We always need reminders that it’s time to recycle. Today is that day. Recycling keeps potential resources out of our landfills, as that junk can be reused by industry at a lower cost than mining the virgin materials from the ground. Recycling helps reduce Climate Change because then we aren’t burning and releasing methane gas from landfills, which at best only captures and uses about 20% of this very potent greenhouse gas (GHG) where the rest goes into our atmosphere. Recycling is something everyone can do and should do.
America Recycles Day “Since 1997, communities across the country have come together on November 15 to celebrate America Recycles Day. More than a celebration, America Recycles Day is the only nationally recognized day dedicated to the promotion of recycling in the United States. One day to educate and motivate. One day to get our neighbors, friends and community leaders excited about what can be accomplished when we all work together. One day to make recycling bigger and better 365 days a year. Get involved!”
For the Rochester, NY region, I have accumulated all the information and links and news on recycling for the last ten years here: Recycling Rochester NY . It includes lots of information about why and how to recycle. It can be overwhelming if you just want to buy stuff and throw it away without much effort at all. Monroe County makes much of what we throw away easy to recycling as now Monroe County recycles all plastics and has a new EcoPark for a lot of other stuff.
What gets tricky is that there are a lot of products that don’t easily fall into neatly recyclable categories like hazardous waste, items made with plastics and metals, pharmaceuticals, and much more. That’s why a lot of industry and groups (like the Rochester Sierra Club Zero Waste Committee) have formed: to connect the dots between the development of products and how they are disposed. When we do have to discard our stuff (after trying to reuse and reduce them) we should do so in such a way that we don’t deplete our natural resources and harm the environment.
America Recycles Day reminds the public that they are a critical component in making sure that we keep our environment healthy. If we thought, when we purchased something, how it was going to end up and bought stuff with our environment in mind, there would be a better chance that our way of life would be sustainable. We are getting better, and more folks are recycling, but we have a long way to go.