America Recycles Day started November 15, 1997 by the recycling sector organization known as the National Recycling Coalition. “America Recycles Day” has been a way for communities to come together to nationally recognize, promote, and celebrate recycling in the U.S. although the “World Recycling Day” for most countries actually falls on July 8th.
Thousands of events are held across the U.S. to raise awareness about the importance of recycling and to encourage Americans to sign personal pledges to recycle and buy products made from recycled material. This year in observance of America Recycles Day, there will be an advisory group (made up of high school seniors volunteering their time,) at Athens-Limestone Recycling Center. They will assist residents as they sort their recycling into the various bins. In addition, I (Ruby McCartney, Plant Manager) will be out and about in the community at several of our Community Collection Centers, catching residents as they recycle as part of our “Get Caught Recycling” Campaign, sponsored by Custom Polymers, PET Inc. Residents caught recycling will receive a small reward for their efforts. Maybe you will be one of the lucky ones to “Get Caught Recycling.”
Our friends at Earth911.com have taken a broad look at the History of Recycling and have traced the first curbside recycling program back to France in 1884. As you can see, recycling is not a new concept. It has just taken some of us a little longer to get on the bandwagon. While we’ve come a long way, according to the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM), the average national recycling rate is 31 to 34.1%. However, Alabama’s recycling rate (even at its highest stated rate,) is well below the national average at 8.3%. This means that there’s some serious room for improvement.
Recycling isn’t hard. However, the amount of information and seemingly endless facts about recycling can be very overwhelming, and most recycling centers don’t all take the same items. I am going to try and make it a little easier for you to recycle by giving you some Recycling Basics for Athens-Limestone Recycling Center (ALRC). If you do not currently recycle, maybe these basics can help you begin a recycling routine. Before we begin, stop stressing! Do what you can and don’t worry about the rest. I would rather that you recycle only what you are comfortable with than to get frustrated and decide that recycling is just too much trouble.
Start simple by choosing what you would like to start with, such as container plastics with container being the key word at the Athens-Limestone Recycling Center (ALRC). We recycle only container plastics; the only exception is plastic grocery bags, which we do recycle. Start with your water bottles, soda bottles, milk jugs, laundry detergent containers, buckets, etc. If it is a container made of plastic, we can recycle it.
Next you may want to add your cans. Any kind of can “CAN” be recycled at ALRC. Steel cans (such as vegetable cans) and aluminum cans (such as soda cans) are all recyclable.
As you get comfortable with these items, please continue to add other items such as magazines, newspapers, office paper, junk mail, cardboard and glass bottles and jars. Yes, I said glass; Athens-Limestone Recycling Center is one of the few places that still accepts glass. All of the items mentioned can be recycled at our Lucas Ferry location 24/7 in our collection bins, or at any of our 11 community collection centers throughout Limestone County. To find out more about items accepted at Athens-Limestone Recycling Center, or for the location closest to you, please give us a call at 256-233-8746.
I challenge you to “RECYCLE IT, DON’T TRASH IT!!”
For more information check out these websites:
By: Ruby McCartney, Plant Manager, Athens-Limestone Recycling Center