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Waste management challenges are critical in today’s global culture due to climate change fears. As opposed to incineration and landfill, recycling is the most effective waste disposal mechanism. The decline in landfill capacity due to ever-increasing population and usage patterns has forced governments and other organizations to pursue alternate waste management approaches. A military base is one of the major waste producers, so devising garbage management strategies is critical for these installations. This research focuses on recycling as a waste disposal system in the military. The aim of this paper is to identify alternative recycling methods in the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force. The current recycling processes are dependent on trash vendors who are unreliable especially about mixed wastes. The research proposes the building of secluded recycling system and having a subsidiary recycling areas in each workplace. Also, the study recommends putting of recycling bins by each working station. The results of the survey indeed a recycling facility may be particularly beneficial in the command unit.

Table of Contents

Executive Summary2

Letter to Commanding Officer2




Overview of methodology3

Primary Sources3

Secondary sources4

Literature review4

Benefits of Recycling4

Specifics associated with recycling5

Military recycling5

Comparison of military installations related to recycling ethics6

Japanese laws related to recycling7

Results from primary research7

Benefits of Building the Facility8



Letter to Commanding Officer

Commanding Officer,

To: Commanding Officer



Subject: Efficient Recycling procedure proposal

Recycling is a concern within each division in the command system. Our current recycling rate is at 70 percent rather than the acceptable 80 percent indicating that our systems are failing in this regard. I propose the building of a secluded recycling system on the side of the company building and having subordinate recycling areas in each workplace. I also recommend the putting of recycling bins by each desk to inspire the spirit of recycling. The secluded location will allow easy access for each of the service members in command. Currently, our recycle vendors are reluctant to purchase our wastes since they are a mixture of aluminum, paper, glass and all other products that can be recycled. I secluded location will provide the final solution to our recycling problem since it will reduce the organization dependency on vendors who are more attuned to specific products rather than a mixture.

Similarly, having a recycling area within the company will increase the current recycling rate from 70 percent to well above the recommended 80 percent. A higher rate of recycling adheres to the Japanese recycling laws from the “Container and Packaging Recycling Law to the “COMSCINST 5090.1c” to the “MCIP 4-11.01”. Adherence to basic environmental legislation in the country increases government perception of efficiency in the unit. As such, making the command a deployable unit. The report attached indicates the current recycling problem in the unit and provides an in-depth analysis of how the proposed solution will increase efficiency and reduce recycling problem. The report presented considers all the particular related to the settlement offered from the budgeting to the benefits.


Recycling plays a key role in today’s global society. Recycling is important for the reduction of waste and the protection of the environment. The recent issues in climate change in past couple of decades have prompted many companies across the globe to embrace recycling. Rigid laws are passed annually in different countries in efforts to control waste issues. The military is a core aspect of every government, and as such, it is vital for units to provide an example by embracing recycling at the recommended levels. The 3rd marine expeditionary force as a formation of the Marine air-ground task force of the United States is under the United States military. The United States Army recommends 80 percent recycling and as such the 3rd marine expeditionary should strive to achieve these numbers.


The company’s recycling systems are failing regarding quantity recycled and adherence to basic laws and regulations governing this issue. The company is dependent on trash vendors who collect trash from the base and deposit it to different recycling areas. However, the trash vendors are reluctant to work with the company due to the lack of separation amongst various types of wastes including plastic products, glass, pet bottle, aluminum, paper and other recyclable materials. The data from the 3rd marine expeditionary recycled systems indicates that the company recycling is at 70 percent a percentage which is below the recommended 80 percent in the United States military (USAEC, 2009). This low rate of recycling indicates using contracted vendors is not effective. Additionally, the current recycling rates and systems do not adhere to the Japanese recycling laws, for instance, the Container and Packaging Recycling Law and the COMSCINST 5090. Lack of precise systems of recycling results to increased rates of wastes in the company which may adversely affect the effectiveness of the unit due to health concerns hence affecting military readiness rates.


The goal of this survey was to establish how the problem of recycling can be addressed effectively in 3rd marine expeditionary. The research pinpoints the advantages associated with recycling especially in a secluded place within the organization. Analysis of the Japanese Recycling laws provides insight on the expectations of the proposed recycling system.

Overview of methodology

The study is a qualitative research that employs both primary and secondary sources of data. The use of both primary and secondary sources of data increases the validity of the study. The secondary source of data presents the ideas of the peers hence enhancing the coverage of the survey.

Primary Sources

Interviews and observations are the primary sources of primary data in this particular research. The participants were the service members of the military base. The questions asked were open-ended about their opinions to current recycling system used in the company and whether they think the systems are failing. Interviews are cost-effective and provide one to one interaction which is important in increasing the validity of the research. The researcher evaluated the operation of other command units with similar methods of addressing waste for one month. The observations were carried out without bias to determine the most efficient recycling processes and the importance of recycling.

