Holloman celebrates Earth Day

  • Published
  • By Ramón Acevedo-Cruz
  • 49th Civil Engineer Squadron Asset Management Flight
In 1969 Gaylord Nelson, a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, came up with one of the most powerful ideas of his time -- Earth Day.

Inspired by the teach-ins dealing with the Vietnam War, environmental teach-ins inspired a growing awareness of pollution and environmental degradation. They were an instant success, drawing 20 million participants in thousands of events organized across the United States to mark the first Earth Day -- April 22, 1970.

The 49th Civil Engineer Squadron Asset Management Flight will commemorate the 41st Earth Day on April 29 at the Community Activity Center from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

At the event, we will endorse the base's recycling efforts and educate Team Holloman that although we are passionate about recycling, we must treat this endeavor as a business. Tables will be set up to present information related to recycling and energy conservation to our visitors. We will offer T-shirts as well as trinkets made of recycled paper, metal, plastic and electronic materials. Also, we will display energy efficient vehicles, one of our recycling trailers and a cardboard and paper table to show our final product.

Why is it important to recycle? When we recycle one ton of paper we save 17 trees, two barrels of oil, 4,100 kilowatts of energy and 3.2 cubic yards of landfill space.

But before we even consider recycling, we should focus on source reduction and reuse to reduce both the toxic constituents and the quantities of waste. When our process does not allow reducing or reusing, our next step is recycling.

In 2010, our records show the base produced 6.5 million pounds of municipal solid waste, commonly known as trash or garbage. About 4.4 million pounds migrated to the landfill and we diverted 2.1 million pounds of waste from the landfill for recycling or reuse.

The Base Recycling Center processed 287.51 tons of cardboard and paper products while the Defense Logistics Agency Disposition Service, or DRMO, managed the remaining products except construction and demolition, which accounted for 681.88 tons.

The cost of transporting this waste and landfill usage fees can cost the base a lot of money. Reducing, reusing and recycling can save thousands that could potentially go elsewhere. Just in those fees, we saved $24,618.83 by recycling, reusing or diverting from the landfill in 2010. If we compute transportation fees and other miscellaneous costs, the savings are significant.

Holloman isn't the only place in the Tularosa Basin saving money by recycling.

Our community partners to the east are doing the same.

On April 30, Alamogordo will celebrate the 17th Annual Community Earth Day Fair at the Alameda Park Zoo from 9 a.m. to 4:44 p.m.

Please join us for Holloman's and Alamogordo's day and bring the family!