Gulfport Seabee Base Builds $1.3 Million Recycling Center

By Danielle Thomas - bio | email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Saving money and helping the environment. That's what the Navy is hoping for with the unveiling of a new $1.3 million recycling facility. Officials say the recycling program hasn't been at full speed since Katrina destroyed the previous recycling center, but that will soon change.

"We do cans. We do cardboard," said Lt. Commander Romeo Coleman.

Whether it's spent shell casings or printer cartridges, Seabee officials say everything that gets recycled is less waste the base has to pay to have hauled away, which helps the budget.

Lt. Com. Coleman is the public works officer.

"We still were able to recycle about 500 tons of waste last year. But we think this year, with the bailer and the canner, we will be able to up that very much."

Base officials say not only does the recycling program make enough money to pay for itself, it actually generates a profit. By replacing the 4,000 square foot recycling center Katrina destroyed with one more than double that size, military officials expect the profit margin to go up.

"I think we'll probably increase our revenues by about 25 percent," said Lt. Com. Coleman. "I think last year we ended up about $150,000, so next year we'll be around $175,000 to $200,000."

People have the option of dropping off things like aluminum cans, cardboard, or paper directly at the new recycling site, or putting them in one of the bins located at various points around the base. Military officials say they want to make recycling easy and convenient.

Base Commander Capt. Ed Brown Base said, "They wan to do the right thing. They want what's good for the environment, if you can make it easy for them. All they have to do is pull up their vehicles or bring in from local drop points. This is easy."

Seabee officials say the more trash that is recycled, the less that ends up in a landfill. Seabee officials say all the profits from the recycling center go into programs that either help the environment or to pay for entertainment events for the Seabees. The center is scheduled to go on line early next month.