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America Recycles Day: November 15th

This Saturday, November 15th marks America Recycles Day.  You’ve heard the recycling message many recycletimes before and you’re probably doing your part to decrease waste.

You can feel like a big nag when you see someone improperly toss a recyclable item, but spreading the word on all the pros of recycling can only help the cause.  It’s a simple ‘recycle bin versus trash’ mindset change in many cases – not requiring additional effort, just added consciousness.  So, what a more appropriate time to review some of the major benefits of all your efforts than America Recycles Day?

Some of the top reasons to recycle:

1. Better than the original: Recycled materials often make better products than those that are made of raw, virgin materials.  Example: The tin in tin cans (like soda, juice etc.) is actually more valuable after recycled because it’s more refined.

2. Reduce energy: Supplying recycled products to industry uses less energy than creating from scratch. Distributing virgin materials to industries usually require extraction, refining, transportation and processing – all steps that typically use valuable fossil fuels. While supplying recycled materials involves collection, processing and transportation – these steps typically use less energy.

3. Do you really want a landfill in your backyard?  According to the National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA), the United States has about 20 years of disposal capacity left in existing landfills. But, that doesn’t mean that all cities are eager to make use of their land this way. Residents and city officials in many U.S states would rather use the space for more attractive purposes.  Heavily populated areas like Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, North Carolina, New Hampshire and Rhode Island all have less than five years capacity, and the northeastern part of the country has the least available landfill space. It’s common sense to try and cut down on the amount of trash sent to landfills- and therefore the need for them.

4. Give someone a job: The economic economic crisis is an issue on everyone’s radar right now. So how can recycling help the economy? According to RecycleBank, for every 10,000 tons of waste we generate 36 new jobs are created to facilitate recycling.  This amount of trash creates just one job if it’s burned and only 6 jobs if it’s discarded in a landfill.

Philadelphians: To celebrate America Recycles Day, RecycleNOW Philadelphia is hosting a forum this Saturday at the Academy of Natural Sciences. The event will focus on exploring potential Philadelphia recycling opportunities. Mayor Michael Nutter will present and the Keynote speaker is Brenda Platt Co-Director for the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. Check out the RecycleNOW Philadelphia site for more details.

Posted by Beth

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Beth is a Health and Wellness expert who believes sustainability goes hand-in-hand with self care. She’s the girl whipping up kombucha cocktails at parties, and extolling the benefits of canning vegetables to anyone who will listen. View all posts by Beth Funari

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