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Tyndall celebrates Earth Day with year-round sustainability efforts

crushed aluminum cans

Pictured are crushed aluminum cans waiting to be recycled at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, April 19, 2021. The recycling center at Tyndall collects and distributes recyclable materials to various recycling brokers in the community in attempt to reduce the amount of solid waste being put into local landfills. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Tiffany Price)

Bundled cardboard boxes stacked in a pile

Pictured is a stack of cardboard waiting to be recycled at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, April 19, 2021. The recycling center at Tyndall collects and distributes recyclable materials to various recycling brokers in the community in attempt to reduce the amount of solid waste being added to local landfills. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Tiffany Price)

A field

Pictured is a field where longleaf pine trees are beginning to sprout at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, April 19, 2021. Tyndall has planted almost 2 million trees since December 2020 in attempt to rebuild the forests that were damaged during Hurricane Michael. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Tiffany Price)

bundles of crushed aluminum cans

Pictured are stacks of crushed aluminum cans waiting to be recycled at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, April 19, 2021. The recycling center at Tyndall collects and distributes recyclable materials to various recycling brokers in the community in attempt to reduce the amount of solid waste being put into local landfills. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Tiffany Price)

sorting bins used for various recyclable materials

Pictured is a set of bins used to sort various recyclable materials at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, April 19, 2021. The recycling center at Tyndall collects and distributes recyclable materials to various recycling brokers in the community in attempt to reduce the amount of solid waste being put into local landfills. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Tiffany Price)

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --

As Tyndall Air Force Base continues to push toward a better tomorrow, sustainability, minimal waste and environmental awareness are high priorities.

Due to Hurricane Michael, Tyndall suffered extreme wind damage to nearly 12 thousand acres of upland pine forest. This required a huge cleanup effort and the reimagining of Tyndall’s forest management plans.

Since December of 2020, Tyndall’s reforestation efforts have planted over 2 million longleaf pine trees on approximately 3,700 acres with intentions of covering 5,300 more acres by the end of 2023.

Unlike slash and loblolly pine trees, longleaf pine trees can withstand higher winds and are less susceptible to major insect infestations and diseases. These trees promote a more resilient landscape and help to ensure Tyndall’s survivability during future environmental events.

Alongside its reforestation efforts, Tyndall strives to minimize its carbon footprint through a self-sustaining recycling program.

“The goal is to reduce the amount of solid waste we are sending to our landfill by diverting recyclable items to be reused for other purposes,” said Jennifer Brown, 325th Civil Engineer Squadron recycling program manager.

Green recycling bins can be located in almost 30 different locations around Tyndall including the Base Exchange and commissary parking lots. The bins are checked weekly by the recycling center staff, the items are sorted and then sold to various recycling brokers. The proceeds received from the sale of the recyclables are used to pay the staff and keep the program up and running.

“Tyndall recycled 1,627 tons of waste in 2020,” said Brown. “Waste that would have otherwise ended up in a landfill. This also saved Tyndall over $90,000 in solid waste disposal costs.”

The success of Tyndall’s mission relies heavily on the resiliency of the community and the environment. Caring for the installation’s surroundings and minimizing Tyndall’s production of solid waste is just another way the 325th Fighter Wing can enable training and projecting unrivaled combat airpower as it evolves into the Installation of the Future.