LITTLE ROCK — On Nov. 15, organizations, businesses and schools around Arkansas will participate in America Recycles Day, a national event aimed at educating the American public about the importance of recycling.
"Recycling to help keep Arkansas clean and green is something we can easily make a part of our everyday lives," said Robert Phelps, director of Keep Arkansas Beautiful, a Keep America Beautiful-certified state affiliate. "That is why we encourage Arkansans to join in these recycling initiatives to benefit our environment."
According to the organization, Americans generate about 250 million tons of trash each year. In Arkansas, the Department of Environmental Quality reports that Arkansans generated nearly 6 million tons of trash with about 3.5 million tons sent to landfills and about 2.5 million tons recycled. That’s compared with 3.5 million tons landfilled in 2011 and 1.6 million tons recycled out of a total 5.1 million tons.
"We’d like to think that our efforts to educate Arkansans about the importance of recycling are working, but we still have a long way to go," Phelps said. "Our goal is to see that every piece of trash that can be recycled is recycled."
Phelps said there are opportunities for everyone to find easy ways to participate in recycling. He points to such awareness events as Recycling at Work and the Keep America Beautiful Recycle-Bowl as examples.
In the Recycling at Work program, businesses pledge to engage in recycling activities that result in saving energy, reducing emissions, cutting the amount of trash that goes to landfills, conserving natural resources and generating jobs. To take the pledge, visit RecyclingAtWork.org. Businesses, government agencies, hospitals, schools and other institutions that take the Recycling at Work pledge can take advantage of special discounts on recycling bins.
The Recycle-Bowl is a nationwide recycling competition for elementary, middle and high school students that culminates on America Recycles Day. This year, more than 20 Arkansas schools are participating in the Recycle-Bowl. For a list of schools participating or to find out how to sign up for the next Recycle-Bowl, visit recycle-bowl.org.
Before America Recycles Day arrives, visit AmericaRecyclesDay.org to find events in your community or for ideas on creating a local event.