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November 15th is America Recycles Day - The U.S. EPA New Ways of Thinking About Recycling

Release Date: 10/28/2004
Contact Information: Liz Ferry, (215) 814-2909

Liz Ferry, (215) 814-2909

November 15th is America Recycles Day. Each year, Americans generate millions of tons of it garbage, refuse, or trash…it's the waste we produce in our homes and communities. We throw it into cans and dumpsters, and put it out for pickup—but this waste, plus that of our neighbors' really adds up!

Each of us can make a difference by reducing, reusing, and recycling materials at home and throughout our communities--and encouraging our neighbors to do the same.

Durable goods (tires, appliances, furniture) and nondurable goods (paper, certain disposable products, clothing) account for several million tons of the solid waste stream. Container and packaging waste is a significant component of the nation’s waste stream as well.

While most Americans are helping by separating their trash, there are many more steps you can take to make our communities cleaner, healthier places to live.

1. Buy recycled products. When we buy recycled products we create an economic incentive for recyclable materials to be collected, manufactured, and marketed as new products.

2. Purchase durable, long lasting goods.

3. Reusing items by repairing them, donating them to charity and community groups, or selling them also reduces waste.

4. Use a product more than once, either for the same purpose or for a different purpose. Reusing, when possible, is preferable to recycling because the item does not need to be reprocessed before it can be used again.

5. Reduce your packaging: Buy bulk or concentrated products when you can.

Another form of recycling is composting. Composting is the controlled biological decomposition of organic matter, such as food and yard wastes, into humus, a soil-like material. Composting is nature's way of recycling organic wastes into new soil used in vegetable and flower gardens, landscaping, and many other applications.