By Jesse Wood
Nov. 14, 2013. Although “America Recycles Day,” which is Friday, Nov. 15, is the official day to celebrate recycling and all of its benefits to the environment and economy, Marsha Story, the Town of Boone’s recycling coordinator, would like you to look at this, not as a one-day event, but as an ongoing awareness that is practiced everyday.
“Basically, America Recycles Day is held to make the public aware of the importance of recycling,” Story said this week. “I want everybody to celebrate this day, but it needs to be thought about everyday.”
Story added that she would be visiting supermarkets on Friday to pass out free, reusable grocery bags to discourage plastic bag usage. Also, she said America Recycles Day is held to encourage people to sign personal pledges to recycle and buy products made from recycled materials.
Watauga County currently ranks, in terms of per capita, seventh in the state in recycling. While Story acknowledged the “real good participation rate” that currently exists in Boone and beyond, she said “it never hurts to keep the thought in the forefront in people’s minds and keep pushing forward to do the right thing for the environment.”
Story also touted the cost-savings and other economic benefits of recycling. She said residents of Watauga County see a savings in tipping fees at the landfill when recycled waste is processed as opposed to non-recycled waste, and she mentioned the job creation aspects of recycling in the hauling, marketing and manufacturing sectors of reusing resources.
The year-round curbside participation rate averages about 75 percent, Story estimated. For items like dry-cell batteries and fluorescent bulbs, which can’t be recycled curbside, those items may be dropped off at the Boone Public Works building.
Story said that the town encourages the residents to recycle by making it as convenient as possible. In describing the curbside-recycling program in Boone, Story noted that residents don’t have to separate commodities; they can put all the recyclables in one bin and solid waste in another, both of which are picked up on the same day.
“I can’t think of anything to make it more convenient for the community,“ Story said.
10 Simple Ways To Celebrate America Recycles Day … Everyday
BOTTLE TOPS CAN BE RECYCLED…..The caps on your plastic bottles are recyclable, too. Just empty, crush and replace the cap before recycling.
FOR YOU COFFEE LOVERS….Paper cups are not recyclable because of the wax lining, but don’t forget to recycle the pasteboard sleeve.
RECYCLING: NOT JUST IN THE KITCHEN…..Don’t throw out your detergent and shampoo bottles just because you don’t have a bin in the bathroom or laundry. All plastics displaying #1 or #2, even non-food containers, are recyclable.
RECYCLING: DON’T EXCLUDE YOUR FOOD……Start composting your food waste. If you’re not ready for a compost bin or pile, consider tossing a few biodegradable items into your garden or window boxes instead of the trash. Egg shells and coffee grounds enrich soil and break down easily.
DO THE DRASTIC! STOP THE PLASTIC!…..An estimated 500 BILLION plastic bags are consumed worldwide. Only 1% is recycled! Please return bags to the store for recycling or use durable reusable bags instead. We give them out for free!
RECYCLE DRY CELL BATTERIES AND CFL’S….One-time use or rechargeable household batteries and compact fluorescent lights (CFL’s) are collected at the Public Works Center 321 East King Street. Place the lights in a sealed zip-lock type plastic bag and drop-off during business hours (Mon-Fri 8am-5pm).
REDUCE AND REUSE…..Minimizing the trash you generate and reusing products reduces the impact on the planet and our resources. For example, consider reusing plastic containers from the market and reduce unwanted direct mail by unsubscribing at www.catalogchoice.org
KNOW YOUR LIMITS…..Putting materials in your recycling bin that aren’t collected in Boone contaminates the recycling process and creates additional work for the recycling employees. To know all about Boone’s recycling program go to townofboone.net or contact the Recycling Coordinator at (828)268-6230.
CLOSE THE LOOP…..The recycling process doesn’t end at the bin! After materials are processed and back on the shelf as new products, it’s up to you to buy recycled! Look for products and packaging with recycled content.
SPREAD THE WORD…..Now that you’re a recycling expert, encourage everyone you know to be good stewards of the environment by RECYCLING!