America Recycles Day will be celebrated on Friday, November 15th! This day is a nationwide recognition of recycling in the United States. The National Recycling Coalition created America Recycles Day in 1997. Since then, a Presidential Proclamation has recognized the day in order to encourage recycling by all Americans.

Recycling- It’s More Important Now Than Ever Before!

For years, Americans have been encouraged to recycle their household plastics, glass, metals, paper and cardboard. And in nearly 50 years, the message has been getting across with an increase in the recycling rate from less than 7% in 1960 to the current rate of 35% nationwide. Here in Hudson County, our recycling rate has increased from 3% to 55%! In 2018, Waste Management, North America’s largest residential recycler managed the recycling of over 10 million tons of plastic bottles, aluminum and steel cans, and cardboard and paper.

Recycling has numerous environmental benefits. First and foremost, recycling reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills. Recycling also conserves natural resources including water, timber and minerals while also reducing the need to collect new raw materials which prevents pollution. Annual recycling estimates in North America show that recycling efforts save 46 billion gallons of water, 196 million trees and avoids the release of 29 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions (the equivalent of removing 6 million cars from the road annually)!

As a loyal reader of the monthly HCIA Blog, you may remember the current state of the recycling industry as the result of new environmental controls established in China in January 2018. If you need a refresher, check out our October Blog.

Recycling: It Just Makes Sense (And Cents!)

Recycling in the United States also has a positive impact on our nation’s economy. According to the national Recycling Economic Information Study developed by the EPA, recycling and reuse activities annually account for 757,000 jobs, $36.6 billion in wages and $6.7 billion in tax revenues. For every 1,000 tons of materials recycled, this equates to 1.57 jobs, $76,030 in wages and $14,101 in tax revenues.

Recycling Is Important; Recycling Right Is Even More Important!

In response to the global recycling crisis, now more than ever, it’s crucial to Recycle Right. Here in Hudson County, it means making an extra effort to double check what is being placed in your curbside recycling bins. Let’s review a few basics:

  • Recyclables from your household should go directly into your curbside bin- do NOT place them in plastic bags.
  • Plastic bags should never be placed in your curbside bin- they can get tangled in machinery at the recycling facility which will not only cause a mess, but can even cause a facility to shut down for cleaning and repairs. Bring plastic bags to your local supermarket for recycling.
  • Plastic bottles & containers coded with #1 and #2 (also #5s on Hoboken ONLY) can be placed in your recycling bin- Please remove the caps prior to placing them in the bin. Containers should be free from any food particles and dry.
  • Mixed paper including newspaper, magazines, paper, junk mail, catalogs and phone books can be placed in the recycling bin.
  • Cans including aluminum and steel cans may be placed in curbside recycling. These items should be free from any food particles with lids removed.
  • Glass bottles and jars of all sizes, shapes and colors with bottle caps removed can all be included with curbside recycling.
  • Cardboard products such as cereal boxes may be placed in your curbside recycling. Corrugated boxes can be placed curbside for a separate pickup.

Questions? Download the Recycle Coach App to learn more about specific recycling information, pickup schedules and more in each Hudson County municipality.

Join In The Celebration

America Recycles Day is the perfect opportunity to commit to making an extra effort to recycle properly. Take the #BeRecycled pledge and commit to reduce, reuse, recycle and buy recycled! The pledge includes three steps: Learn, Act and Share. To learn includes finding out which materials are collected for recycling; Act includes reducing the amount of waste produced, recycling more and purchasing products made with recycled content; sharing includes encouraging one family member or friend to also take the #BeRecycled pledge.

Here at the HCIA, America Recycles Day is the official kickoff for the 2019 Battle Cap Battle. From November 15th through December 22nd, participating schools are encouraged to collect as many bottle caps as possible. Prizes will be awarded to the school that collects the most bottle caps. These bottle caps will be sent to Terra Cycle to be upcycled into new products. This challenge is a fun and educational way for Hudson County students to help make a difference in protecting the environment!

From all of us at the HCIA, Happy America Recycles Day! Take the pledge and help keep Hudson County recycling loads clean!

   

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