Net Zero: SEM can Help with Army Solid Waste Goals

June 11, 2019 at 4:16 pm by SEM

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the US Army Net Zero Program, it is an environmentally friendly program that was designed in 2011 with an initial goal to strive for 25-Net Zero Installations by 2030. The term Net Zero refers to managing the existing federal energy, water and waste programs and turning them into sustainable practices for the future.

The waste programs approach is to reduce, reuse and recover waste stream to ultimately convert them to resource value so there is zero landfill throughout the year. By following these guidelines, the army’s goal is to eliminate the need for landfills, protect human health, optimize the use of limited resources and keep the environment clean.

Paper shredded to the NSA standard for classified material

So where does SEM fit into this? Although society at large is moving more into the digital realm for data storage, truth is many still prefer, or are required, to print out documents. In a classified environment, once these documents reach end-of-life, they must be destroyed in a way that meets NSA mandated standards. For paper, that means turning the material into a dust like particle.

Believe it or not, most Installations are producing over 100,000 lbs. of classified paper per year. If this confetti like particle could be recycled then there would be no issues. However, since the particle size is so small, there is little recycling value due to the mess it creates. This means that most of the paper is heading for a landfill.

But SEM has a solution, briquetting systems! A briquetting system is designed to take this dust like particle and pack it into a small cylindrical briquettes which creates a 9:1 volume reduction. Such a large volume reduction can truly save money in the long run with compactor/dumpster hauls and drop-offs. More importantly, once this particle is turned into a briquette, it is not only easier to handle but it can also be reused. SEM has found that recyclers have multiple uses for these briquettes that are ultimately better for the environment than going directly into a landfill.

A briquetting and fan system

If your facility is producing over a hundred thousand lbs. of paper throughout the course of the year, you may want to seriously consider a one of SEM’s disintegrator and briquettor systems. Don’t hesitate, feel free to contact us immediately and find out which system is best for your application:!