Don’t trash your integrity

by 2nd Lt. Michael Peterson
786th Civil Engineer Squadron

Disposing of trash improperly is a question of personal integrity, especially when you are aware that off-base residents are not authorized to bring their personal property refuse onto any installation for disposal in facility dumpsters, recycle centers, or in military family housing underground dumpsters.

As military members, we uphold integrity to the highest level, but why ruin it with a small thing such as bringing trash on base and dumping it illegally?

There is no need for an integrity check. Just do what is right, even when no one is

Off-base residents automatically pay a refuse and recycling fee as part of their housing costs and must utilize these local community collection services versus sneaking additional tonnage onto installations and increasing refuse and recycling costs unnecessarily.

Recycling is the law in Germany, and proper disposal of personal property is the responsibility of each resident using the collection services appropriate to their community.

For those living in on-base MFH units, residents are responsible for keeping living areas clean and safe. This includes adhering to the rules of disposing refuse and recycling materials. You may be charged removal and clean-up fees and have your privilege to live in base housing terminated if you abandon property inside or outside of your quarters.

Oversized items and hazardous waste materials are your responsibility to dispose of at the nearest recycle center.

Below are some general rules of engagement for properly dealing with trash:

  • No off-base refuse or recyclables should come onto installations and be placed into any dumpster, underground container or base recycle centers. (Exception: up to 60 days after arrival and when out-processing; requires PCS orders).
  • Place trash inside dumpsters and/or underground containers, not on the ground by the containers since trash left outside the containers will not be collected.
  • Bulk trash items such as furniture, grills, mattresses, etc., should only be placed on the sidewalk near the underground dumpsters on the Sunday night (after 6 p.m.) prior to the scheduled pick-up date. From October to April, pick-up is on the second and the last Monday of every month. From May to September, pick-up is every Monday. Bulk trash day is not a permit to leave anything and everything beside the dumpsters. Household trash bags, cardboard boxes and recycling should all still be discarded appropriately.
  • Do not place bulk trash on top of underground containers, but on sidewalks near the containers.
  • Tires are restricted as “special” waste because they cause damage to the environment. Turn in your tires to the vendor, KMC recycling centers, MWR auto skills facilities or the Ramstein auto salvage yard.
  • Waste oil can soak into the ground and enter the ground water in local ditches, streams, lakes and even our drinking water supply. A single drop of oil contaminates 1 million drops of water. Turn your waste oil in to the KMC recycling centers or the MWR Auto Skills facilities.
  • Cameras and manned patrols are being established to prevent illegal dumping.
  • Personnel guilty of improper and illegal dumping will be charged for the full cost of removal and clean-up.

Help is always available. If you have questions, reach out to your German landlords or neighbors for more information on how to dispose your trash properly. Also, the Ramstein/Vogelweh Housing Office has brochures about recycling in Germany. Respect the host nation by learning their garbage and recyclable collection system.

For more information, call the civil engineering customer service line at 489-7703 or the Ramstein Recycling Center at 480-4191.

Check out these KMC locations where you can take recyclables:

Recycling Yard Kindsbach, Hirtenpfad 65, Kindsbach.
Call 0631-7105-505 or 408.
Hours: 1 to 5 p.m. Wednesdays to Fridays; 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays

Zak yard Mehlingen, Kapiteltal 1, Kaiserslautern. Call 0631-34117-1000.
Hours: 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. Mondays to Thursdays;
8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. Fridays; 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays

Recycling yard Kaiserslautern, Pfaffstrasse 3, Kaiserslautern. Call 0631-365-3526.
Hours: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays; 1 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays; 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays

Recycling yard Kaiserslautern, Daennerstrasse 3, Kaiserslautern. Call 0631-365-3526.
Hours: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays; 1 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays; 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays