The 18th Annual “America Recycles Day” (ARD) will be on November 15, 2014. ARD is the only nationally recognized day dedicated to encouraging Americans to recycle and buy recycled content products. Since 1997, the ARD campaign has grown to nearly two thousand events, with more Americans pledging to increase their recycling habits at home and work.
There is no better opportunity to draw attention to the nation’s woeful consumption and discards habits that America Recycles Day. According to the US EPA, in 2012, Americans generated 251 million tons of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW), or 4.38 pounds per person per day. Included however are 65 million tons of recycled and 21 million tons of composted materials, for a total diversion rate of 34.5%.
For 2012, the manufacturing of products to include reclaimed materials had saved our nation 1.1 quadrillion BTUs of energy (enough for 10 million households per year), and avoided 168 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (equivalent to removing 33 million passenger vehicles from our roads per year). The reduction in greenhouse gases (GHG) are beneficial towards global warming and climate change. Additional benefits of recycling include the creation of jobs, pollution reduction, conservation of virgin materials and natural resources, and preservation of landfill capacities.
The Northern California Recycling Association (NCRA) is a non-profit organization with about 200 members, mostly throughout the Bay Area, representing a broad spectrum of the recycling community. NCRA promotes waste reduction, reuse, salvaging, recycling, and composting as vital tools for resource and energy conservation, and as cost-effective, environmentally sound methods of disposing of discarded materials. We support America Recycles Day, and have taken the online pledge and encourage others to take pledges likewise in solidarity.
In the short time remaining, consider whether your business and employees would be willing to also take pledges to help expand public awareness, underscore the importance of and the many benefits of recycling, and to recommit the role of your business. You’ll find a link to the pledge and a partial listing of Bay Area ARD events at our web site www.ncrarecycles.org.
Whether or not your organization will support or participate in an ARD event this year, thanks for your ongoing efforts to help transform the public from the garbage as usual paradigm, more towards a zero waste mentality. Thanks for sharing this with others.
Laura McKaughan, President
NCRA Board of Directors