America Recycles Day is a national celebration dedicated to promoting recycling in the U.S. Since its inception in 1997, communities across the country have participated in America Recycles Day on November 15 to educate, promote environmental citizenship, and encourage action.
The term “recycle” did not exist prior to World War II. It was simply what people did when things wore out. The consumption-minded economy that has emerged in the past 60 years has resulted in a staggering amount of material that is destined for landfill. It has literally changed the landscape as some of these landfills have become actual mountains.
One of the fastest growing components of the solid waste stream is electronics. The rapid pace of technology innovation has accelerated the obsolescence of computers, consumer electronics, and cell phones. It is estimated that more than 12 billion pounds of end-of-life electronics are disposed of every year in the U.S. or about 40 pounds for every man, woman, and child in the country. Unfortunately, only about half of this material is collected for recycling with the other half ending up in our landfills.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Recycling companies like E-Cycletron Industries can recycle and re-use more than 98% of all this material. Old computers, cell phones, printers, and network equipment can be re-used by persons or organizations that lack access to new technologies. The material that cannot be re-used can be turned into steel, plastic, copper, and aluminum used in the manufacture of new products. Recycling is more efficient and consumes less energy than using virgin materials and that is good for our economy and our environment.
Moreover, the recycling industry employs more than 45,000 people nationwide and that number is expected to grow as recycling rates increase. These are good, private-sector jobs right here at home. Protecting our environment, expanding access to technologies, and creating jobs is more than just recycling — it’s economic stewardship.
Join us in celebrating America Recycles day. If you would like to learn more about how you can make a difference, please visit our website.