for military operations. The base won honorable mention in the category last year. Also last year, the base won in the category for environmental management systems. Ben Torrey, an environmental engineer in the 78th CEG and chief of the Green Procurement Program, said the base spent $600,000 on green purchases in 2008, which is $200,000 more than the previous year. "We did a lot more this year," he said. "I was very proud Robins won the award. It shows how strong an environmental program we have. " Other highlights cited in the application for the award include: *Park furniture made from 100-percent recycled plastic. *Consolidated recycling centers made from 100-percent recycled plastic for the base to increase recycling awareness and recycling proceeds. *Increased green purchases, from $154,000 in 2002 to $611,500 in 2008. *The base composts all yard waste and uses the compost in base beautification projects, diverting the waste from the landfill and saving $174,000 in disposal costs. *Uses 70 flex-fuel vehicles, which can run E-85, a fuel made up of 85-percent ethanol. *It's reducing energy consumption by converting virtual computer servers. Robins officials will collect the award in a ceremony June 17 at the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, MD.