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March 23, 2012

AFFTC Museum preserves history, boosts recycling participation

Written by: Staff
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Air Force photograph by Laura Mowry
A load of non-recyclable materials is lifted onto a flatbed truck March 15 during the museum's ongoing cleanup efforts. In addition to removing more than seven tons of non-recyclables, the museum's joint effort with the 95th Air Base Wing Civil Engineering Division has recycled more 20 tons of metal to date.

Taking advantage of an opportunity to preserve Edwards history and tidy up their museum storage facility, the Air Force Flight Test Center Museum staff teamed up with the 95th Air Base Wing Civil Engineering Division, is substantially contributing to the base’s Quality Recycling Program.

The museum’s recycling efforts began six months ago when the area was flagged during an internal audit conducted for the base’s Self-Inspection Program.

“This is a massive undertaking,” said Tony Moore, AFFTC Museum specialist. “There is so much history that needs to be preserved in the storage facility, but to do that requires cleaning out the facility in layers. It also requires heavy machinery to get the job done.”
Between August 2011 and January 2012, the AFFTC Museum contributed 24.6 gross tons of metal to the Edwards recycling program. The metal was sold at various prices ranging from $230 to $300 per ton, grossing $6,500 for the cleanup efforts.

“Right now, the museum’s recycling efforts are crucial to bringing in money. It is desperately needed and the timing is perfect,” said James Judkins, 95th CE director. “This is a great opportunity for the Quality Recycling Program.”

Air Force photograph by Laura Mowry

The Air Force Flight Test Center Museum is in the process of coordinating with various on-base organizations to remove the I-beams from the storage facility. The logistics of the removal pose unique challenges given the immense size and weight of the I-beams. Once removed, they will be stored and recycled during ideal market conditions.

The cleanup is expected to take approximately two years and will continue mitigating the costs associated with the recycling program. Remaining funds will be put aside to help boost the quality of life at Edwards.

“This is a win-win for us and the base. A great deal needs to go at the storage facility and a lot needs to be kept,” said Moore. “This helps us preserve our rich history and helps make Edwards a better community.”

According to George Welsh, AFFTC Museum curator, a good portion of the historical items at the storage facility will be kept for exhibits and displays at the museum.

Although the museum cleanup currently the base’s largest individual contribution to the Quality Recycling Program, Judkins hopes that this is a jumpstart for the program that it sparks interest and leads to more active participation in the program throughout the Edwards community.

“Davis-Montham Air Force Base can recycle the brass from A-10 aircraft. Unfortunately, there’s no cash cow like that at Edwards. It takes a base-wide effort to make the program a success,” said Judkins. “Our goal with the Quality Recycling Program is to meet all legal obligations, extend the life of our landfill, and turn the recycling efforts into a profitable enterprise that helps increase the quality of life here at Edwards.”
Increased participation in the program will help drive down recycling costs dramatically. Participation in the program can vary from large-scale projects to daily recycling.

For example, the I-beams and galvanized pipe found in the museum storage facility are ideal recyclable items. The recyclables are removed and stored until market conditions become ideal. Under ideal market conditions, the metal is then sold.

There are also numerous options for recycling items such as the 500,000 tons of left over runway concrete, classified as construction debris. Using the concrete for ongoing projects or an Enhanced Use Lease Agreement are both viable options that enhance the environment.

Air Force photograph by Laura Mowry

Kevin Herrera, Alpha Technical Services Corporation project manager, watches as a load of non-recyclable materials is lifted onto a flatbed truck March 15 at the Air Force Flight Test Center Museum storage facility. The museum staff began the cleanup effort six months ago when the facility was flagged during an internal audit. The project is expected to continue over the next two years and significantly boost participation in the base’s recycling program.

Active participation at the individual level is also critical to the Quality Recycling Program’s success.

“People need to continue recycling. If something looks valuable and you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Someone will take a look and answer your questions,” said Judkins. “Individually, everyone can make a difference. Instead of throwing everything out, separate the recyclables. Even though items are sorted at the landfill, taking care of it ahead of time saves valuable time and money.”

Participating in the Quality Recycling Program is a simple and effective opportunity for Team Edwards to directly create positive change within the community; albeit a large scale project like the museum storage facility cleanup or the day-to-day recycling of cans and bottles.

For more information about participation in the Quality Recycling Program, please contact Robert Landolt at (661) 277-1167.




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