America Recycles Day
annually on November 15th (since 1997)
America Recycles Day educates people about the importance of recycling—to both the environment and the economy. The hope is that after people learn more about recycling, occasional recyclers will turn into everyday recyclers. Concurrent goals of the day are for people to buy more products made from recycled materials, and for people to educate their friends about recycling, and encourage them to recycle as well.
On the day, pledges are made, and events take place across the country. Events also happen on the lead up to the day. It is the only nationally recognized day dedicated to promoting recycling in the United States. It was started by the National Recycling Coalition in 1997, and has been a program of Keep America Beautiful since 2009.
In the United States, about 35% of all waste is recycled. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets recycling goals, but there is no national law mandating recycling. Instead, state and local governments come up with recycling rules. Some cities just have recycling goals, but some have mandatory recycling laws. Some states also have established refunds for beverage containers to encourage recycling. Besides awareness being raised on America Recycles Day, recycling education is usually integrated into science and social studies curriculums in schools.
How to Observe
Celebrate the day taking the America Recycles Day pledge, which confirms your commitment to learning about recycling in your community; your dedication to reducing waste, recycling more, and buying products made with recyclable materials; and your intention to encourage others to take the pledge. One way to follow through on your pledge is to see where certain materials can be recycled in your area. You can attend an event to become more mindful about recycling. You can even register your own event. A toolkit can help give you ideas and organize your event.