News: Marine implements recycling program, saves thousands of dollars
OKINAWA, Japan - Lance Cpl. Matthew S. Belk, a motor vehicle mechanic with Support Company, Combat Logistics Battalion 4, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward), came up with a plan to help his battalion save money in a combat zone through recycling at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan.
Belk’s idea was to implement a system that function-tests depleted tactical vehicle batteries. Under the new system, each spent battery that passes the function test is then recharged and redistributed throughout the battalion for use in its vehicle fleet.
“This is (Belk’s) brainstorm. He came up with the idea and (gathered all of the necessary equipment),” said Cpl. Edgar E. Aguilar, noncommissioned officer in charge, CLB-4 hazardous waste accumulation point. “The program has saved (CLB-4) over $120,000 so far on purchasing new batteries.”
Prior to implementation of the recycling program, all dead batteries were delivered to the Camp Leatherneck hazardous waste accumulation point for proper disposal, according to Aguilar.
“The value of the program is that it saves money for the battalion,” said Chief Warrant Officer Troy C. Havard, maintenance officer, Support Company, CLB-4. “It is also friendly to the environment since it keeps us from having to dispose of the batteries.”
The battalion’s motor transportation Marines now deliver expended batteries to the CLB-4 hazardous waste accumulation point, but instead of disposing of them, batteries are given new life. The drained batteries are examined for visible defects and, if found to be in good condition, they are recharged by one of the two charging systems, according to Aguilar.
The battalion’s maintenance Marines used battery chargers to test batteries on tactical vehicles when they came in for maintenance work, according to Belk.
“I used to work in the maintenance bay,” added Belk. “I knew they had chargers, and I knew we could use them (at the CLB-4 hazardous waste accumulation point) for a recycling program.”
The Marines ensure re-energized batteries maintain their charge by testing them for proper function before distributing them for use in the battalion’s fleet of vehicles.
“We measure the voltage of the batteries after they have been charged … if they meet a certain requirement, we separate them and leave them for a day,” said Belk. “I measure them again and, if they are still holding the charge, they are good to go.”
Batteries that do not properly maintain a charge are delivered to the Camp Leatherneck hazardous waste accumulation point for disposal, according to Belk.
Belk’s recycling program not only saves the battalion money and helps the environment, but provides a good example for other Marines to follow in the areas of fiscal responsibility and protecting the environment.
Date Posted:06.01.2012 02:07
Location:OKINAWA, AICHI, JP
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