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Posted 1/29/2016

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By Melissa Buckley, Iwakuni Resident Office

The new recycling center aboard Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan is one step closer to opening now that the keys are in the hands of installation managers.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Japan District’s Iwakuni Resident Office turned the keys over to the Facilities Department on January 20.

Construction on the new, 22,280 square-foot, recycling center on Leatherneck Drive began in September of 2014.

Noriyuki Mizuta, general engineer, Iwakuni Resident Office, Japan Engineer District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said the new single-story building will include a paper baler machine, paper shredder, can crusher, and 50-ton truck scale – all protected by a new security barrier.

Mizuta said the most challenging part about this project was making sure everything would fit.

“I had to pay close attention to the work relating to installation of U.S. made equipment and machines,” Mizuta said.

He said he was glad he got to engineer the new recycling center.

“The project is important due to the projected base population increases. The existing recycling center will not be able to handle the increased capacity in solid waste and recyclables,” Mizuta said.

Ryan Leming, Solid Waste supervisor, has been working at the old recycling center on post for 14 years.

Leming said he is planning to move in to the new location in April and start operations in May. 

“I am looking forward to having the ability to secure the facility which will allow us to closely track what we receive,” Leming said. “We currently share a facility with Marine Corps Community Services maintenance division and although we have developed and maintained a great working relationship between the two operations throughout; the need for security is vital to our success.”

But having a recycling center that he can secure isn’t the only thing Leming said he is looking forward to.

“It will be nice to not have to share one toilet stall with 20 other guys,” he said.  

Another advantage to the new facility will be what materials the center will be able to recycle. The old recycling center accepts clean paper material and metal items.

“The plan for the new facility is that it will be able to eventually include glass recycling, wood chipping and maybe even food waste processing,” Leming said.