Harry Stevens is a freelance reporter covering climate change, corporate social responsibility, social enterprise, and sustainable finance. Harry has contributed to several media outlets, including Justmeans, GreenBiz, SocialEarth, and Sustainablog. You can follow Harry on Twitter: @Harry_Stevens...
Thousands of Events Scheduled for America Recycles Day
The 15th annual America Recycles Day is just six weeks away. The only nationally-recognized day dedicated to recycling, America Recyles Day will be held on November 15, 2012. Thousands of events will be held across the country to educate Americans about recycling and urge them to sign pledges to recycle and purchase products made from recycled materials.
Keep America Beautiful (KAB), the nation's largest volunteer-based community action and education organization, is encouraging organizers to host events across the country. KAB is offering free event organizer toolkits that include educational materials, promotional items, event signage, "go-to guides" and more.
Organizers interested in receiving a toolkit should register online at AmericaRecyclesDay.org by October 31, and a toolkit will be shipped in time for the event. Toolkits are limited and will be available of a first-come, first-served basis.
Over 1,000 events have already been registered. Events include education programs, collection events, flash mobs, and prize giveaways to select recyclers. Events will be held at grocery chains, small businesses, local governments, college campuses and elementary schools, among other locations.
"An America Recycles Day event can take on any shape or form, collect any recyclable or compostable material, or engage any audience," said Brenda Pulley, KAB's national program manager and senior vice president of recycling. "I'm thrilled with the creativity and diversity of the events being registered already, and Keep America Beautiful wants to support even more."
Founded in 1953, the same year that C.A. Swanson & Sons introduced the first TV dinner, KAB was created to address the growing problem of litter on highways, streets and other public places across the country. In addition to litter prevention, KAB today also focuses on recycling and community greening and beautification.
Generation of municipal solid waste in the U.S. has skyrocketed since 1985, but has dropped slightly in recent years, even as recycling has increased. Today, the U.S. recycles or composts over fifty percent of its paper products and just over a third of total waste.
In addition to conserving physical resources, recycling has been demonstrated to save energy. For example, the EPA estimates that recycling ten aluminum cans saves enough energy to power a laptop computer for over 50 hours.
Those interested in joining an event in their area can enter their zip code on the America Recyles Day website. People who want to take the recycling pledge can also do so on the website. Almost 7,000 people have made the pledge this year.
Corporate sponsors of America Recycles Day include Anheuser-Busch InBev (NYSE:BUD), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), Nestlé Waters North America, Owens-Illinois (NYSE:OI), PepsiCo (NYSE:PEP) and Waste Management (NYSE:WM).
In 2010, PepsiCo, Waste Management and KAB announced a multiyear partnership to place recycling kiosks and bins at public locations across North America, in an effort to increase beverage container recycling rates to 50 percent by 2018. That same year, Nestlé Waters North America managed to achieve a 98% recycling rate for its in-factory solid stream waste.
Although America Recycles Day is officially held on November 15, affiliated events can take place any time during the month of November.
Image credit: Andy Arthur