Maine Army Guard recycles vehicle trailers that ‘look brand new’ but have cracks

Posted July 26, 2012, at 5:55 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — The U.S. Army recently ordered that numerous vehicle trailers used by the Maine Army National Guard to haul heavy equipment be scrapped.

“These trailers are dangerously failing apparatus with strategic stress cracks and fractures,” Tim Corbett, the Maine Military Authority’s executive director, said Thursday. “[But] they look brand new — a lot of them.”

Corbett said he inspected the trailers in hopes of being able to refurbish and reuse them but found “they would be too expensive to fix. In critical spots you could see half-inch cracks.”

“We don’t want anybody else to use them — that is why they were scrapped,” he said.

Corbett didn’t know exactly how many trailers were recycled as scrap metal, but said they were sold at recycling facilities in Bangor and Oakland.

Recently, about 30 of the trailers could be seen stacked at OneSteel on outer Broadway in Bangor and another 85 or so went to the OneSteel facility in Oakland.

“We have a lot of trailers because of the transportation company,” Corbett said, referring to the 1136th Transportation Company, based out of Bangor, Calais and Sanford.

OneSteel company officials said they had no comment about the military scrap, which sold for between $140 and $160 a ton.

When the military has recyclable items to dispose of, it has two basic choices — sell them in bulk or recycle the items as scrap, according to the Department of Defense website.

“U.S. military installations around the world defray the costs of various base activities by disposing of material through the Department of Defense Resource and Recycling Program,” the DOD website states. “When sold, 100 percent of the proceeds are returned to the same military installations that generated the material.”

“We do get the money back … [but] it has to be used for an approved environmental recycling program,” Corbett said.

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