Post Written by Public Affairs Specialist 2nd Class Luke Pinneo
The academy was one of eight government facilities recognized in the fourth annual Electronics Reuse and Recycling Campaign, in which more than 15.8 million pounds of electronics were reused or recycled nationally.
For the Coast Guard, a comprehensive recycling program is a natural extension of the service’s long-standing environmental protection mission. Although the award recognizes the collective efforts of all academy employees, the work of two particular guardians stands out.
Chief Warrant Officer Charles Crabb is at the funnel point of all excess property disposed of at the academy. Whether scrap metal, cardboard, bottles, old computer monitors, copiers, or aging power tools, Crabb resolved to find other uses and longer lives for them.
“The easy way out would be to consider them unusable, and just send them to a land fill,” said Cmdr. Scott Gesele, chief facilities engineer at the academy. But instead he said Crabb fostered sustainability by pulling excess property out of the academy’s waste stream, and putting it into its recycle stream to be reused either at the academy, by other state or federal agencies, or in the community.
“Nearly to the extent of dumpster diving, he found homes for a lot stuff,” Gesele said .
Gesel said that of the total number of recycled waste at the academy in 2008/2009, CWO Crabb alone was responsible for about 20 to 30 percent of it.
But Crabb is quick is pass the credit.
“If you really want to look at the electronics recycling, Ashley Cordi was the one who lead that,” Crabb said.
Cordi, a civil servant, is the environmental protection specialist at the academy and ran the electronic reuse and recycle campaign there.
“Ashley’s out there the most, coordinating,” said Mark Buck, and environmental & safety manager and Cordi’s supervisor.
He said Cordi was involved in every aspect of the program from accounting and tracking each detail, to bringing in and managing recycling dumpsters, to patrolling the campus, looking for improperly discarded waste.
He said she was also a leader of the cadets’ sustainability group, which routinely collects discarded personal electronics and arranges a contracted recycle pickup for them.
“As they’re getting ready to clean house at end of the academic year, the cadets generate a lot of waste,” said Buck.
He said she coordinated donations and recycle pickups for all type of things from clothing to electronics.
For Cordi, environmental protection is a mission she connects with on all levels.
Cordi earned a master’s degree in geology and after graduate school, she worked with a Native American tribe in the Midwest. There, she was involved with the tribe’s solid waste program and recognizing environmental issues of the tribal lands.
“There was a spiritual element to it, especially with older members.”
As she listened to the elders’ stories, she developed a deeper sense of the balance of nature, she said.
“Alot of it is essentially; protect the earth protect the air and understanding how the earth gets passed from generation to generation,” she said.
Cordi’s own ancestry is from the Caribbean island of Saba, known by local, tourists and ecologists as the Unspoiled Queen.
“They call it that for good reasons,” she said. She said until recently there were no garbage dumps and protecting the land has been at the forefront on the island for generations.
And as Cordi, Crabb and other environmental leaders at the academy find themselves amidst new generations of cadets each year, they continue to foster a culture of sustainability.
“It’s always been about keeping it pristine,” Cordi said.