Reuse and recycling of surplus army stocks
Products manufactured for military use are made to operate faultlessly in times of crisis and under the harshest of climatic conditions.
For this reason, these products are of high quality and made to standards higher than those normally used in industry.
Thus the surplus or obsolete aircraft, helicopters, tanks, vehicles, ammunition and devices for communication, reconnaissance, control and command, etc. offer great potential in terms of recycling or reuse.
Precious metals are frequently found in devices for communication, command and control and also generally installed in infrastructure equipment.
Electrical cables contain large amounts of copper. Copper alloys are also widely used in the manufacturing of ammunition cases.
Aircraft engines contain a great deal of titanium and nickel alloys as well as large amounts of aluminium. They are also often a great source of magnesium alloys that contain thorium.
Products made for military purposes also frequently contain hazardous materials such as PCB (in paints and capacitors). In order to make lettering or the sights of weapons more visible, particularly at night, radium was often used as a component in the paint, which may have a luminous effect, but is also radioactive. Military surplus products such as chemical weapons also contain a variety of other toxic substances, including waste engine oil.
When recycling army surplus it is important to recognise and separate the recyclable materials and to dispose of the pollutants in an environmentally compatible, legally compliant way.