News | May 6, 2019

Excess items avoid landfill to help people in need

By Tim Hoyle DLA Disposition Services

It took more than luck to complete a long and challenging donation process to provide excess items to Bahrain’s Red Crescent Society, but the charity’s local leaders recently wished good fortune on Defense Logistics Agency employees there for extra efforts from agency employees to provide support.

Shireen Washington, a disposition service representative for DLA Disposition Services in Bahrain, recently accepted some items from Red Crescent Society thanking DLA for its resiliency in completing a large donation of furniture, mattresses and other items to avoid sending them to a landfill.

Washington said the items presented replicate several artifacts on display in the Bahrain National Museum.  The Bull’s Head is like those once used in religious ceremonies, and the Dilmun Seals are small works believed to have been used in the past to identify property, notarize documents and serve as trademarks.

“It’s supposed to be a harbinger of good luck,” Washington said.

The donations began last October when the Public Affairs Office at the Naval Support Activity Bahrain reported approximately 100 beds, 150 night stands and other pieces were transferred to the charity. The story said the excess items came from the Navy Gateway Inn and Suites because of a demolition refurbishment project.

The story quoted Washington on how “good community relations are important ... it aids in maintaining a military-beneficial relationship and helps earn public support of our military presence here in Bahrain.”

Washington also noted the charity helps more than 4,000 people annually, with higher levels of support during Ramadan.

“On a monthly basis, they support 400 families that are living well below the poverty line,” Washington said. “This donation will help house and furnish the homes of many of those families.”

Heavy rains, flooding and clean up at the Red Crescent’s facilities delayed the pickup of additional items until 2019. Washington said it took until February for the charity to receive the rest of the donation items. Before any of items could be provided, Washington said she got a lot of help from Vickie Rodgers, deputy director for DLA Disposition Services’ Central region.

“Shireen told me about all of this furniture that they were probably going to have to put in dumpsters, so I reminded her about donations in lieu of abandonment,” Rodgers said.

Such donations are used when there are no customers for reutilization, transfer of donation, nor is there a good sales market for the items. In such cases, regulations allow items to be donated to a charity instead of disposing of them in a landfill.

“We’ve done this before in Europe and other countries, so I gave Shireen the information on the regulations and advised her to work with the liaison officer and the Embassy there,” Rodgers said. “She got the job done.’

Getting the job done involved working with Navy Lt. Cmdr. Lyndsey Fatz, the U.S. Navy’s in-country relations officer for the U.S. Embassy in Bahrain. Washington praised Fatz for her “instrumental role” in making the donation possible.

“Without her we would not have been able to expeditiously get through the amount of red tape necessary for a foreign donation of this type,” Washington said.