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America Recycles Day a success
Karen Bell
Keep Liberty Beautiful Executive Director Karen Bell. - photo by Denise Etheridge

America Recycles Day was Thursday, November 15th! America Recycles Day (ARD) is the only nationally recognized day dedicated to encouraging Americans to recycle and to buy recycled products. Since its inception in 1997, it has grown to include millions of Americans pledging to improve their recycling habits at home and at work.  Keep America Beautiful launched this day to promote the importance of recycling.  The current recycling rate is about 34% which means only about a third of us are recycling. So if you are not recycling yet this is a great time to join us. 

If you already recycle, check out the America Recycles Day website (www.americarecyclesday.org ) for handy recycling ideas for collecting even more! There is also a place at the ARD website to take the electronic pledge to recycle! Go online and check it out. It is pretty simple. If you do not recycle yet, you can pledge to start recycling. We recommend picking one or two items you use frequently and start with those two items. You can also sign the pledge if you already recycle. You simply pledge to recycle more or to pick an item or two that you do not recycle currently to start recycling!

If you know anything about recycling, you know about the three “R’s”: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! We would bet money that almost any 5th or 6th grade in Liberty County can tell you about the three R’s thanks to Keep Liberty Beautiful! 

Reduce simply means to find ways to create less waste. The less demand we create for products and goods means less waste will be created. We can all be honest, we like to shop and we like stuff so Reduce is the hardest of the three R’s! We can try to select items that have less packaging. Did you realize that one dollar out of every $10 to $11 that we spend on products is spent on the packaging?  What a waste of money! So first thing: be a smart shopper and buy products that require less packaging.  Also it is a good idea to look for products that have packaging that can be recycled.  You can also look for items that are made from recycled content.  For items that you use often, consider buying some items in bulk. It will reduce the amount of packaging needed and probably save you money, too.

Reuse simply means to find ways to use items again rather than tossing them in the trash after you have used them.  Here are some examples of items you could reuse.  Reuse food containers and glass drink and food bottles after they have been thoroughly cleaned.  Of course, plastic grocery bags can be reused as small trash can liners or lunch bags. You can also use containers and jars as storage containers for household items.  Another example is to use the back side of paper that has been discarded for notes, etc. Items that you cannot use any more may still have value for someone else if they are still in good condition.  These can be donated to a charity or sold at a yard sale 

Recycle simply means that the materials from items will be used to create new products. What can be recycled at our local drop off centers around Liberty County?  Plastic bottles and containers; aluminum cans; ‘tin’ food cans; paper;  lightboard (food boxes); glass bottles and jars; newspapers, including the inserts; magazines; and cardboard can all be recycled at the centers. At our quarterly Recycle It! Fairs, we take a variety of electronics and household goods. 

Have you ever thought about what can be made from your recyclables? Here are some examples.  Newspapers can become new newsprint, boxboard, cellulose insulation, animal bedding and even more.  Glass items can become more glass containers, roadbase aggregate, road surfaces, fiberglass production, and glass beads in reflective paint.  Plastic drink bottles can become fiberfill for jackets and sleeping bags, carpeting, paint brush bristles, surfboards, sailboat hulls, park benches, and even clothing.  Plastic milk jugs can become flowerpots, trash cans, traffic cones, pallets, detergent bottles, drainage pipes, plastic yard furniture, and toys. Paper can be recycled up to six times!  Some of these transformations are incredible to think about! 

So the next time you are sitting on a bench at a park, you might actually be sitting on a plastic bottle that you once drank water from!  For more information about recycling, please contact Keep Liberty Beautiful at (912) 880-4888 or klcb@libertycountyga.com or www.keeplibertybeautiful.org! Happy America Recycles Day!


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