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SCANG Revamps Recycling Programs

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Ashleigh Pavelek
  • 169th Fighter Wing

The 169th Fighter Wing Environmental Management Office (EMO) has many programs to assist Airmen of the South Carolina National Guard with their recycling needs.

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. James Merriman, assigned to the 169th Mission Support Group, and co-located within the 169th Civil Engineer Squadron, began his position as the Environmental Management Officer in October, 2016. Upon his arrival, all environmental positions were vacant, and the EMO faced a number of challenges which included; two major remediations and one long-term monitoring project, five plan revisions, an external USPFO audit, an Environmental Site Visit (ESV), a Capstone review and sustainment of twenty-four plus programs, daily operations and personal training. State employee, ReMarcus Curry, joined the EMO team with Merriman about ten months ago.

“It was and continues to be a huge challenge, but with a lot of long days, late nights and help from our civil engineer comrades and McEntire joint services members, we were able to overcome the hurdles,” said Merriman.

The 169 MSG/EMO is focused on environmental awareness and reducing waste generation on McEntire JNGB. EMS awareness and training will kick off in 2018. In addition, a revamped Pollution Prevention Program is expected to draw attention to recycling through training, visibility with improved signage, media and correspondence. New recycling containers and signage will be conveniently placed throughout the base to encourage the collection of plastic bottles and aluminum cans. Education and awareness of Central Accumulation Point (CAP) operations and 169 MSG/EMO support will continue to be provided to joint service members and civilians. The CAP is located to the right of the large tanks near the running track and is open for recycling collections from 10 to 11 a.m., every Tuesday and Thursday.

“The Central Accumulation Point is the final stage point for processing waste to include recyclables such as plastic, aluminum, scrap metals, cardboard, batteries, printer cartridges, scrap wood and other misplaced items,” said Curry.

The 169 MSG/EMO plans to sponsor future community service opportunities for the base to promote waste reduction and recycling.

“Supporting the recycling programs are great ways for Airmen and Soldiers to list their support in enlisted performance reviews as volunteers, or for creating their own environmental improvements, or creative ideas for waste reduction,” said Merriman. 

One of these opportunities is through the Adopt-a-Highway program. McEntire JNGB has adopted approximately three miles of Highway 76/378, Garners Ferry Road, just outside the main gate. The 169 MSG/EMO is looking for volunteers each quarter to assist with trash pick up to help keep our local community clean.

With new and continuous missions comes the opportunity for new renovations, changes in infrastructure, construction and possible population growth on the base. These can result in opportunities for increased waste, energy use and risks for negative effects on the environment and waste reduction, which makes environmental management a continuous challenge for Merriman and Curry.

“We continually modify processes and procedures on how shops generate waste and promote awareness and training to encourage everyone to recycle,” said Merriman. “I hope everyone will see that their positive actions on the environment today can lead to environmentally positive effects on them and their children in later generations.”

For more information about the SCANG’s environmental mission, visit the 169th Fighter Wing’s Base Environmental Commitment Statement: