ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --
The Recycling Center at Robins stopped accepting plastic on Saturday.
Robins runs its Recycling Program according to Department of Defense Qualified Recycling Program regulations, which requires recycling white paper, cardboard, and as many other commodities as economically feasible while striving to meet solid waste diversion to landfill goals.
Unfortunately, the base program has never made a profit; in fact, it has incurred a substantial cost to the government to recycle white paper, cardboard, newspaper, mixed paper, aluminum, glass and plastics.
The base hasn’t received proceeds from recycling plastic for more than a year. There’s no demand for recycled plastics in the local area, and it costs recycling companies more to transport plastics to companies which can re-use them than they make on the sale of those materials. Those costs are passed to the base via the recycling program contract.
In order to reduce costs, QRP team members asked for quotes for several different cost reduction scenarios. The scenario chosen was to eliminate plastic at the Recycling Center, reduce manning to three days a week and reduce the number of pick-ups for white paper. Those changes had the least impact to solid waste landfill diversion, but the cost savings will be considerable. The recycling program expects to save an estimated $150,000 as compared to last year, which will get the program closer to a breakeven point.
Our QRP Team is looking at options to further reduce the costs of recycling on Robins, with a goal of breaking even or making a profit in the coming months. As always, we strive to be good stewards of the government’s resources and our environment.
Editor’s Note: The installation operates its QRP in accordance with10 U.S.C. §2577, Disposal of Recyclables Materials, 32 CFR §172 (b), Disposition of Proceeds from DOD Sales of Surplus Personal Property and DoD QRP policies.