KMC observes Earth Day

Airman Edward Drescher
Kaiserslautern American

***image1***April 22 was Worldwide Earth Day and Ramstein participated by planting trees, opening state-of-the-art trash bins and promoting environmental awareness.

Brig. Gen. Rosanne Bailey, 435th Air Base Wing and KMC commander, conducted a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new dumpsters, which, to the surprise of some, are underground.

“These underground dumpsters aren’t just visually pleasing, they also are key in force protection,” said Capt. Dave Vanderburg, 435th Civil Engineer Squadron Environmental Flight deputy commander.

Dumpsters used to have to be at least 75 feet away from buildings because of the damage a bomb could do in an above ground dumpster. With the new model, a bomb would cause little to no damage and they can be placed next to buildings.

Twelve of these dumpsters, which are the Department of Defense’s first-ever, are currently ready for use in the KMC but plans call for more than 100 in the future. The current ones are located by the bowling alley and in housing areas.

The new dumpsters don’t only help environmentally but financially as well. The current dumpsters in use are being rented and are costing money on a recurring basis. The new dumpsters are owned by the Air Force and will save it money in the long run.

General Bailey also dedicated the planting of more than 100 trees on Ramstein. The trees were planted in areas by the new enlisted club, the old enlisted club, the environmental office and housing areas.

The theme of this year’s Earth Day was “Protect our Children and our Future.” In light of that, environmental awareness was promoted through Ramstein American Middle School. Children devoted their studies to subjects such as pollution, endangered species, global warming, rainforests and wetlands.
“We have to take care of the environment for our children’s future and our health,” said Rainer Muller, 435th CES environmental flight chief.

The local German community was also involved with Ramstein’s Earth Day events. Community leaders helped plant trees, attended the ribbon cutting ceremony and promoted awareness to children.

“It’s important to promote this type of awareness because people think they don’t affect the environment but it’s really affected in so many ways,” said Captain Vanderburg. “There is nothing you can do that doesn’t impact the environment.”