A Fort Polk Soldier, Sgt. David Dickson, 5th Aviation Battalion, has established a recycling program for Soldiers within his barracks.
About six months ago, Dickson approached the Net Zero Waste Team with a request for recycling containers to place in his unit’s barracks. His intent was to provide recycling for those personnel in the barracks that wanted to participate in the Net Zero Waste and recycling program. Previously, Soldiers that wanted to recycle while living in the barracks had to do as Dickson had done: Store recyclables within their personal room until a full bag could be transported to their company. Dickson said he thought others may want to recycle and he could make it easier for them.
With the support of his battalion’s first sergeants, Dickson set up a plan for recycling in the barracks. He implemented recycling for No. 1 plastics, aluminum cans and paper. The Net Zero Waste team asked Dickson if the barracks occupants were participating in the program to which he replied, “They are. I don’t personally know if they all recycle or not, but the bins get filled.”
Dickson checks the containers on a weekly basis, and transports them to his company area for sorting and pick up by the Fort Polk Curbside Recycling Program. He says the item that gets recycled the most is aluminum cans. One key step in his initiative in keeping the recycling containers clean and free of contamination is to provide a trash bin alongside the recycling containers. Overall, he has the support for the barracks recycling program that he put in place from both his superiors and his peers.
Dickson has been at Fort Polk for about three years and has a permanent change of station move to Fort Carson, Colorado within the next year. While he has enjoyed his stay here at Fort Polk, he said he is ready to move on.
“I hope that my successors will keep up with the program and continue offering recycling services for Soldiers living in the barracks,” Dickson said. “I look forward to seeing if my future barracks will offer recycling, and may start a program there as well.”
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