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Natural Awakenings Richmond

Recycling Revolution: Global Rise Bolsters Sustainability

Oct 30, 2015 10:59AM

On November 15, thousands of events in communities nationwide will celebrate America Recycles Day (AmericaRecyclesDay.org). A program run by national nonprofit Keep America Beautiful since 2006, the event is dedicated to promoting recycling in the U.S. via special material collection drives and educational activities.

Materials available to groups include advice on setting up collectibles stations and customizable templates for promoting activities to increase recycling awareness, commitment and local action. There’s plenty of room to grow: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the amount of waste that the average citizen composts or recycles has increased from 17 percent in 1990 to 33 percent today.

Some other countries have been conducting their own national programs longer. For the 19th year, Australia will celebrate a weeklong National Recycling Week (RecyclingWeek.PlanetArk.org) in November. More than 90 percent of Aussies feel it’s the right thing to do.

Recycle Now (RecycleNow.com), England’s national program, supported and funded by the government and implemented by 90 percent of municipalities, conducts its annual weeklong program in June. Organizers contend that six out of 10 citizens now describe themselves as committed recyclers, compared to fewer than half when the campaign launched in 2004. Germany also celebrates recycling for two days in June; many other countries do so in July.