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KUNSAN AIR BASE, South Korea — Kunsan city officials have approved of the military’s new recycling program here.

Kunsan’s recycling program kicked off in June with a new $196,384 contract with a local garbage contractor, Tech. Sgt. John Newlin, noncommissioned officer-in-charge of engineering support, said Friday.

The recycling program requires separation of trash to comply with local rules and had to receive city approval by Saturday.

Prior to June, garbage wasn’t separated on base, Newlin said.

Under the recycling program, each airman now has a small blue container for recyclables in their dorm rooms. And airman are required to take it to a larger bin in dorm common areas and separate recyclables by category: plastic, paper, glass and metal.

“I live in a dorm, and from what I’ve seen, it’s working,” Newlin said. “People are doing it. It’s not 100 percent, of course.”

Recyclables are then bagged and put in larger outside bins, for the contractor to haul away and ensure they are properly separated, Newlin said.

Offices also have receptacles for plastics and metals, as there is not much glass disposed, said Peter Nebel, environmental advisor for Kunsan’s environmental flight. Special paper bins have been ordered for copy machine areas with paper waste.

Throughout South Korea, recycling is mandatory for businesses and residents.

“This puts us on the same footing as the populace off base,” Nebel said. “We want to show them we are good neighbors.”

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