By Sarah Sybert
Vectrus has begun testing procured biodegradable materials with food waste from base dining facilities in a live composting demonstration at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, in support of the U.S. Army’s environmental sustainability goals, the company reported on Monday.
"We are excited to help lead this compost testing phase at Camp Arifjan that represents significant progress in meeting the Army's environmental sustainability goals in Kuwait, while supporting the local economy and improving base resiliency," said Chuck Prow, president and CEO of Vectrus and 2020 Wash100 Award recipient.
Vectrus has led the U.S. Army testing team of U.S. Army Central environmental contractors. The project will research new biodegradable materials and identify processes best suited for building base resiliency. The outcome of the tests will reduce waste sent to landfills and establish a legacy of environmental sustainability efforts on U.S. Army installations in Kuwait.
During testing, biodegradable bags filled with shreddings of the polylactic acid (PLA), including corn starch materials dining utensils, vegetable discards, eggshells, coffee grounds and base shrubbery, were emptied into a compost bin to determine how long it takes PLA materials to decompose in the specific environment.
Vectrus’ testing is part of the U.S. Army’s effort to adopt environmental initiatives that help achieve base resiliency and enhance environmental stability. The process identified and demonstrated by Vectrus has decreased the time required for items in plastic bags and utensils to fully decompose from 80 years to three months or less.
All the compost materials used in the test were procured from Kuwaiti vendors to support the local economy.