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  • Valerie Androutsopoulos

Celebrate Recycling! America Recycles Day 2017! November 15th

This year is the 20th anniversary of America Recycles Day. “ARD” is the only nationally recognized event that promotes recycling in the US. “America Recycles Day is a call-to-action to motivate individuals to actively pursue a #BeRecycled lifestyle 365 days a year,” said Brenda Pulley, senior vice president, recycling, Keep America Beautiful which manages the program. ARD reminds us of the need to recycle and the positive impact recycling has on the environment and the economy.

Like 2016, the theme is #BeRecycled. It builds on the 2013 campaign #IWanttobeRecycled which was designed to show consumers what happens to the collected recyclable. The ads demonstrate how recyclables are the first link in the manufacturing supply chain. Sponsored by Keep America Beautiful and The Ad Council, the campaign gives human characteristics to the recyclables as they tell their stories of wanting to be something more than trash. In “Journey,” a plastic bottle refuses to settle for being just a bottle and realizes its dream after being recycled. The campaigns aim to increase awareness, explain how and where to recycle, and motivate individuals to make recycling part of their daily life.

America Recycles Day Helps Create Jobs

According to recent data from the Recycling Economic Information study, for every 1000 tons recycled, 1.57 jobs are created, worth $76,000 in wages and $14,101 in tax revenue. The recycling industry in Maryland has an economic impact of $1,218,855,000, including 5,945 jobs with total wages of $384,968,000 and pays $134,331,300 in taxes, according to the Institute of Recycling Industries Economic Impact Study. For more information on recycling’s importance to the economy check out last month’s manufacturing day blog post.

Although more than 70 percent of our recyclables are consumed in the US, approximately one third of the scrap recycled in the United States is exported. China is the recycling industry’s largest customer. This includes more than $1.9 billion in scrap paper. With China’s announcement earlier this year that it will no longer accept 20 types of recyclables, in part due to contamination, ARD presents an opportunity to educate the proper way to recycle. No more “wish cycling” – the practice of tossing questionable items into the bin hoping they can somehow be recycled.

It’s important to remember that the recycling “do’s & don’ts” vary between communities. They may also vary depending on whether it’s residential or commercial so be sure to check what’s acceptable and what’s not in your program. Click Office Paper Recycling Do’s & Don’t for a list of the acceptable and unacceptable paper types of paper in Vangel’s dual stream office recycling programs.

What Else Can YOU do on America Recycles Day?

Join the 71,349 people who have taken the #BeRecycledPledge

On Wed, November 15 2017, tune in on Facebook for Baltimore County’s America Recycles Day Facebook Live Q&A! Join recycling experts Richard Keller and Rashida White to answer burning questions such as can to-go coffee cups #BeRecycled? What about pizza boxes or plastic cutlery? Share this post, mark your calendars and get your questions ready for #AmericaRecyclesDay!

On Saturday, November 18, take back 5 plastic bags to get a free resuseable Tote, take 2 bags of documents to be shred, and purchase a recycling bin. Visit Baltimore City’s Department of Public Works for details.

Finally, test your recycling skill and knowledge by playing the recycling game, “Super Sorter.” Good Luck!

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