On Sunday, more than 1.5 million people across the country participated in Keep America Beautiful's national initiative, America Recycles Day. The initiative challenged consumers, organizations, and industry leaders, and even celebrities to make one simple promise — a pledge to recycle more.
Although the official "America Recycles Day" was held on Nov. 15, organizations across the nation were eager to begin spreading the message. In the Sunshine State, the Florida Recycling Partnership, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and Keep Florida Beautiful joined efforts on Nov. 3 to promote recycling among its members. Legislators, staff, and the general public were encouraged to sign the recycling pledge, which read:
- Learn. I will find out what materials are collected for recycling in my community
- Act. Reduce my personal waste by recycling. Within the next month, I will recycle more
- Share. In the next month, I will encourage one family member or one friend to take the pledge
"The department is proud to join the Florida Recycling Partnership to promote the importance of recycling," said DEP Secretary Jon Steverson in a press release. "Across Florida, we continue to see members of both the public and private sectors stepping up to increase recycling and reduce waste."
Outside of Florida, events and social media promotion allowed the nation to turn green.
Recycling across cities
Keep America Beautiful reported more than 200,000 pledges to recycle on Sunday, with events spreading from California to New York. Some of the America Recycles Day efforts included:
Burbank, CA: The Burbank Recycle Center celebrated ARD by offering "zero-waste lunch" from food trucks, as well as a movie and a talk regarding the future of recycling. Residents were also able to sign up for a tour of the recycling center or attend a free composting workshop.
Joliet, IL: Will County offered its residents a chance to win refurbished iPad2s through Vintage Tech, the county's electronics recycler. In order to enter the raffle, residents were encouraged to take photos of themselves "doing something green," such as donating items, recycling, or composting, and send the photos to Will County Green.
College Park, MD: The Terps made recycling fun at the University of Maryland campus on Friday, as members of Terps Recycle encouraged class-bound students to spin a wheel for prizes and play cornhole while learning about recycling.
Dell: The computer company has been an avid supporter of sustainability, winning multiple awards for its comitment to using recycled plastic and metals in its products. On Sunday, the company promoted e-waste recycling, and also teamed up with Uber to collect e-waste from consumers across the nation.
Goodwill: In alliance with Dell, Goodwill took the reigns on a "tech takeback" initiative to promote e-waste recycling. Additionally, the company hosted donation collection events and RecycleART sclupture contests in Little Rock, AR throughout the weekend.
This Friday, Nov. 13, @GoodwillAR hosting Recycle Little Rock with the City of Little Rock and Keep Little Rock Beautiful (KLRB).— AR State Chamber (@ARStateChamber) November 10, 2015
Georgia-Pacific: The Atlanta, GA-based pulp and paper company celebrated America Recycles Day by supporting Keep America Beautiful through donations.
Adrian Grenier: As reported on Friday, Entourage star and Dell Social Good Advocate Adrian Grenier took to the streets of NYC with Uber and Dell to collect e-waste.
President Obama: In a press release from the EPA, President Obama signified the importance of the initiative by officially proclaiming Nov. 15, 2015 as America Recycles Day. He called upon citizens to observe the day with appropriate programs, encouraging continued "reducing, reusing, and recycling efforts."
"Communities across America must continue promoting activities that encourage people to recycle and to conserve so we do not take for granted today the world our children will inherit tomorrow," said President Obama. "We owe it to them to leave behind a stable, secure planet, and that begins with preserving the natural blessings of our Nation. On this day, let us work to fulfill our obligation to our next generation by safeguarding our resources and working with our friends, family, and neighbors to protect the world we share."