Pennsylvanians were encouraged this week to participate in events taking place around the state to celebrate America Recycles Day by the Department of Environmental Protection.
America Recycles Day is the only nationally recognized day dedicated to encouraging Americans to recycle and to buy recycled products. Celebrating its 11th year, it has grown to include millions of Americans pledging to increase their recycling habits at home and work and to buy products made with recycled materials.
Through America Recycles Day, the National Recycling Coalition supports local communities and raises awareness by educating citizens about the benefits of recycling. Volunteer America Recycles Day coordinators are positioned throughout the country and work to organize recycling awareness events in their schools and communities, and in conjunction with their local municipalities.
On Nov. 15 each year, millions of people become better informed about the importance of daily recycling and buying recycled products. The purpose of America Recycles Day is to continue to promote the social, environmental and economic benefits of recycling and encourage more people to join the movement toward creating a better natural environment.
EPA’s new 2007 Municipal Solid Waste Characterization report shows Americans recycled and composted 85 million tons of the 254 million tons of total municipal solid waste produced last year. Each person produced 4.6 pounds of trash per day, of which 1.5 pounds were recycled or composted. Recycling has increased slightly over 2006, when people recycled and composted around 82 million tons of the 251 million tons of total municipal solid waste produced.
Americans save energy, conserve natural resources, and help reduce climate change every time they reduce, reuse, or recycle. Recycling 85 billion tons of municipal solid waste in 2007 saved the energy equivalent of more than 10.7 billion gallons of gasoline and prevented the greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 35 million passenger vehicles.
Recycling provides economic benefits by reducing costs to businesses and creating jobs. The American recycling and reuse industry is a $200 billion dollar enterprise involving more than 50,000 recycling and reuse establishments, employing more than 1 million people, and generating an annual payroll of approximately $37 billion.