November 15 wasn’t just another Wednesday. It marked the 20th anniversary of America’s Recycles Day. As the name suggests, Recycle Day is designed to encounter Americans and business owners to take a proactive approach towards recycling materials and reducing waste.
While there’s still plenty of room for improvement, America has come a long way in its recycling efforts. Statistics show that the rate of recycling in the United States has increased from under 7% in 1960 to more than 34% in 2014.
Recycling offers numerous benefits, including less pollution, improved public health, cost savings and more. Additionally, it can even help to strengthen the American manufacturing industry, according to a recent statement by the White House. The statement explains that recycling grows American jobs and strengthens the economy.
“By reusing and recycling, individuals and communities across our country can do their part to keep our lands beautiful, while also growing American jobs and strengthening our economy,” the statement noted. “Together, we will unleash American manufacturing and inspire even greater American ingenuity,” said the White House in a statement about Recycles Day.
How exactly does recycling help American manufacturing? Well, because workers are needed to collect and reuse the recycled materials, it creates new jobs. Furthermore, recycling promotes a cleaner environment, which is something from which all Americans can benefit.
Some lawmakers are even going one step further by proposing new bills that encourage recycling. Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn, for instance, introduced a bill several months ago that would free up $100 million in federal funding for use in communities seeking to recover and reduce waste. The bill is currently stuck in the House of Representatives. Whether or not it passes remains to be seen, though reports indicate that it has a strong chance of getting approved.
Although Recycles Day is now behind us, there’s no better time than the present to begin recycling. Here are some tips to help:
- Create separate recycling bins for each material that you intend to recycle — aluminum, plastic, glass, cardboard, etc.
- Clearly label each recycling bin with the respective material for which it’s intended.
- Contact local recycling companies to see if they will pick up the materials.
- Find recycling solutions for computers, electronics and other forms of e-waste.
- Employers should offer incentives for workers who recycle.
- Don’t just recycle materials, but also purchased products made of recycled materials.
You can learn more about the White House’s response to Recycles Day by clicking here.