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 January 8, 2010


Illegal use of Fort McCoy dumpsters will bring consequences

By Harry Hughes, Installation Legal Office

The Fort McCoy Environmental Division constantly is striving to improve the installation’s mission impact on the environment while at the same time looking for ways to save operating costs. If you have questions on the installation’s solid waste and/or recycling program, or if you need to request services, call 608-388-6546.

PHOTO: Terry Clemmerson of the McCoy Public Works Joint Venture empties a dumpster. (Photo by Rob Schuette)
Terry Clemmerson of the McCoy Public Works Joint Venture empties a dumpster. (Photo by Rob Schuette)

One of the recurring problem areas is the illegal use of Fort McCoy dumpsters by people who bring their household garbage to work. To combat this problem, the installation has implemented a program to identify and hold accountable those who are illegally using government dumpsters to dispose of their household garbage. This article is intended to educate the installation work force and community and put illegal dumpster users on notice.

In order to better understand the impact of the problem, here is a little background information.

The number of dumpsters maintained by Fort McCoy varies throughout the year. Typically, about 450 dumpsters are picked up weekly. Dumpsters at the dining facilities are picked up daily. This schedule is determined by Army regulation.

The solid waste in dumpsters is collected by the contractor and is taken to Fort McCoy’s transfer station. Fort McCoy closed its last solid waste landfill in the early 1990s, so Harter’s Quick Cleanup Inc. of La Crosse, picks up the waste from the Fort McCoy transfer station and hauls it to various state-licensed landfills.

Fort McCoy generated 4,403 tons of solid waste during fiscal year 09, which ran from Oct. 1, 2008-Sept. 30, 2009. Of the 4,403 tons, 2,070 tons were diverted through the installation’s recycling program for a diversion rate of 47.2 percent.
The installation pays the disposal cost for the remaining 2,333 tons. Based on a solid-waste study, about 10 percent of the waste in Fort McCoy dumpsters is personal household waste. That means Fort McCoy is spending scarce funds to dispose of 465,000 pounds of household waste a year (not including South Post family housing). This money is desperately needed to support other areas of the mission.

Through a program of observation and investigation, Fort McCoy will identify those who are illegally using installation dumpsters. Such use of government property and theft of government services will be dealt with accordingly.

A possible consequence of getting caught is being barred from the installation, leading to the loss of employment. So before you bring your household garbage to work, ask yourself: Is it worth it?

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