Local

April 20, 2012

Nellis goes green

By Staff Sgt. Will Coleman
99th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Christopher Hubenthal
Christina Hilliard, 99th Force Support Squadron marketing specialist, places a piece of paper in a recycling bin April 17, 2012, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Services marketing has also emphasized digital marketing techniques to reduce paper use.

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — Nellis Air Force Base celebrates Earth Day 2012 with a variety of pollution prevention programs that minimize waste, encourage green products, use fewer toxic materials, recycle and decrease our overall consumption of natural resources.

 As millions of people around the world observe Earth Day April 20 this year, the Air Force is challenging every member of the Air Force family to do his or her part to prevent pollution.

One endeavor the Air Force has undertaken to improve sustainability is to modify current processes to incorporate innovative, environmentally friendly technologies.

U.S. Air Force Airmen, 99th Civil Engineer Squadron, construct a roundabout at the intersection of Ellesworth avenue and Fitzgerald boulevard April 16, 2012, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Roundabouts are used to alleviate traffic congestion, reduce fuel consumption, air pollution and accidents.

Nellis AFB has already met the fiscal year 2025 goal of using twenty-five percent of its energy consumption from renewable sources using photovoltaic array systems.

Another initiative to encourage green products is the wide use of xeriscape. Xeriscape replaces grass with desert landscaping to save energy and water. The rocky landscaping saves the base millions of dollars a year in maintenance and two billion gallons of water annually.

Decreasing the consumption of our natural resources is crucial, as Nellis has been in the midst of a decade long drought in which Lake Mead is expected to drop another seventeen feet this year.

Another way Nellis is saving water is by using the 75,000 plus gallons of water flushed during monthly maintenance, to irrigate the golf course. Recycling the water saves around one million gallons of water per year.

The eighth-mile running track allows Airmen and dependents to work out in a temperature-controlled environment at the Warrior Fitness Center April 12, 2012, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Specially coated windows in the Warrior Fitness Center block ultraviolet rays in sunlight from entering the gym and creating excess heat, greatly reducing the energy needed for cooling. The gym’s windows are placed so that they receive the least possible amount of direct UV rays, while special exterior facing materials and insulation passively cool the building without using additional energy.

Nellis is part of the Christmas Tree Recycling Committee which recycled a  total of 17,320 trees last year. That equals 151 tons of mulch and 2,309 cubic yards of solid waste diverted from landfills. Last year, 225 of those trees came from Nellis.

“The important thing about this, is these 225 Christmas trees means eight days worth of solid waste diverted from landfills,” said Nesley Orochena, 99th Civil Engineer Squadron Outreach program  manager.

The mulch created from the Christmas trees is used for air quality control measures and parks.  This  saves  money as mulch runs around nine hundred dollars a ton.

The Qualified Recycling Program is another program that gains multiple benefits from conservation.  Recycled materials at Nellis have brought dollars to Nellis AFB continuously.  The money is used to sustain the recycling center and fund more pollution prevention projects for numerous organizations throughout Nellis, Creech and NTTR.

“Our recycling center is self-sustained so there is no need for funding from the government,“ said Orochena.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Chris Wright, 99 Civil Engineer Squadron pavement and construction journeyman, spreads gravel for a xeriscape design at the new Warrior Fitness Center at Nellis Air Force Base, Mar. 20, 2012. Xeriscaping is conserving water by landscaping in ways that reduce or eliminate the need to use water for irrigation.

When it comes to the use of toxic materials, Nellis has set the standard.  Nellis’ Hazardous Waste Reduction program has not received a notice of violation from the Nevada Division of Environment Protection in over a decade.

The latest project to minimize waste is the construction of roundabouts.  Roundabouts are used extensively in Europe and are increasingly being used in the United States to alleviate traffic congestion, reduce fuel consumption, air pollution and accidents.

Emphasizing the Air Force’s vision to “conserve today-secure tomorrow”, the 99th Civil Engineer Squadron Environmental Section has set aside a special day, May 3, 2012, at 9:30 a.m., for celebrating the importance of the environment in commemoration of Arbor Day.

With the assistance of Lomie Heard Elementary School teachers and principal, Ms. Tracy Dyer, students from the third, fourth, and fifth grade will create posters with the theme “trees make a world of difference.”

The students’ efforts will be rewarded with prizes and recognition on May 3. After the celebration, the students will witness a tree planting ceremony where a special guest from the Nevada Division of Forestry and 99th Air Base Wing leadership will plant a tree.

For additional information please contact Mr. Nesley Orochena at (702) 652-3035 or nesley.orochena@nellis.af.mil.

Takeira Jones-Bolden, 99th Force Support Squadron marketing assistant, Christina Hilliard, 99th FSS marketing specialist, unwrap foam board April 17, 2012, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. The new foam board, used for various marketing products, is made of recycled and re-purposed materiels.




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