Most people know of Earth Day, which is celebrated each year on April 22. A more recent celebration involves America Recycles Day, which takes places each year on Nov. 15.
America Recycles Day started in 1997. I can still remember the excitement of that first celebration as though it was yesterday. I was responsible for coordinating a slate of local events held in suburban Chicago at the Brookfield Zoo. During that day’s scheduled activities, I kept thinking how far recycling had come in just a few short years.
Jump ahead 15 years to 2012, and I still get excited about America Recycles Day. Locally, we celebrate ARD by presenting local workplaces with the Outstanding Business/Workplace Waste Reduction and Recycling Awards. Now in its 13th year, this program has grown to recognize 180-plus workplaces that have adopted pro-active strategies to manage the waste they generate. This annual program is co-sponsored by the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce, Boone County Conservation and the Boone County Landfill and Recycling Center.
But what really makes me proud about ARD is that this is the day Americans show the entire world that we value our resources and the environment. Americans have made significant changes over the past 25 years in their behaviors about how to deal with the materials we discard. This has resulted in our being less reliant on landfills as our primary waste management strategy.
America Recycles Day 2012 gives all of us an opportunity to take notice and be proud of what we have accomplished. Locally, that means that we now landfill only 45 percent of the waste we generate. The other 55 percent does not end up in our landfill, but instead gets another opportunity to be utilized. This accomplishment is truly noteworthy and requires the ongoing support and efforts of residents and workplaces.
Take pride in America Recycles Day. It is really a celebration of your efforts.
Recycling at special events
The Boone County Landfill and its Recycling Center have been entering a new program area — special events. With the purchase of 500 roll-out carts (made possible by funding from the IDNR and National Farm Progress Shows) the opportunity now exists to place both litter and recycling collection containers at community events. You may have seen these used at the Farm Progress Show, Pufferbilly Days and more recently at the Boone Scenic Valley Railroad during Thomas the Tank Engine’s visit.
If you are interested in exploring your recycling options, please call the landfill at 515-433-0591 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.