Secondary sources

Recent documents on the importance of recycling and the current Japanese laws and regulations about recycling are carefully analyzed. Articles related to the recommended recycling process were analyzed to determine the benefits of secluded recycling processing in large organizations. The research focused on recent documents that are up to date with the current information. Reliable sources are used to retrieve the secondary data from approved peer-reviewed journals to internationally recognized websites. The secondary sources are presented as a literature review that is majorly focused on the definition of recycling, the benefits of recycling and issues related to recycling with a particular focus on military recycling. The secondary sources provide insight on Japanese recycling laws and other recycling legislation that affect the Japanese army per the US-Japan Security Treaty.

Literature review

Recycling is described as the process change of waste materials into new products to prevent and mitigate waste of potentially useful materials. Recycling has been a common practice in the past centuries (Banerjee, 2015). Studies have indicated that recycling is better compared to landfilling and incinerating since it takes the environment into account. Landfilling is not appropriate since it releases climate change gases and pollutes the soil and water. Landfilling was the most common managing waste, but the adverse effects of climate change have indicated that the method is not appropriate. Recycling is important since it saves energy, reduces extraction of raw materials while combating climate change at the same time.

Benefits of Recycling

Recycling reduces the demand for raw materials such as metals and forests since the recycled goods can easily be used to produce other products. Reduction in the extraction of raw materials reduces the impact on the environment. Studies have indicated that the extraction of new raw materials is the key reason for the loss of global habitat. For instance, many offices require paper and cardboard to operate and as such threatening the woodlands. Similarly, virgin materials need to be processed from their initial state hence requiring vast amounts of energy and use of chemicals further polluting the environment and destroying natural habitat (Sun & Trudel, 2017). Recycling reduces the overall impact on climate change. Although recycling uses energy, it reduces the climate emissions since it consumes less energy compared to manufacturing from virgin materials. A multitude of studies indicates that recycling reduces the impact on climate change including a study authorized by the government of the United Kingdom done by Waste and Resources Action Program (WRAP) (Department of Ecology, 2015). The results of the study pinpointed that the current recycling rates in the UK reduce the effects on the environment (WRAP, 2010). The study focused on recycling of paper, glass, plastics, aluminum, and steel.

Recycling is profitable. Although comparison of the costs of different waste management techniques is subject to several variables, research indicates that recycling costs less. When comparing landfill, incinerating and recycling, recycling is considered cheaper (USA Bavaria, 2016). Opting for recycling rather than landfills reduces the cost associated with landfill taxes. Recycling generates income when the recyclable are processed and sold. The materials to be recycled are collected by the trash vendors or local authorities and eventually separated and sent to processing facilities such as the paper mills, glass works or plastic reprocessing plants. Recycling creates job opportunities that would be otherwise unavailable. The process of recycling from collection to sorting to reprocessing creates more jobs compared to incineration and landfill. Recycling is of particular importance in advocating for sustainable living. It introduces the concept of “green” consciousness in the households, manufacturing plants and the society (Department of Ecology, 2015). The sensitivity of the impact of consumption and production to the environment prompts “green” lifestyle choices. Recycling creates cyclic living rather than the current linear model.

Specifics associated with recycling

A recycling program can only work when there is an availability of large stable supply of recyclable materials. In the recent years, several legislations in different countries have been put forth to create the supply from mandatory collection programs, container deposit laws and refuse bans. Compulsory collection laws set certain limits for cities and large organization to meet usually in the form that a certain percentage should be diverted to recycling from the total waste (Abbasi & Sheikh, 2016). Container deposit legislation encompasses offering a refund for returning of certain containers typically plastic, glass or metal containers. In this instance, when products in such containers are purchased a small surcharge price is included which can be refunded to the consumer when the containers are returned. Studies indicate that such programs are instrumental usually often resulting to more than 80 percent recycling (Banerjee, 2015). Another method of increasing the supply of recyclable material is banning the deposition of certain products as waste. These products may include oil, old batteries, and tires. The aim of such regulations is to create a viable economy for disposal of the banned products. The recyclable materials are collected through several methods and sent to processes for re-manufacturing. However, the quality of the recyclable materials is critical to the success of a long-term recycling plant.

Different countries have diverse systems in the collection of waste products. The systems lie along a tradeoff spectrum for the general public, organizations and the government ease and expenses. The primary three methods of collections include; buy-back centers, drop-off centers, and curbside collection. Drop-off centers require the waste generator to carry the waste to a centralized collection point (Chen, Fujita, Ohnishi, Fujii, & Geng, 2012). Buy-back systems indicate that the wastes are bought and collected by the vendors from the waste producer. The curbside collection encompasses a variety of systems which are based on where the materials are collected and sorted. Mixed waste requires sorting which is done in different stages that may either be automated or manual.

