4.1 Education. Without education, the best designed, equipped recycling and composting programs will not succeed. By making the base populace aware of the programs and educating them on their part, program effectiveness will be greatly increased. The RRRP manager must stress the benefits of source reduction, recycling, and purchasing environmentally preferable products throughout the educational program.
The education program should focus on raising the awareness of how the RRRP benefits the environment. This awareness must show installation personnel how their participation makes a difference. Base newspapers and community cable channels are prime media avenues to the installation population. Many basic media messages have already been produced by recycling and composting trade associations (See 5.3 Recycling & Composting Associations). These messages can be supplemented by installation specific messages listing the materials recycled, recycling center operating hours, composting program information, RRRP manager phone number, and similar information. Another important message for these media outlets is RRRP progress reports listing the amounts recycled/composted, the savings generated, and the amount of products containing recycled material purchased. By including this information, base personnel see the progress being made and feel that there efforts are going toward a tangible goal.
Another important element of education is community outreach. This includes increasing awareness by: speaking at Commander's Calls and "town meetings" to soliciting comments and suggestions for improvements; visiting local schools to educate the children; incorporating the RRRP into the installation's newcomer orientation program; and hosting Earth Day activities. Distribution of information, particularly materials and brochures furnished by recycling and composting associations, provides a reminder to these people at a later date. The education process should always have a positive focus.
4.2 Innovation. Each installation should establish an "I Team" ("I" stands for innovation) with the goal of pursuing new, innovative opportunities for waste reduction and pollution prevention. The team's charter is to examine all imaginative ideas, logistically feasible or not, with the thought that nothing is impossible. Team members should pursue opportunities using their own expertise as well as pulling in knowledge from "field experts" who deal directly with the issues. The I Team should meet regularly to present new ideas and provide updates to previous ideas. Publishing a newsletter highlighting team success will feed the imagination and innovation of other installation personnel.
Another great source of information on innovative processes and successful installation programs is PRO-ACT. To assist Air Force personnel in meeting environmental guidelines and pollution prevention goals, the Air Force Center for Environmental Excellence (AFCEE) sponsors PRO-ACT, an environmental clearinghouse and research service. PRO-ACT researchers draw on the resources of management and operating contractors at various Air Force locations, other Federal and DoD Agencies, the EPA, state agencies, national research and development laboratories and industry.
PRO-ACT offers a broad range of services free of charge to all Air Force personnel. These services include up to 40 hours of research on environmental issues, regulatory alerts and updates, fact sheets on topics of general interest, bibliographic assistance, database and literature searches and crossfeed information packages containing research summaries, new technology information and lessons-learned documentation.
Currently, PRO-ACT is staffed from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Central Time. PRO-ACT can be reached in a variety of ways to include:
· 1-800-233-HELO (233-4356) or DSN 240-4214 or Commercial 210-536-4214
· FAX DSN 240-4254 or 210-536-4254
· WANG e-mail to PRO-ACT
· Internet e-mail to email@example.com
· DENIX e-mail to proact
4.3 Purchasing Environmentally Preferable Products. The purchase of products containing recycled material is a necessary part of closing the reuse/recycling loop. While the RRRP manager is the chief advocate, the Environmental Protection Committee and the RRRP Sub-committee are important supporters. The effectiveness and success of this program requires senior level interest to motivate users and procurers.
The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) requires that EPA Guideline Items be used. The only exceptions to their use are: (1) not meeting performance specifications, (2) only available at an unreasonable price, and (3) not available within a reasonable time frame.
The following is a list of actions that installations may take to establish an aggressive program. Each item is followed by the office(s) typically responsible for the action.
· Review and revise specifications to eliminate preferences for virgin material and encourage the use of EPA Guideline Items, as contained in Engineering Technical Letter 94-7, Dec 94, EPA Guideline Items in Construction and Other Civil Engineering Contracts (Civil Engineer);
· Replace items in the base supply store with environmentally preferable products whenever possible and ensure the General Services Administration's Environmental Products Guide is available for users (Supply);
· Examine current maintenance operations and replace materials with EPA Guideline Items whenever possible (building insulation, concrete and cement containing fly ash: Civil Engineer; re-refined lubricating oil: Civil Engineer, and Transportation; re-tread vehicle tires: Transportation);
· Require all writing, letterhead, and copier paper to meet Executive Order 12873 requirements (Contracting, Supply, Information Management);
· Require all contract submittals, specifications, and change orders meet recycled content requirements and be printed double-sided (Contracting);
· Require all base newspapers, news magazines, and base directories to contain recycled newsprint (Public Affairs);
· Require all newly acquired/leased copy machines to automatically default to two-sided copies (Contracting, Information Management); and
· Require the use of recycled toner cartridges in all copy machines and laser printers (Contracting, Information Management, Supply).