Frequently Asked Questions about Recycling at Fort Drum

Why should I recycle?
• In New York State, recycling is the law.
• Recycling saves the Army money and can even generate revenue through Fort Drum’s Qualified Recycling Program (QRP). These funds can be used for Morale, Welfare, and Recreation programs and facilities.
• Recycling saves space in the regional landfill. Landfills are expensive to operate, negatively impact their neighbors, and require perpetual care.
• Recycling helps the economy by providing jobs and reducing material acquisition costs.
• Recycling helps the environment!

What does ‘single stream’ mean?
Single Stream, also known as co-mingled, means placing all allowed recyclable materials into a single pickup container without sorting or bagging. These materials are then sorted at an automated off-site facility.
I have seen blue dumpsters for recycling throughout Fort Drum. Who can use them?
Public Works has placed blue dumpsters for recyclables next to brown dumpsters for trash at single soldier housing (barracks), offices, and shops throughout Fort Drum. These dumpsters may only be used by occupants of these facilities. They may not be used for waste or recyclables from off-post or Mountain Community Homes.

How does Fort Drum recycle?
Fort Drum ships comingled recyclables to an off-post Material Recovery Facility (MRF) for sorting, packaging, and shipment to purchasers of recycled materials. To see a video of this process, click here.

What else does Fort Drum recycle?
Fort Drum recycles many commodities other than glass, paper, plastic, and tin. Public works chips and composts scrap wood. The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) auctions scrap metal, brass, and other valuable commodities. Proceeds benefit Fort Drum’s Qualified Recycling Program (QRP). Concrete is crushed and reused for roadbeds. Fort Drum also contracts directly with vendors for the collection and sale of items such as clothing/fabric, grease, and used oil, as market conditions allow.

Is there a recycling drop-off point on Fort Drum?

Yes, however, the Fort Drum transfer site accepts recyclables ONLY from government organizations and single Soldiers living in barracks. Recyclables are NOT accepted from individuals living in Mountain Community Homes or off-post.
The Fort Drum Transfer Site is located just outside the Cerjan gate on Iraqi Freedom Drive at the terminus of Interstate 781. Hours of operation are 0830 until 1500 daily, Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. If you are not in a government vehicle, you must show identification that indicates that you live in the barracks.

I live in Mountain Community Homes. Where can I recycle?
Fort Drum Mountain Community Homes (FDMCH) is a private company whose properties lie within the boundaries of Fort Drum but also within the town of Leray. Curbside recycling is included as part of the FDMCH rental agreement. For that reason, FDMCH residents may NOT bring recyclables or trash to the Fort Drum transfer site. Instead, FDMCH Residents should contact their Community Center for pickup schedules.

Because FDMCH lies within the town of Leray, residents may also drop off recyclables and trash at the Town of Leray Transfer and Recycling Center Station located at 26506 Route 11 in Evans Mills. They may also use the Jefferson County Transfer Site, located at 27138 New York State Route 12 in Watertown.
Fort Drum will accept only electronic wastes and household hazardous wastes from FDMCH residents. Residents may drop off household hazardous waste at Building 11144 between the hours of 0800 and 1600 on regular government workdays. They may drop off electronic wastes at the Fort Drum transfer site between 0830-1500 daily.

I live off-post. Where can I recycle?
Each individual town has their own recycling center and transfer point. Policies vary within each town. For more information, check your town’s website.

What CAN go in the blue recycling dumpsters?
The following types of recyclables may be placed in the blue single-stream recycling dumpsters. Recyclables should not be bagged.
Paper – All types of paper except shredded. This includes white office paper, colored paper, magazines, newspapers, junk mail, phone books, catalogs, old books, manuals, etc. The Material Recovery Facility (MRF) that processes our paper cannot process shredded paper, which should be placed in the brown trash dumpsters.
Cardboard – All types of cardboard to include packing boxes, pizza boxes, cartons, etc. Be sure to remove any polystyrene (Styrofoam) and flatten the box.
Plastics – All plastics stamped with a recycling logo except polystyrene (#6) and plastic grocery bags. These include 5-cent deposit bottles, cups, forks, bottles, food containers (emptied), and some hard plastics.
Aluminum and Tin cans – These include 5-cent deposit cans, food containers (emptied), foil plates and trays, metal lids from glass containers, and similar.
Glass – Liquor and wine bottles, canning jars, and 5-cent deposit bottles may be recycled. Remove metal lids and recycle them too.