Military recycling

Recycling in the military is a term used both for material and human resource recycling. Human resource recycling in the military is a punishment system which involves being moved to a different training unit which is lower than the current standard indicating repetition of practice. However, the present paper is concerned with material recycling. Recycling has become very important due to the increasing disposal fees, and awareness of the materials used in packaging has increased. Wastes have emerged as a secondary raw material. Many government institutions have embraced recycling especially in their offices (New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans, 2014). Offices provide an excellent opportunity to recycle paper, cans, glass and plastic materials. It is important for every individual to be sensitive to place recyclable materials in the designated container. In today’s cost-conscious and environmentally aware climate, the military is doing its best to recycle and reuse materials. Different forces are involved in recycling of recyclables such as aluminum, paper, glass cardboard, and ammunition. The military systems in the various countries have set reduction goals and percentage quantities for recycling. The army in the United States aims at the net zero which includes installations that reduce, reuse and recover waste streams and converting them to resources with zero landfill input. To achieve the net zero levels, it is important for the soldiers, civilians, and contractors must work together to reduce waste by generating less, recycling more and making purchase decisions that are “green” sensitive.

The military operates an extensive range of facilities from those used to house and train troops, store ammunitions, support operational commands to those used to conduct research and produce munitions. In each of these facilities, many activities take palace that may result in the generation of different kinds of waste streams. The wastes include typical household wastes, office waste and other wastes related to military activities. Indeed a large military base operates as small cities and as such should have defined ways of managing their wastes (Hartranft, 2007). In 1994, a study was conducted in efforts to determine alternative methods of disposing of wastes in the USA Military Academy at West Point since the landfills had reached their expected life spans (Medina & Waisner, 2014). The options were limited to incineration either offsite on onsite, creation of onsite landfill or finding another landfill space. The study concluded that finding another landfill space is the best option despite the increased transportation costs associated with this method.

However, studies since then have indicated that both landfill and incineration are ineffective when compared to recycling. Many military bases have diverted from Incineration and landfills to recycling with the dawn of the 21st century. As many landfills reach their deemed life spans, Military policy makers find it necessary to provide installations that manage solid waste, hazardous wastes and the training ranges and munitions wastes. While many military bases have fluctuating populations due to training requirements and deployments most have an average of more than 20,000 individuals indicating high levels of waste (Medina & Waisner, 2014).

Comparison of military installations related to recycling ethics

Army base camps in different location manage their solid waste according to the laws and regulations in that particular area. In the USA, various military bases operate according to the federal statutes and state laws related to recycling. The Joint Base Lewis-McCord (JBLM) is a US Army facility located in Pierce and Thurston counties in Washington. Statistics in the base indicate that their solid and hazardous wastes have increased in the past years due to both increases in population and consumption rates. Indeed data between the year 2003 and 2009 indicate that military base has successfully increased their recycling rate to a maximum of almost 79 percent (Medina & Waisner, 2014). The JBLM has established recycling programs and maintained a recycling center on post. Currently, a large variety of materials can be recycled from paper to glass to cardboard and other products. In addition to the recycling plant, the military base has environmental education training center that conducts composting activities, the beatification of the environment and soil amendments. The training aims at increasing environmental sensibility in the plant. The main environmental projects in the post-use waste products from the military base.

Another example is the Picatinny Arsenal located in northern New Jersey. The facility is focused on Army armaments research, development and engineering command, improving existing munitions and the development of improved manufacturing process. The military base includes offices and laboratories. The facility provides space for testing of war equipment, Solid waste in the facility has been on the rise in the last decades since the war base was important in supporting the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. In 2005 several small organization relocated to Arsenal further increasing their waste due to increased populations. Recycling in the institution has grown almost a tenfold in the last decade. Recycling in Arsenal has resulted in increased economic return. Unlike the JBLM which has an in post recycling system, Arsenal product is a permitted storage and treatment of hazardous waste, but most of their solid wastes are transported offsite to other recycling facilities. Statistics from both of these establishments indicate that the US Army is committed to managing their wastes according to the specifications of the rules and regulations of the location of the base.

Japanese laws related to recycling

The increased amount of waste generated by the household and industries in Japan has increased the emphasis on recycling in Japan. Legislation and regulations have been mandated over the last two decades to increase the rates of recycling as the best solution to waste management. The garbage disposal sites are expected to reach their limits in a few years, and the incineration of waste produces poisonous gases hence the opting to recycling as the best solution to trash management. The fundamental law for establishing a sustainable society was enacted in 2000. The law was soon followed by some other recycling laws covering specific areas such as food waste, home appliances, and automobile waste. The Japanese Container and Packaging Recycling Law was enacted entirely in April 2000. However, it had been passed in 1995 and came partially into force in April 1997 (R100 Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry, 2003).

