Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort is committed to protecting present and future mission readiness, through efficient and effective environmental management. All paper, cardboard and any other recycled goods that are properly disposed of will go through the air stations recycling center before reaching its final destination.
“Our mission here is to help reduce the amount of waste going to landfills,” said EJ Wenrick, the qualified recycling manager with the Natural Sources and Environmental Affairs Office aboard MCAS Beaufort. “This job is a constant balance between the amounts of trash and the amount of materials that we are able to recycle.”
According to a commemorative plaque in the building, the recycling facility is named in honor of Col. William J. Cooper. Cooper assumed duties as the commanding officer of MCAS Beaufort from June 20, 1981 to July of 1983 and was a lifelong advocate of environmental awareness.
There are different products that the air station can recycle in order to reduce waste. Anyone can recycle plastic, paper, or aluminum by taking them to appropriate bins on base or to the recycling center itself. Recycling not only benefits the environment by keeping recyclables out of landfills but it also gives MCAS Beaufort an extra source of income by generating thousands of dollars of revenue by recycling the appropriate materials.
“On top of reduction of waste we also deal with environmental concerns,” Wenrick said. “A great example of how we mitigate environmental concerns on the air station is properly disposing of batteries. Batteries are a universal waste which is considered hazardous unless recycled.”
In order to spread more awareness for environmental concerns NREAO also holds an Earth Day poster contest throughout the month of April, with an award ceremony held for the winners on Laurel Bay schools.
“The Earth Day poster contest competition is a fun way to educate and involve our children on environmental management,” Wenrick said. “We want to make sure they know how to be conscientious of the environment and how to implement good environment practices in their everyday lives.”
Ultimately the responsibility for recycling aboard the air station does not solely fall upon the recycling center but on each and every one of the Marines, Sailors and government employees aboard MCAS Beaufort.
“If the Leadership at each of the units were to take more charge of their programs it would help us out tremendously,” Wenrick said. “Overall, if the units are not properly disposing of their waste there is nothing we can do to help.”
For any more information regarding environmental or recycling concerns contact the MCAS Beaufort recycling center at 843-228-7694.