News | Feb. 5, 2021

Good idea nets big savings

By Tim Hoyle DLA Disposition Services

While Defense Logistics Agency Disposition Services employees usually market reusable materials to warfighters, the Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, staff recently became their own customers when a good idea helped solve a messy problem.

Equipment Specialist Ted Adams was walking the grounds one day when he noticed some geo-textile mesh normally used in road construction and soil stabilization that was slated for shredding before disposal. Suddenly, Adams had an idea for a better way to deal with the material.

“We have an overhead shade structure above a concrete pad where we receive items coming into our lot,” Adams said. “Unfortunately, the open beams and supports of the structure became a favorite place for pigeons to roost, so our customers and workers were dealing with a lot of bird waste throughout the day.”

Jhunar Medenilla, right, helps Ted Adams, as the pair continues to hang netting to keep out birds who were nesting above a receiving area at DLA Disposition Services at Camp Arifjan.
Jhunar Medenilla, right, helps Ted Adams, as the pair continues to hang netting to keep out birds who were nesting above a receiving area at DLA Disposition Services at Camp Arifjan.
Jhunar Medenilla, right, helps Ted Adams, as the pair continues to hang netting to keep out birds who were nesting above a receiving area at DLA Disposition Services at Camp Arifjan.
Hanging more net
Jhunar Medenilla, right, helps Ted Adams, as the pair continues to hang netting to keep out birds who were nesting above a receiving area at DLA Disposition Services at Camp Arifjan.
Photo By: Ben Singleton
VIRIN: 210120-D-D0441-004

Adams remembered how the problem had been addressed at a similar structure on base where a fine netting was hung under the structure to block the birds from accessing it. After checking with the base pest control staff and getting permission for a self-help project, he went to work finding materials to link the netting into a single piece so it could be suspended in the receiving area.

“I borrowed a lift basket and safety harnesses from our maintenance contractor and scheduled a time to do the project,” Adams said. “We cleaned one afternoon and spent five days hanging the netting.”

Before Adams had his idea he said an estimate for a $240,000 project to remedy the bird problem had been prepared by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as part of a 2019 Area Development Plan. Instead, Adams and his colleagues found several rolls of nylon webbing among scrap materials waiting for disposal, which was used to suspend the netting, and thousands of zip ties that were turned in as excess property. 

“We also found some self-tapping screws, which we used to secure the ends,” Adams said. “The only thing we bought were some bolts to hold our steel plating along the edges. The steel was also scrap.”