America Recycles Day is a reminder of the collective responsibility we share in preserving the environment and promoting a sustainable future. This annual recognition encourages individuals, communities, and businesses to come together to raise awareness about recycling and take action to reduce waste.
The Significance of America Recycles Day
America Recycles Day is a Keep America Beautiful initiative that started in 1994. The first one (November 15, 1994) had participation from 40 states and has since become a nationwide celebration aimed at promoting recycling and raising awareness about the environmental and economic benefits of this practice.
- “Recycle at home, work, school, and on the go;
- Buy products made with recycled content; and
- Educate and encourage friends, family, and neighbors to do the same”
Want to test your knowledge? Try out this quiz!
The Environmental Impact of Recycling
Recycling plays a pivotal role in reducing the environmental impact of waste disposal. Here are some of the ways in which recycling benefits the environment:
Conservation of Resources: Recycling conserves valuable natural resources, such as timber, minerals, and water, by reducing the need for new raw materials.
Energy Savings: The process of recycling often requires less energy than manufacturing products from scratch. For instance, recycling aluminum saves up to 95% of the energy required to make aluminum from raw materials.
Reduction in Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Recycling reduces the release of greenhouse gases associated with the extraction and processing of raw materials, helping combat climate change.
Landfill Diversion: Recycling diverts materials from landfills, reducing the need for new landfill space and mitigating soil and water pollution.
Preservation of Biodiversity: By reducing the demand for resource extraction, recycling helps protect ecosystems and preserve biodiversity.
- The recycling rate has increased from less than 7% to the current 32% according to the EPA
- Recycling and reuse activities account for 681,000 jobs every year
- Deschutes County diverted 723,981 tons of waste from 1992 to 2009
- Knott landfill is expected to be full by 2029, recycling can help divert waste!
Participating in America Recycles Day and supporting recycling initiatives is easy and can make a substantial impact. Here are some ways you can get involved:
Recycle at Home: Set up a recycling system at home and educate your family about the importance of recycling. Ensure that you're recycling materials like paper, cardboard, glass, plastics, and aluminum.
Community Events: Join or organize local recycling events, such as collection drives for electronics, textiles, or hazardous waste. These events can help you properly dispose of items that should not go in the regular trash.
Spread the Word: Use your voice and social media platforms to raise awareness about America Recycles Day and share tips on recycling and reducing waste.
Support Sustainable Practices: Choose products with recyclable or sustainable packaging. Encourage businesses to adopt eco-friendly practices.
Learn and Teach: Educate yourself about recycling and share your knowledge with others. Encourage your school, workplace, or community groups to integrate recycling programs.
America Recycles Day is a reminder that our individual actions can collectively make a significant impact on the environment. Recycling not only conserves resources but also reduces pollution and supports a more sustainable future. By participating in this annual event, we can promote responsible consumption and waste reduction. Together, we can take small steps that lead to big changes and work towards a cleaner, healthier planet for future generations. So, mark your calendar for November 15th and make everyday America Recycles Day!
And remember, every community recycles different materials. Make sure to check with your waste provider to ensure that you’re recycling the correct items. Check out a few resources for recycling in Deschutes County:
- Deschutes County - Recycling
- Republic Services - Deschutes Recycling Guide
- Cascade Disposal Curbside Recycling Guide