This document describes the general elements found in successful resource recovery and recycling programs (RRRP) and provides guidance for implementing a program. The target audience for this guide is the RRRP manager (also called the qualified recycling program (QRP) manager). There are a number of ways to set up a RRRP and it is expected that installations will tailor this program to fit the specific conditions and goals of the installation. This guide supersedes the Air Force Recycling How-To-Guide, published June 1994. Additional copies of the RRRP guide may be obtained from the Air Force Center for Environmental Excellence, Pollution Prevention Directorate (AFCEE/EP) DSN 240-4964.
1.1 Strategic Goal. The goal of the Air Force RRRP is solid waste reduction, pollution prevention, and conservation of natural resources. Objectives include:
· Minimize the amount of waste discarded in landfills;
· Increase the percentage of waste that is recycled;
· Stimulate market demand for environmentally preferable products by increasing both the type of products and the amount of products purchased;
· Expand the education program with a focus on public awareness and support of recycling and composting programs;
· Maximize proceeds both now and in the future; and
· Comply with Federal, State and local mandates.
1.2 Program Start-up. The most important part of the RRRP Manager's job is resource advocacy; acquiring the manpower, equipment, vehicles, and funding necessary to create a program that reduces waste disposal at the least cost. This section focuses on the overall RRRP program and provides general guidance about program resources. Later chapters concentrate on the specific program elements (e.g., recycling, composting) and provide detailed suggestions.
1.2.1 Selecting a RRRP Manager. Selecting a dedicated, enthusiastic, and creative program manager is critical to the success of any RRRP. It is strongly recommended that the RRRP manager have no other full-time responsibilities. The program manager must be able to dedicate 100 percent of his/her time to the RRRP.
The RRRP manager is responsible for consolidating information from all recycling activities, reporting on solid waste reduction and affirmative procurement activities, composting, environmental compliance of the program, and education.
The program manager should also develop a strategic five-year RRRP plan, program requirements in the Work Information Management System-Environmental Subsystem's (WIMS-ES) A-106 and Pollution Prevention Modules, and advocate for funding. The RRRP manager is responsible for the functioning of the RRRP Subcommittee (See 1.2.3 Organization Participation).
1.2.2 Program Responsibility. The installation commander has overall responsibility for implementing a resource recovery and recycling program. The RRRP must comply with public law, Executive Orders, Department of Defense and Air Force policies and regulations, as well as applicable state or local requirements (See 5.1 Legal Requirements).
1.2.3 Organization Participation. Support from the installation's senior leadership and other organizations is essential to the RRRP's success. The most effective way to incorporate installation organizations into the RRRP is through the Environmental Protection Committee (EPC). The EPC should be used to report results, advance new ideas, describe problems, and identify solutions while ensuring that each organization knows its role for the program to succeed.
Increased installation emphasis can be obtained through the establishment of a RRRP Subcommittee which reports directly to the EPC. The RRRP Subcommittee allows installation-wide participation in this highly visible wing program. Committee members establish program objectives designed to maximize recycling of materials and minimizing solid waste disposal. The committee includes the RRRP manager and should be composed of representatives from a variety of base organizations, to include tenants. As a minimum, recommend representatives from the following organizations be members of the RRRP Subcommittee (installations may not have all these organizations):
· Aircraft Maintenance;
· Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES);
· Base Comptroller;
· Civil Engineer Operations;
· Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA);
· Defense Reutilization and Marketing Organization (DRMO);
· Environmental Management;
· Public Affairs;
· Supply; and
· Vehicle Maintenance.
The initial tasks facing the RRRP Subcommittee are to obtain a waste stream characterization, identify available resources, identify potential markets, determine method of program accomplishment, identify facility, equipment, and vehicle requirements, and promote education. On the basis of this data, the subcommittee will develop a program start-up strategy and obtain organizational support for the identified initiatives. The installation commander has ultimate ownership of the program and is responsible for ensuring the program meets or exceeds Air Force goals.
Once the RRRP is functioning, the RRRP Subcommittee should review and consider:
(1) suggestions to improve and expand present operations; (2) audits and inspection reports; (3) the RRRP budget and execution; (4) proposed programs/projects for recycling revenue use; and (5) educational and promotional activities.
1.2.4 Economic Analysis. Another essential tool is an economic analysis of the waste stream, handling methods, and material markets. This analysis allows the RRRP manager to make intelligent choices in program start-up and employment of resources. The material markets section of the analysis should include not only how industry prefers the material packaged, but an examination of the total costs (manpower, equipment, transportation) necessary to meet this preference. The higher price obtained for material packaged in the preferred method may not be sufficient to justify the increased costs.
1.2.5 Funding. Knowledge and understanding of the funding process is necessary for program success. The funding process includes obtaining and managing start-up and recurring operating costs as well as distributing proceeds from recyclable material sales. These activities must be in accordance with AFI 32-7001, Environmental Budgeting, and AFI 32-7080, Pollution Prevention Program. Funding requirements must be budgeted and programmed through installation and MAJCOM Financial Plans and during the Program Objective Memorandum (POM) development process.
1.2.6 Manpower. Acquiring the manpower to operate the RRRP is increasingly becoming the single most important factor affecting decisions concerning the start-up and operation of recycling and composting programs. However, potential labor pools do exist and include such resources as military, civilian, contract, federal and state prisoners, and volunteers. The advantages and disadvantages of each pool are discussed in both Chapter 2, Recycling Operations, and Chapter 3, Composting Programs.
1.2.7 Equipment. The RRRP manager needs to determine the best balance between costs and equipment efficiency. For example, if a large, inexpensive labor pool is available, cheaper, more labor intensive equipment can be used. Conversely, in a tight manpower situation, the purchase of more expensive, but labor saving equipment may be a better option.
1.2.8 Vehicles. Transportation is essential for the success of the RRRP. Vehicles may be obtained through appropriated fund resources, General Services Administration (GSA) lease, or closure base residue. Requirements must be submitted to MAJCOM for authorization and acquisition.
1.3 Program Measurement. Measuring program effectiveness is an important part of the overall process. The following three metrics, in combination, provide the best complete picture of program operations.
1.3.1 Solid Waste Disposal. This method measures solid wastes disposed of in landfills and through incineration (not waste-to-energy) in tons. The annual numbers are compared to previous years and the baseline year (currently calendar year 1992 for the Air Force) to measure performance. The desired trend is reduction in annual tonnage disposed. Increases in disposal quantities should be examined to determine whether they were due to ineffective programs, inaccurate baseline data, or other factors, such as mission changes.
1.3.2 Solid Waste Generation. This metric measures the total waste generated on the installation in tons. The total waste is the sum of the disposed amount and the recycled/reused amount (sum of recycled, composted, and waste-to-energy amounts). The desired trend is reduction in annual tonnage generated. This metric allows an installation to determine the effect of their source reduction efforts, the first level in the pollution prevention hierarchy.
1.3.3 Recycling Percentage. This performance indicator measures recycled/reused amounts as a percentage of total waste generation. The recycled/reused amount is divided by the total waste generated. The desired trend is an increase in the annual recycling percentage. This indicator judges the effectiveness of the recycling efforts, the second level of the pollution prevention hierarchy.
While source reduction is the primary focus for pollution prevention efforts, few source reduction initiatives are available to installations. This is because most source reduction opportunities are present before the installation is affected. For example, product packaging is determined by the manufacturer. The installation must determine how to handle the waste from the product, not how to eliminate the waste. Therefore, recycling percentage is an important measure of the RRRP's effectiveness.