If you have ever looked at the landfills, you’ll see countless amounts of waste that pollute the earth and the surrounding neighborhoods. If that makes you want to cry, then there is one option of many that give you the opportunity to initiate change in your life and others. America Recycles Day is just that day to take a pledge to recycle your used products and piling waste. If you care about the earth and hope to eventually stop the destruction of it, then let’s learn about America Recycles Day.
History of America Recycles Day
America Recycles Day originally started back in 1997 by the National Recycling Coalition. This holiday is declared each year by Presidential Proclamation, which encourages Americans to recycle and is nationally-recognized. In 2009, America Recycles Day is hosted by the Keep America Beautiful initiative. Weeks beforehand up until this date, many communities promote this holiday by advocating environmental citizenship and taking action to convince people to make recycling a part of their daily lives. It also educates people about the importance of recycling for our economies and environmental health, hoping that eventually, people will become “every day” recyclers.
Keep America Beautiful offers to help host events for local communities and allows people to take pledges to try recycling and stay recycling. They also offer a Recycling@Work program which allows individuals to recycle at their workforce. This day also helps create more jobs, as according to the EPA, the recycling rate has increased to 34 percent, accounting for at least 757,000 jobs and produced $36 billion in wages. The EPA and Keep America Clean both advocate for this national holiday by teaching people how to properly manage their waste and make more use out of the bottles, cans, and non-disposables for a more eco-friendly household.
Benefits of Recycling
- Reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills and incinerators
- Conserves natural resources such as timber, water and minerals
- Increases economic security by tapping a domestic source of materials
- Prevents pollution by reducing the need to collect new raw materials
- Saves energy
- Supports American manufacturing and conserves valuable resources
- Helps create new well-paying jobs in the recycling and manufacturing industries in the United States
Recycling Saves Resources and Creates Jobs
To celebrate America Recycles Day in 2016, EPA released significant findings on the economic benefits of the recycling industry with an update to the national Recycling Economic Information (REI) Study. This study analyzes the numbers of jobs, wages and tax revenues attributed to recycling. The study found that in a single year, recycling and reuse activities in the United States accounted for:
- 681,000 jobs
- $37.8 billion in wages; and
- $5.5 billion in tax revenues.
This equates to 1.17 jobs for every 1,000 tons of materials recycled.
The ferrous metals industry provides the largest contribution to all three categories (job, wage, and tax revenue), followed by construction and demolition (C&D) and non-ferrous metals such as aluminum.