Recycling center celebrates Earth Day everyday

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Jared Ralphs, 372nd Training Squadron Detachment 17 F-16 Flying Falcon fighter aircraft crew chief instructor, disposes of bulk items at the Spangdahlem Recycling Center at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, April 16, 2014. Any service member may drop off bulk trash items such as couches or desks while preparing for a permanent change of station move as long as they bring a copy of their orders. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Alexis Siekert/Released)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Jared Ralphs, 372nd Training Squadron Detachment 17 F-16 Flying Falcon fighter aircraft crew chief instructor, disposes of bulk items at the Spangdahlem Recycling Center at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, April 16, 2014. Any service member may drop off bulk trash items such as couches or desks while preparing for a permanent change of station move as long as they bring a copy of their orders. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Alexis Siekert/Released)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Jared Ralphs, 372nd Training Squadron Detachment 17 F-16 Flying Falcon fighter aircraft crew chief instructor, organizes a box of household cleaning supplies into the chemical locker at the Spangdahlem Recycling Center at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, April 16, 2014. The chemical locker stands as a free service to DOD ID card holders to drop off or pick up any used bottled or canned materials such as spray paint, tire wax or cleaning supplies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Alexis Siekert/Released)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Jared Ralphs, 372nd Training Squadron Detachment 17 F-16 Flying Falcon fighter aircraft crew chief instructor, organizes a box of household cleaning supplies into the chemical locker at the Spangdahlem Recycling Center at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, April 16, 2014. The chemical locker stands as a free service to DOD ID card holders to drop off or pick up any used bottled or canned materials such as spray paint, tire wax or cleaning supplies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Alexis Siekert/Released)

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany -- While people may observe Earth Day on only April 22, the Spangdahlem Recycling Center works everyday to effectively dispose of material for the smallest footprint on the environment.

The base recycling center circulates more than 600 cubic meters of recyclable goods and 1,100 cubic meters of trash each week to keep Spangdahlem clean and green. With Earth Day just around the corner, the BRC team wants to give Spangdahlem community members more information on how they can help.

"Recycling is everyone's responsibility," said Staff Sgt. Whitney Sargent, 52nd Civil Engineer Squadron service contracting officer. "We all need to focus on reducing our consumption and repurposing what we have before we throw it away. Often times, we are too quick to get rid of things that could be used again or in another way."

As of October 2013, the BRC no longer accepts off-base residents' recyclable materials. The 52nd CES projects this action will continue to save the Air Force more than $120,000 per month, but exceptions do exist.

Any DOD ID card holder may still use the BRC for recycling compost, electronics and any hazardous materials.

A chemical locker stands as a free service to DOD ID card holders as well. Those eligible can drop off or pick up any used bottled or canned materials such as spray paint, tire wax or cleaning supplies.

"The chemical locker was created to help everyone," Sargent said. "It's a free place to grab things you may only need once or to dispose of chemicals you don't want to throw away. Throwing away some of these materials can potentially contaminate waste. You want to have completely empty bottles before tossing the containers."

Upon permanent change of station in or out of Spangdahlem, any service member may drop off their bulk trash such as couches or desks as long as they bring a copy of their orders.

The center is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and currently accepts: bulk trash, refuse, treated wood, clean wood, plastic, metal, electronics, compost, paper and household chemicals from base residents.

Off-base residents are encouraged to visit their city's recycling sites for schedules at http://www.bitburg-pruem.de/cms/entsorgungstermine or http://www.bernkastel-wittlich.de/abfallentsornung.html.

For more information, call the BRC at DSN: 452-7460 or COMM: 06565617460.