USS Makin Island Named Recycler of the Year

USS Makin Island Named Recycler of the Year

The amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8) was recognized as one of the top Recyclers of the Year during the 2014 City of San Diego Waste Reduction and Recycling Awards ceremony hosted on the flight deck April 29.


The event was sponsored by the City of San Diego Environmental Services Department in efforts to recognize businesses and organizations within the San Diego community that have implemented waste reduction reuse, recycling and recycled product procurement programs that demonstrate success, innovation and exemplary waste reduction practices.

Capt. Alvin Holsey, commanding officer of Makin Island, gave the opening remarks to attendees.

Holsey stated that Makin Island is leading the way for “future” naval hybrid ships that will one day sail into the San Diego harbor.

“We are the first hybrid-powered amphibious assault ship,” said Holsey. “What that means is that I can take this 40,000 ton warship and move it throughout the water with the same power source that drives my lights, air conditioning, satellite communications and television.”

Makin Island’s unique design helps the ship to burn nearly 50 percent less fuel than a traditional steam-powered ship within its class.

Makin Island has implemented a significant number of initiatives to minimize the amount of waste generated by reutilization of materials and packaging; conserving energy through best management practices; installing energy savings systems to increase renewable generation, and decreasing water consumption.

“The Navy’s first hybrid-powered ship doesn’t just confine its green program to the engine room,” stated Chris Gonaver, Director of Environmental Services Department. “Throughout the ship, Sailors onboard are learning what those on land have been doing for years. The crew was able to recycle more than 3,800 tons of debris which included the reuse of materials and packaging.”

Makin Island currently has more than 300 recycle containers throughout the ship in each of the manned work spaces and centrally located containers in common areas. Crewmembers thoroughly separate all recyclable materials and all bags are double checked before any processing.

Gonaver said that the city of San Diego is proud to have the first hybrid ship stationed within the harbor.

Makin Island puts the highest priority on partnering with Navy and local organizations to review new policies/regulations, obtain ideas to improve solid waste diversion and to develop the most creative and comprehensive solutions to the U.S. Navy’s solid waste related issues.

Makin Island recycling efforts in 2013 contributed to the four and a half tons of material recycled by Navy Region Southwest.

Makin Island is the flagship of the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group, which is in its work-up cycle in preparation for its upcoming deployment.

Press Release, April 30, 2014; Image: US Navy