The Green Bucket

Article by Guest Author: Jack Imber
Author of the book DEMINER available from Amazon

Green Bucket Definition: A figure of speech which means to place or put unnatural items into the environment; a form of littering with range debris (RD), munitions debris (MD) or UXO items.

Any problems or bad situations which may occur at various projects nationwide need to be brought up and discussed at the time it is happening. When one or more UXO techs act inappropriately it reflects badly on the whole UXO industry. There is no room in this profession for cutting corners or complacency of any kind. It is the hope that each employee will do their very best on every assignment to maintain a high standard of practice.

Finding items in an area of responsibility and moving them off the grid, either individually or under the direction of a superior when removal of it has been previously mandated, is known as the "green bucket". This "bucket" is not an actual plastic container that would be used to collect materials. Rather it refers to using the environment as the 'container' for one or more items instead of collecting the material appropriately.

In less serious cases bits of found metal might be thrown carelessly into the surrounding bushes or other vegetation. Dropping into nearby waterways or burying in the ground is also considered the "green bucket". Suppose for a moment that the metal is not examined properly. It may contain some energetic material when it is inadvertently thrown outside the site proper. In the worst case scenario a fuzed item is tossed along with other metal fragments. It would be better and more in accordance with standard operating procedures that all items that can be collected are examined during the clearance of each grid. UXO items that cannot be moved should be well marked and documented for blow in place (BIP). Appropriate disposal can then be achieved. Remember the main purpose of any project is CLEARANCE.

It is true that some projects do not pick up metal debris at all. Although the reason given is that this procedure is not in the scope of the project work plan, the real reason can be summarized in one word: "Cheap". Still, this is no license to spray RD and MD around the landscape, making it even more difficult for the future UXO workers that must eventually clean up the land.

If you ever see or are told to put anything but natures material into the "green bucket" please stand up for what is right and in accordance with your standard of practice. Let's not compromise our work ethics or our purpose over something so unprofessional and avoidable. Please know that project contracts have been delayed or even cancelled over green bucket issues. At the same time individual UXO careers have been negatively impacted because of it.


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