MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO, Calif. --
April 22 marks the 40th anniversary of the first official Earth Day. The day was founded by U.S. Sen. Gaylord Nelson in 1970 as a day to raise awareness of the earth’s environmental situation, and is now celebrated with events around the globe.
Although awareness for Earth Day has kicked off with National Cell Phone Recycling Week, April 5- 9, as on the depot, with educational booths during the family-oriented event, Clean up Day on The Bay, April 10, there are ongoing ways to pitch in. The depot has an established recycling center and environmental office that helps the base reduce, reuse, and recycle thousands of dollars in materials every year.
Although April 22 is the celebrated Earth Day, the depot has been and continues to go green, with more than just recycling.
“With all the money we receive from recycling it helps us to enhance our programs and maintain a proactive (green) base,” said Paul Gerencser, assistant chief of staff of logistics, Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego. “The money comes back to us and allows for better recycling bins and more of them. It also allows us to bring in more awareness programs to the depot.”
Some of the environmental initiatives on the depot include many energy conservation projects such as installation of new street lamps which uses only 60 to 70 percent power and illuminates better than regular street lamps. The depot has also installed a non-condensing back pressure steam turbine generator which reduces the incoming 300-pound steam pressure to 80 pounds for depot-wide distribution, saving approximately $108,000 last year. The Depot’s fleet of vehicles is also going green with a fleet of approximately 75 percent alternately-fueled vehicles.
“We do raise awareness and contribute on Earth Day,” said Gerencser, “but we look at every day as Earth Day on MCRD San Diego.”
Although any day is a day to conserve and recycle, on Earth Day the environmental office brings an educational opportunity for children at the depot’s Child Development Center. Kruizin’ Kritters brings in exotic animals for a day to teach the children how to respect animals and the environment in which they live.
The depot’s environmental office and recycling center personnel can answer questions about the various ways to contribute to the environment this Earth Day and every day, at (619) 524-6579/6575 or in buildings 223 and 224.