ARD is the only nationally recognized day dedicated to promoting and celebrating recycling in the United States. But what exactly is it, you ask? Since 1997, every year on and around Nov. 15, thousands of local event organizers mobilize throughout their community to educate millions of people about recycling. Not only are communities uniting for the sake of a common cause, but they are taking time to educate and spread the word on the importance of recycling and recycling correctly.
Not everyone knows there is a right and wrong way to recycle, but there is! In fact, one of the biggest barriers to recycling is knowing what items can (and cannot) be recycled. Based on a recent Keep America Beautiful (KAB) survey, 58 percent of respondents indicated that they are somewhat to not at all knowledgeable about how and what to recycle. This year, KAB hopes everyone will help in its mission to promote and spread awareness of what can be recycled, and how to recycle it correctly.
Doing Your Part
Wondering how to get involved in America Recycles Day? As a reader of Earth911, KAB invites you to plan your own ARD event by taking advantage of the wide variety of tools and resources KAB offers to make event planning easy and successful. Once it’s planned, register your event here — this allows your event to become part of the national network of ARD events.
“America Recycles Day provides the encouragement and know-how to make recycling a common practice every day of the year,” says Brenda Pulley, senior vice president, recycling, Keep America Beautiful. “We invite you to host an event in your community — invite your family and friends from work, school and your neighborhood to participate in America Recycles Day and to take the #BeRecycled Pledge in a collective national effort to improve recycling in our country.”
On Tap This Year
Events can be scheduled at any time during the fall leading into the official America Recycles Day celebration on Tuesday, Nov. 15. Some examples of previous events include an electronics drive, a plastic bag “get caught recycling” event at a grocery store, a waste-free lunch at a middle school and a pledge drive at a neighborhood meeting. KAB loves out-of-the-box recycling-related ideas!
If you’d rather join an existing even than plan your own — or want some inspiration — here are a few fun ideas scheduled for 2017:
Get Caught “Green-Handed”
Oct. 9 to Nov. 9
Starting Oct. 9, in a city-wide effort to encourage recycling, Sachse Parks & Recreation staff will be looking for individuals recycling in parks and city facilities. You may win a prize!
Cardboard Tube Recycling Drive
Students and families at Sunderland Elementary are collecting cardboard tubes to use in a fall craft.
Keep Them Warm This Winter
Nov. 1 to Nov. 30
Keep Roswell Beautiful and the Roswell Recycling Center are collecting towels and blankets for the Atlanta Humane Society Mansell Office.
Used Motor Oil Filter Exchange
In exchange for their used motor oil filters, residents will receive new motor oil filters free of charge.
America Recycles Day Community Celebration
Join Boulder County’s Resource Conservation Division for an evening with food and refreshments, guest speakers, a tour of the newly updated Recycling Center, and a film screening of The Clean Bin Project.
Take the Pledge
Additionally, as part of the campaign, KAB encourages you to ask your networks how they live a recycled lifestyle by taking the #BeRecycled Pledge, which is a promise to actively choose to live a recycled lifestyle by committing to reduce, reuse, recycle in all aspects of daily life. So far, more than 71,000 people have taken it this year. The pledge is to:
- Learn. I will find out what materials are collected for recycling in my community.
- Act. Within the next month, I will reduce the amount of waste I produce, I will recycle more and I will buy products made with recycled content.
- Share. In the next month, I will encourage one family or one friend to take the #BeRecycled pledge.
Learn more about America Recycles Day at AmericaRecyclesDay.org. For questions on how to get involved in America Recycles Day, email email@example.com or call (202) 688-0604.
This article was originally published on Oct. 14, 2016. It was updated on Oct. 25, 2017.