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Recycle and Reuse

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Mariah Haddenham
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
With grime under their nails and sweat on their brow, Airmen assigned to the 36th Civil Engineer Squadron, more commonly known as the "Dirt Boyz," constantly work to keep Andersen's mission going.

Along with their other day-to-day tasks, the Dirt Boyz also manage the recycling area at the sanitary landfill.

"Our shop maintains the landfill and all the green waste, wood pallets, rock and dirt piles," said Senior Airman Joshua Smith, a Dirt Boy with the 36 CES. "Instead of having the material hauled off base, it can be reused."

Any money saved by these recycling efforts directly benefits the servicemembers of Andersen AFB.

By not paying for the cost of disposing the recycling materials and trash off base, the money can be put toward community outreach programs and quality of life projects for Airmen, said Russell Grossley, chief of Pollution Prevention in the Environmental Office at Andersen.

Currently, the Dirt Boyz have been working with a recently repaired tub grinder and rock crusher to maximize their recycling efforts.

"The tub grinder turns wood and green waste into mulch that can be used throughout the base," said Senior Airman Matthew Moore, a Dirt Boy with 36 CES. "By our shop doing that, it saves the Air Force upwards of thousands of dollars from having it hauled on base commercially and provides free mulch to the base community."

Green waste collected by the shop and Base Pride Team is transported to the sanitary landfill where it can be recycled.

"Due to recycling, we had a cost avoidance of $800,000 last year," said Mr. Grossley
36 CES also saves money by producing their base coarse, which is similar to sand, from recycled materials.

"The rock crusher takes dirt, sand, pieces of concrete and rocks, and crushes them into base coarse that we turn around and use as sub grade before we pour concrete," continued Airman Moore.

Along with saving the Air Force money, Dirt Boyz keep the base in pristine condition; all with a shop consisting of fewer than 30 members.

Upcoming projects for the Dirt Boyz include: installing an additional personnel gate at the base dog park; five personnel gates at the Mt. Santa Rosa Aircraft Radar Tower to help fire fighting personnel fight grass fires more safely and effectively; and pouring a concrete foundation for the security inspection area at the main gate.

With the assistance and support from the 'Dirt Boyz', Andersen AFB is kept at a strong readiness posture, ready for tomorrows fight.

Working year round outdoors in Guam's tropical climate the Dirt Boyz beat the sun out of bed, roll up their sleeves and get the job done. In a career field not meant for the faint of heart, these elite Airmen ensure Andersen AFB runs like a well-oiled machine.