What CANNOT go in the blue recycling dumpsters?
Polystyrene (Styrofoam): Place all waste polystyrene in brown trash dumpsters.
Plastic Grocery Bags. You may return plastic grocery bags to your favorite retailer, as required by New York State law. Look for bins for plastic bags at the store entrance. Otherwise, plastic bags should be placed in the brown dumpsters.
Shredded Paper: Shredded paper should be placed in the brown dumpster as trash. Sensitive paperwork, to include personally identifiable information and private health information, should first be shredded and then disposed of in the brown dumpster as trash.
Hazardous Waste: Waste chemicals such as those that are corrosive, ignitable, reactive or toxic must be specially handled. DPW will pick up hazardous waste generated by the government; personnel may call 772-6111 for pickup. Household hazardous waste from Mountain Community Homes may be taken to Building 11144 (next to the FD Pest Control Office) between 0800 and 1600 on regular workdays. Fort Drum will not accept hazardous waste generated off-post though most town transfer sites do accept household hazardous wastes.
Food Waste: Food waste should be placed in either a brown trash dumpster or a designated “compost only” dumpster.
Scrap Wood: Wood generated on post should be delivered to the Fort Drum Transfer Station where it is chipped and composted.
Medical waste: Sharps, items contaminated with blood or infectious materials, expired medications, and similar items should not be placed in dumpsters. Government personnel may call MEDDAC at 772-5260 for disposal information. Guthrie Clinic also hosts a drop-box for expired medications, located in the waiting room of its lobby.
Tires: The Defense Logistics Agency, located in Building 1350, collects tires only from Army shops. Tires from privately owned vehicles or from off-post must be taken to a town transfer site or to any business that accepts tires.
Scrap metal: Units with scrap metal should deliver it to the Fort Drum Transfer Station, Building 11001, Iraqi Freedom Dr. Scrap metal from your residence may be taken to individual town recycling centers or to businesses that purchase scrap metal.
Ink and Toner Cartridges: Printing supplies from government printers may be returned to the SSSC shop located at the corner of Conway and Gas Alley. These will be shipped to vendors for remanufacturing.
Electronic Waste or E-Waste: Electronic waste generally includes anything with a power cord. Examples include computers, monitors, fax machines, telephones, microwaves, fans, radios, and toasters. Residents of Mountain Community Homes, barracks, and Fort Drum offices and shops may bring electronic waste to the FD Transfer Station. E-waste generated off-post should be taken to your town’s transfer point and recycling center.
Commercial Glass and Ceramics: Window pane glass, mirrors, windshields, and similar laminated or special types of glass should be placed in the brown dumpsters. Light bulbs must generally be managed as hazardous waste (see above).
Belts, cords, chains, hoses, rope, etc: These slow down machinery at the MRF and should be placed in the trash.

What are 5-cent returnables?
When you buy a bottled beverage in New York State, you must pay a five-cent deposit, as required by the New York Bottle Bill. When you return the empty bottle or container to a redemption center, you are refunded this five-cent deposit. Many organizations collect empty containers as a fundraiser. On Fort Drum, Better Opportunity for Single Soldiers (BOSS) collects five-cent returnables in marked containers. Reverse vending machines, which refund deposits for containers sold at that location, are also located outside many supermarkets.

Who empties recycle containers in my office or shop?
Fort Drum has contracted with JRC to provide custodial support in many buildings. If JRC cleans your building, the custodial crew will remove your recyclables and place them in the nearest single stream dumpster. If you work in a location without custodial support, you must place the recyclables in the dumpster. If you encounter a locked dumpster, check with your staff duty officer or building manager for a key.

Why does Fort Drum lock its dumpsters?
Fort Drum maintains tight control of its dumpsters to ensure they are not contaminated with inappropriate wastes. In some cases, an entire dumpster of recyclables might become contaminated and have to be disposed of as trash. Careful recycling saves the installation money and time. If you encounter a locked dumpster, check with your staff duty officer or building manager for a key.

Does Fort Drum compost?
Fort Drum collects and composts food waste from its dining facilities, AAFES food court, commissary, and other facilities on FD. Food wastes are mixed with chipped wood and then composted at the transfer station. Compost from this process is then used for range enhancement projects. If you live off-post, composting at home is a great way to reduce the amount of trash you generate.

Where can I drop off my extra clothes/textiles?
St. Pauly Textiles provides three sheds at the following locations on Fort Drum: the Commissary parking lot, the Thrift store (Building 1454), and the AAFES Shoppette by the airfield. Textile drop off points are also located at many town recycling centers to include Philadelphia and Leray. These sheds may be used by any member of the Fort Drum community.

What do I do with lead-acid batteries?
Units on Fort Drum should turn expired or unneeded lead-acid batteries to the LRC, which maintains a contract for the collection and reconditioning of batteries. FDMCH residents and those residing off-post should trade old batteries in on new ones at retail stores. Some scrap metal dealers purchase lead-acid batteries.

What do I do with my rechargeable batteries?
In New York State, it is illegal to throw away rechargeable batteries. Fort Drum military units and civilian shops must turn-in expired or unneeded rechargeable batteries to Building 11144. These include all nickel-cadmium, nickel metal hydride, and lithium batteries. Units and activities may call 772-6111 for pickup. Building 11144 will also accept rechargeable batteries from FDMCH residents. Off post personnel must take rechargeable batteries either to retailers that sell batteries or to those town transfer sites that accept them.

What do I do with alkaline batteries?
On Fort Drum, alkaline batteries are not recycled and can go in with the regular trash. Some towns do recycle them.

I live off post, can I bring my trash on Fort Drum?
No. Disposing off-post trash or recycling into FD dumpsters is not authorized. Individuals may be prosecuted for theft of services.

Can I use black/dark colored trash bags for my trash?
No. Effective 01 November 2016, Fort Drum personnel must procure only clear or translucent bags for trash collection. Non-translucent (i.e. black or white) bags are banned with one exception. Fort Drum personnel may use paper (compostable) sacks for collection of compostable materials such as leaves or branches.

Who can give Military Units/FD Employees recycling training? Who should you call for information on recycling at Fort Drum?
DPW is happy to provide recycling training to Soldiers and government employees. Contact Fort Drum’s solid waste manager at 315-772-2678 if you have any questions or would like to schedule a training date.

Last Revised 1 May 2017