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Homeland Security

Base salon recycles hair, helps clean up oil spill

by Senior Airman Samantha S. Crane
375th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

7/14/2010 - SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. (AFNS) -- The base exchange beauty salon began collecting hair clippings in June to assist in the clean up of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

After finding out about the program from a friend, Caise Gardiner, a hair stylist here, began collecting hair to donate through "Matter of Trust."

"One of my friends from another salon said something about it, so I looked into it too," she said.

The organization hosts three programs: manmade surplus, natural surplus and eco-educational. Their efforts in assisting with the Gulf Coast oil spill fall under natural surplus. The project collects hair at 19 donated warehouses spread through Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Florida.

After the hair is received, both from humans and animals, volunteers bundle hair into recycled nylons to create booms, which, when placed in oil-contaminated water, soak up excess oil. After use, the hair booms are disposed of as hazardous waste.

"Hair usually just goes into the trash, so I may as well put it to good use," Ms. Gardiner said .

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