Most people know about Earth Day, celebrated on April 22 since 1970, but for most, America Recycles Day is a new concept. It began in Texas in the 1990s, the National Recycling Coalition offered it as a National Event in 1997 and today Keep America Beautiful promotes it. It is celebrated different ways across the nation, across Illinois and even here, in Will County, where a variety of collection events have been held since September!
The main idea is that people become more aware of all the items that can be recycled. That they take a pledge to recycle more and to purchase items made with recycled content. You can easily take the pledge on-line at http://americarecyclesday.org/
The list of items to recycle is long, but there might me something on here that you haven’t thought of as recyclable:
- All paper including envelops with plastic windows, fax paper, the paper around a ream of paper, holiday wrapping paper, construction paper, phone books, post cards, post-it notes, greeting cards, soft cover books (hard cover need to be taken to a special collection event).
- Chipboard/Paperboard including the tube the toilet paper is wrapped around, pasta boxes with plastic windows, tissue boxes with plastic dust flaps.
- Cardboard including clean pizza boxes or the clean side of a contaminated pizza box, frozen food boxes, wax coated boxes.
- Plastic caps – put them back on the plastic bottles and toss in the bin.
- Plastic medication bottles (with the caps on)
- Aluminum foil, even if dirty (rinse off large food contamination), candy wrappers made of aluminum and temporary baking pans.
- Kids drink boxes, also used for wine and other liquids in different sizes – known as aseptic packaging.
- Plastic Bag, the plastic inside the cereal box, the plastic around the toilet paper rolls, wrapping the case of water bottles – be sure to take this to the grocery store for recycling.
- Electronic items accepted at Will County's Drop-Off sites including: TVs, Computers, Laptops, Backup systems, Phones, Answering Machines, Sewing Machines, Hair Dryers, Microwaves, Toaster Ovens, Tools, Fans, more!
Now that you have determined what you will make an extra effort to recycle, recognize your buying power and look for items made with recycled materials. Remember that all glass, aluminum and steel items have recycled content, always have and always will. Many other items include it and may not tell you – such as chipboard boxes, news print, toilet paper, paper towels, motor oil, laundry bottles, and carpeting, to name a few.
If you can’t tell, call the manufacturer or ask the store manager. Office Max, Office Depot, WalMart and several national chain stores try to increase their offerings all the time. The more you ask, the more recycled content packaging and items will be offered. Buisnesses will proudly tell you how they are caring for the environment we all share.