The purpose of the law was to reduce the waste generated by promoting more efficient use of resources in containers and packaging garbage. The containers and packaging wastes account for accounts for than 60percent of the household waste regarding volume (METI, 2007). The fundamental principle of the law is that each has a responsibility to recycling. The waste generators are advised to separate their wastes according to the category, and the processors should recycle the collected materials to produce new products. The Law for the Promotion of Sorted Collection and Recycling of Containers and Packaging was passed on 16th June 2006 and works hand in hand with the Container and Packaging Recycling Law.

The Japanese military works together with the USA army according to the Japan-US Treaty. The technical manual TM3-34.56 and MCIP 4-11.01 were authorized with the United States Government about waste management for deployed forces (United States Government US Army, 2013). The law was passed in July 2013 the law provides guidance on waste streams generated during operations and suggests ways of minimizing the adverse effects of waste on human health, the environment and mission. The law emphasizes the importance of planning related to the estimation of wastes produced about the size of unit and nature of the operation. The law offers commanders insight on the importance of incorporating waste management during planning. The Japanese military units are expected to keep up with waste management activities specified in MCIP 4-11-01 about reduction, segregation, collection, transportation recycling and disposal of waste materials.

Results from primary research

The service members share the perception that recycling is important because it is environmentally conscious. Most of the responses associated with the importance of recycling were related to the “green” aspect related to recycling. The service members considered recycling beneficial since it produces finished products from the formally discarded materials reducing the effects to the environment. When inquired on how much they recycle on the household basis, the service members admitted that most of the recyclables in their houses including plastic containers and glasses were recycled. The employees recognized that the current recycling systems used in the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force are beneficial but not entirely sufficient for such a large organization.

According to the service members, the scattered recycle bins in the working premises discourages the collection of recyclables in the industry. Most admitted that they are forced to postpone discarding wastes due to lack of enough bins in the organization. They admitted the recycling command has potential to improve their services if the careful studies are done in recycling processes used in the large military base. The researcher sought to establish the opinions of the service members about the current recycling laws in Japan. More than 75 percent of the individuals interviewed admitted that Japan has one of the most rigid requirements related to recycling. They cited the laws related to automobiles and home appliances as evidence of the effectiveness of the Japanese recycling laws. The service members considered incorporating waste management into the mission as the essential aspect in determining the success rate of the mission.

The evaluation of other command chains for one month indicated that other commands have similar problems since the trash vendors are reluctant to purchase mixed wastes sue the associated sorting costs. Most of the large command units that have not incorporated a recycling plant in their operations have issues in managing their wastes. While some have assimilated a secluded plant in their military base, they are not as effective as initially predicted.

Analysis of the primary data concluded that many service members in the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force believe recycling is important but can only be effective when the commanders invest in waste management. The failure of a secluded facility in other commands is majorly attributed to inefficient planning in the initial set up. A secluded plant can only be effective if a stable supply system is available. The failure of the secluded facility may also be attributed to lack of efficient systems including machinery and human resource. Setting up a recycling plant is a relatively expensive process and can only be effective if necessary investments are available.

Benefits of Building the Facility

The building of the installation will provide easy access to the waste materials produced within the facility. Statistics from Joint Base Lewis-McCord indicated that a secluded area provides easy access systems, especially in a large military base. The 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force is a large base that requires a well-defined waste management systems. Similarly, a building of the facility will eradicate the dependency issues related to trash vendors. Buy-back systems and curbside collection need separation of raw materials without which the sellers are reluctant to purchase or transport the wastes. The building of the facility will involve investing in the sorting process which may be automated to increase efficiency.

Labeled and color coded bins will improve the separation process hence reducing the funds invested in the separation process. In cases where the waste products are not recycled at the central facility, the facility may provide an area where the waste can be stored awaiting collection by the contracted vendors. As in the case of Picatinny Arsenal military base, the facility may provide a collection location. Implementing the workplace recycle bins will not only increase convenience but also inspire a recycling behavior. The recycle bin set-up is convenient hence increasing the supply of recyclables which is a prerequisite for a stable long-term recycling plant. Similarly, the sizing in the recycle bins restricts the recyclables collected hence preventing the collection of non-recyclables. The building of the facility will increase the recycling rates in the organization which is per both the Japanese recycling regulations and the US military specifications. Working under the recycling laws increases the chances of deployment for every unit in the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force.


Studies indicate recycling is the most appropriate waste management technique. It is not only environmentally conscious but also cost effective in the long run. While they are many different ways associated with collection and sorting of waste materials, the methods used largely depend on the type of waste and the organization. The 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force is a large military base which may typically operate as a small city. As such, the building of a secluded recycling facility may be both costs efficient and increase the quantity of recycling. However, for a secluded recycling system to be effective, it is prominent for careful planning concerning costs and the supply for recyclables.


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