The navy recently recognized Fleet Readiness Center East for its commitment to the environment. The award received by the FRCE was the 2019 SECNAV Environmental Award for Sustainability for Individual/Team, according to a release from the FRCE Public Affairs Office.

The award is the second-highest environmental commendation FRCE has received, according to the release. In 2004 the facility won the Secretary Of Defense Environmental Award. It also received two SECDEF honorable mentions, three SECNAV  Environmental Awards and eight Chief of Naval Operations Environmental Awards.

It would appear that Fleet Readiness Center East is a pretty clean scene.

Thirty-three individuals of the facility’s Industrial Environmental Division were recognized for their efforts in managing environmental compliance programs within the organization. Factors that influenced the group’s selection for the award were water and energy conservation, outreach for the community, and landfill diversion, according to the press release.

Pollution is a main concern, and the sustainability award focuses on that criterion among others that include “increasing efficiency and sustainability in the consumption of resources, including energy, water and raw materials; along with efforts in energy efficiency, renewable energy practices, greenhouse gas reduction, procurement of sustainable goods and services and redirection of waste,” it said.

According to the release, Environmental Management System Program Manager Steven Azok said that receiving the award was reflective of his office’s dedication to the environment, and “to mitigating any negative impacts to the environment while also increasing positive effects,” he said.

In addition, the fiscal benefit to FRCE, the accomplishments of the Environmental Division had a positive impact on resource management and environmental steward ship, said the release. In 2017, FRCE saw a reduction of 13.3 million gallons – 13.6 percent of water treated at their industrial wastewater treatment plant.

“We involved the artisans in the process, and once they started seeing the numbers, it became almost like a game to them,” said FRCE Environmental Director Andrew Krelie. “They started saying, let’s see how much we really can save, and started looking for other ways to reduce potable water consumption,” the release stated.

Krelie said that recycling markets made it a bit harder for getting rid of recyclables when Craven County stopped supporting receiving them from FRCE. He said that The Environmental Division had to find another place to get rid of the recyclables. They are now received in Onslow County.

“In this environment we have right now, it is becoming harder and harder to find businesses or organizations that will actually take recycling because the market is going down. But we are still, through our efforts here – whether it’s at the lowest level in the break rooms to our higher-level scrap metal – we are continually exceeding our goals annually for landfill diversion,” he said FRCE Industrial Environmental Division team members conduct “dumpster dives” to find and remove things that can be recycled that may have been improperly thrown in with regular trash.

The release states that the Dumpster Dives is one of the initiatives that contributed to their division getting top honors for the award.