Recycle option available at Ellsworth Transfer Station

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Alessandra N. Hurley
  • 28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
Environmentally-conscious Airmen who want to clean up their living space have the option of taking plastics, metals and other recyclable materials to the base recycling point, dubbed the transfer station.

The transfer station provides an assortment of receptacles labeled for wood, cardboard, metals and other recyclables with even a few devoted to regular trash.

"I direct Airmen to the correct bins for each kind of recycled material and give them a hand if they need help," said Randy Kime, a civilian contractor with the 28th Civil Engineering Squadron. "Our company, Sea Coast, also hauls all of the materials to Rapid City to be sorted and distributed accordingly."

Airmen need only take all of their discarded items to the recycle point and dispose of them in the proper containers.

"We're a one-stop drop off center for Airmen to dispose of all their waste materials," Mr. Kime said. "The wood and yard waste is turned into mulch, for example, and everything we can reuse gets reused. Other refuse is disposed of, as well. We'll even accept car parts, washers and dryers, although we no longer take refrigerators."

As a result, recycling and taking out one's garbage is simple, efficient and fast, said Mr. Kime, who has been assisting Ellsworth Airmen with recyclables since 2004. But, many Airmen don't know this resource is available to them.

"I've had Airmen come up to me and tell me they've been here six months and didn't even know we were here," Mr. Kime said.

Airman 1st Class Damian Gamboa, 28th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron electronic warfare systems specialist, said he found the recycle point while driving around exploring the base.

"I've been recycling my entire life," Airman Gamboa said. "As a child I used to read books on how to help save the environment."

Airman Gamboa hails from California where he said he grew up separating his trash into green waste, regular waste and recyclables.

"I try to reuse things as much as possible," Airman Gamboa said. "For example, I reuse plastic bags and I only wash clothes when I have a full load- not to waste water, so it's nice Airmen have the option of recycling trash instead of throwing it away and having it end up sitting in a land-fill."

Airman Gamboa said he feels people have a collective responsibility to take care of the environment and reuse as much of the resources taken from it as possible.

"We live here and we have to take care of the environment, instead of destroy it," Airman Gamboa said. "The transfer station here helps us reuse the stuff we take out of the environment by recycling it."

Although there are no known statistics or exact numbers of how many Airmen take advantage of the recycling point, it is the hope of both Mr. Kime and Airman Gamboa that increased awareness of this available resource will inspire more Airmen to get involved in caring for the environment and cleaning up the base.

The transfer station is located on Centennial Drive and is open Thursday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.