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News > Recycling effort saves money, earns award
Shrink Wrap
Dave Dalton from the 88th Air Base Wing Environmental Management shrink wraps old ceiling tiles for shipment to Armstrong. The base has recycled enough ceiling tiles to cover 20 football fields and have diverted 172 dumpsters from going into a local landfill. (U.S. Air Force photo/Ted Theopolos)
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Recycling effort saves money, earns award

Posted 11/20/2009   Updated 4/15/2010 Email story   Print story


by Ted Theopolos
88th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

11/20/2009 - WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio -- Six years ago, Wright-Patterson initiated a program to recycle its ceiling tiles. To date, the base has turned in 1.2 million square feet of ceiling tiles for recycling, which is enough to cover 20 football fields.

Martin Nicodemus, an environmental scientist with the 88th Civil Engineering Environmental Management Division, started the project.

"One of my co-workers read about Armstrong's Recycling Program and we started from there and contacted the company to find out how the program worked," said Mr. Nicodemus. "Armstrong pays for freight cost for the old ceiling tiles to be shipped to their plant."

Armstrong World Industries, Inc., located in Lancaster, Pa., manufactures floors, ceilings and cabinets. If you work indoors on base and look up, you're looking at Armstrong ceiling tiles.

Mr. Nicodemus said the process starts with removing the tiles from the ceiling.

"The construction workers have to stack the tiles on pallets when they remove them from the ceiling. Then we transport the pallets to Building 30258, where they are machine wrapped in shrink wrap to keep them from moving. The pallets are stored until we have enough to fill a semi trailer. After we collect 24 pallets, stacked six feet tall with tiles, we call Armstrong and they dispatch a truck to load the tiles and transport them to their plant," said Mr. Nicodemus.

So far the project has saved the base several thousands of dollars and has diverted approximately 172 dumpsters from going to a local landfill. "Our objective is to remove as much as we can from the waste stream," said Mr. Nicodemus.

On November 11, WPAFB received an award from Armstrong for exceeding the one million square foot recycling plateau. This wasn't the first award for the base's environmental management office. In 2004 the base received Most Valuable Pollution Prevention (MVP2) Project/Program Award from the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable.

The recycling project is still on going.  Building 20126 is next in line for its ceiling tiles to come down and be stacked, wrapped and shipped.

12/1/2009 2:25:20 PM ET
Way to go Nic Congrats on your award.
Debbie Walton, WPAFB Bldg 1455
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