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Learn how, where, when to recycle

Aluminum cans are shown packed together at a recycling plant near Aviano Air Base, Sept. 5. By recycling the correct way on and off base, it could help save Aviano Air Base money, prevent members from getting fines, and allow the recycling center and Ecosinergie to be more productive towards helping the Italian environment.(U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Matthew Lotz)

Aluminum cans are shown packed together at a recycling plant near Aviano Air Base, Sept. 5. By recycling the correct way on and off base, it could help save Aviano Air Base money, prevent members from getting fines, and allow the recycling center and Ecosinergie to be more productive towards helping the Italian environment.(U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Matthew Lotz)

A garbage truck dumps recyclable paper products into a pile at a recycling plant near Aviano Air Base, Sept. 5.There are different types of recyclable materials such as a non-recycling dry waste, wet waste, paper/cardboard, aluminum cans/glass, and plastics. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Matthew Lotz)

A garbage truck dumps recyclable paper products into a pile at a recycling plant near Aviano Air Base, Sept. 5.There are different types of recyclable materials such as a non-recycling dry waste, wet waste, paper/cardboard, aluminum cans/glass, and plastics. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Matthew Lotz)

AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy -- Italian community and base officials need your help in properly disposing of both on- and off-base recyclable waste and non-recyclable waste.

A team from the 31st Civil Engineer Squadron is educating U.S. military and Department of Defense civilian employees and their families on how, where and when to properly dispose of their waste.

"I think it is very important to recycle both on- and off-base," said Master Sgt. Benjamin Ruiz, 31st CES chief of service contracts. "It is European/Italian law, and Air Force Instruction 32-7042 mandates all installations have a recycling program. Additionally, the Aviano Community Standards require compliance with both on- and off-base recycling program rules. Base personnel need to understand the procedures in Italy are different than other countries."

At Aviano Air Base, the annual budget for processing on-base waste is more than $660,000 and approximately $90,000 extra was paid last year, roughly an additional 13 percent, due to improper sorting of trash which polluted recyclable material in recycling bins, Ruiz said. Another bad habit contributing to this additional cost is members dumping their off-base waste and bulk trash into the on-base containers.

"All personnel who live off-base in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region of Italy are required by law to dispose their non-recyclable and bulk trash at the recycling center in the communities where they live, said Giovanna Coppola, 31st CES community recycling liaison. "The base recycling center, or BRC, is for refuse generated from base facilities and for personnel who live in the dormitories."

Despite Team Aviano doing 3-4 percent better than last year, Ruiz said personnel continue to bring trash from off-base and units often dump prohibited items such as automotive parts and equipment, bicycles, furniture, hazardous materials, scrap metal, etc... at various refuse collection points on base. Pick up of these items are not part of the refuse contractor's scope of work and base personnel need to take and dispose of these items as stated below.

To better help base personnel understand what can and cannot go in containers at the various on-base refuse collection points, new signage with larger font will soon replace the old sun bleached faded labels.

Personnel who live and work on-base can dispose of the waste they generate on-base as follows:

· Aluminum cans and glass: any green bell-shaped container
· Cardboard and paper products: any container with a yellow top
· Plastics (wrappings and bottles): any container with a blue top
· Wet waste: any brown-colored container
· Dry-mixed waste: any container with a green top
· An example of properly disposing of refuse: Following an office pizza luncheon, you're left with pizza boxes soiled with cheese, oil and sauce and some leftover slices. A clean box (or the torn off clean top half) is cardboard, the soiled bottom part of the box is dry-mixed waste, and the leftover slices to be thrown away are wet waste.

Bulk trash and other items prohibited from being placed into the above on-base containers are but are not limited to:

· air conditioning and refrigerator units
· automotive parts and bicycles,
· electronics and furniture,
· hazardous materials such as facility lights, paints and solvents, and
· ironing boards, scrap metal and wood.

Certain bulk trash, such as wood pallets, broken furniture and electronics from units or dormitory residents should be taken to the BRC. Air conditioning units, refrigerators, paints, fluorescent light tubes and other hazardous waste from units or dormitory residents should be disposed of through their respective unit's environmental channels. Scrap metal, government-procured equipment, furniture, monitors, or anything listed on a 31st Communications Squadron automatic data processing equipment account or a 31st Logistics Readiness Squadron custodian authorization/custody receipt listing should be disposed through the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service.

The following are on-base recycling points of contact and hours of operation.

· BRC is open 1-4 p.m. Monday through Friday. The BRC is located adjacent to Bldg 10462 along 'perimeter road' on Area F between Vehicle Maintenance and the AMC Passenger Terminal
· DRMS is open 1-3:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday by appointment only. Call DSN 632-5082 or commercial 0434-30-5082 to schedule a turn-in.
· Environmental: By appointment only. Call DSN 632-5393/-5394 or commercial 0434-30-5393/-5394 to schedule a turn-in.
· If in doubt, call the appropriate POC for guidance.

In Italy, Americans and Italians alike are subject to fines if caught illegally dumping or transporting refuse outside of their respective community. For example: Let's say a driver who lives in Cavasso Nuovo is 'lollipopped' by the Italian carabinieri while driving through Budoia for a random documentation check and the person is found to have refuse or bulk trash in their vehicle, the carabinieri officer could issue a fine to the driver.

To help facilitate the 'How to recycle while stationed in Italy' learning curve, 31st CES management created a dedicated community recycling liaison position. Coppola, the current liaison, has taken the lead in translating local Italian recycling guidelines into English and coordinates with the wing public affairs office to have them posted on the base public website. All newcomers, or even the old-timers who move from one community to another, are advised to review these online recycling guidelines when they first arrive and at least annually thereafter as each community has different procedures and schedules which are updated throughout the year.

To review recycling guidelines in your community, go to: http://www.aviano.af.mil/library/recycling.asp. To submit a request for additional off-base recycling containers permitted by the specific municipality, to request bulky item pickups, or to enquire about other off-base recycling information, contact Giovanna Coppola at giovanna.coppola@aviano.af.mil, via DSN 632-2511 or commercial at 0434-30-2511. For these and other similar recycling matters pertaining to the on-base recycling program, contact Renzo Basso at renzo.basso@aviano.af.mil, or via DSN 632-5770 or commercial 0434-30-5770.