Marine Corps earns $2.5 million recycling spent shells

The Marine Corps has been doing a booming business turning spent bombing-range munitions into cash, it was reported Saturday.

Last year the Marines earned a $2.5 million profit recycling range residue at the vast Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in California’s Mojave Desert, the Marine Corps Times said.

“Everything that’s been shot at, shot up, blown up, that’s what we recycle in here,” base recycler Jay Jones told the Times’ reporters from the Medill News Service.

The profits cover expenses related to the recycling program. They also go to the base’s Marine Welfare Program.

The Times said the arms training installation launched its recycling program in 2000. Spent shells and casings are sorted in containers at the range sustainment branch, which processes some 9000,000 pounds of spent munitions from across the base on an annual basis, it said.

The sorters check to make sure no live ordnances get recycled.

The Times also reported that the range leftovers have attracted scrappers, who sneak onto the base in search of brass, copper and aluminum, the Times said.

Marine officials said the base works with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office to prosecute scrappers.