Guardians of the Week – Leaders of a Green CG Academy


Post Written by Public Affairs Specialist 2nd Class Luke Pinneo

This week, the White House recognized all guardians at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn., for developing a recycling program which kept 47,693 pounds of electronic waste out of landfills.

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.

NEW LONDON, Conn. – Chief Warrant Officer Charles Crabb manages all excess property at the Coast Guard Academy here. Whether scrap metal, cardboard, bottles, old computer monitors, copiers, or aging power tools,he looks for other uses and longer lives for them.

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.

NEW LONDON, Conn. – Ashley Cordi is the environmental protection specialist at the Coast Guard Academy here, and helped lead the electronics recycling program which was recently awarded by the White House. Coast Guard photo by Petty Offcer 2nd Class Gail Dale.

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.

2 comments on “Guardians of the Week – Leaders of a Green CG Academy”

  1. I wish to contact Anne and Ramon Evans. They interviewed Albert Naccarelli for the Navigator about the Eagle. I was also a Plank Owner on the Eagle.

  2. This story may not be as glamorous as our search and rescue, but it illustrates how people live the missions. Examples like this are important, because at the end of the day, actions speak louder than words. So much of the Coast Guard’s positive reputation is because there isn’t a credibility gap between what we say and what we do.

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