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Gun range recycling: startling stats from Saskatoon police that will blow you away

Saskatoon police recycle tens of thousands of pounds of material at gun range
WATCH ABOVE: A massive recycling initiative is underway as Saskatoon's officers in blue are going green. Meaghan Craig reports.

A massive recycling initiative is underway in a place where you might not expect it.

Saskatoon officers in blue are now taking aim and going green at their indoor gun range.

“It’s where we do 90 per cent of our training for annual qualifications for every police officer in Saskatoon,” said Const. Carl Gutek, armourer for the Saskatoon Police Service.

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Gutek maintains and provides repairs to both the force’s firearms and gun range and said approximately 475 sworn members use the range at some point each year.

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That means the range sees slugs and multiple projectile rounds from an officer’s standard service pistol, a .40-calibre Glock, carbines and shotguns.

Officials at the gun range recycle everything they possibly can. Old re-purposed aircraft pieces and police cruiser tires make up a berm at the back of the range to catch bullets.

“There’s some indents in the rubber that’s where 90 per cent of the rounds go.”

“We have approximately 80,000 rounds per lane so at 10 lanes that’s 800,000 rounds,” Gutek said.

“We just finished our recycling program for the first time since we started our range … and we recycled approximately 18,000 pounds of lead over the three years from the bullets that we fired.”

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Another stat that will blow you away include the six – 50 gallon barrels of casings are recovered from the range every year.

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“We did two [barrels] in March and those weighed just over 12,000 pounds of recycled steel/brass.”

Even the air is recycled, cleaned of all chemicals and gun powder before it’s kicked back out into the environment.

“All of the paper targets get recycled as well as all of the cardboard that the bullets or the ammunition comes in.”

The idea that police gun ranges should be recovering spent lead is relatively new and really started to pick up around five years ago.

“Ours, I believe, is one of the newest ones with the efficient system at doing it,” Gutek remarked.

“This is a huge step for us on our recycling program.”

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Police officers helping to protect the planet and any money made from the recycling of the materials goes back into the city’s budget.