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America Recycles Day was Sunday
Keep Liberty Beautiful
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Recycling and recycling education have been the focus of Keep Liberty County Beautiful throughout November. We’ve been promoting 12th annual “America Recycles Day,” which is today. Our program is part of the annual campaign to encourage Americans to recycle and to buy recycled products. America Recycles Day is the only nationally recognized day dedicated to recycling. Since its inception in 1997, the day has grown to include millions of Americans who have pledged to improve their recycling habits at home and at work. America Recycles Day 2009 is sponsored nationally by Nestle Waters and the American Chemistry Council.
I often hear comments around our community like, “I know I should be recycling, but I am not sure how to get started. Is it more trouble than I can handle?” Many times I feel like well-meaning folks, who are already involved in many volunteer projects, are confessing to me this guilty secret. First, don’t be embarrassed if you are not recycling yet. About half the population still doesn’t recycle. Second, just get started. It does not have to be hard. Make it simple.
Choose one item you and your family (or you and your co-workers) use a lot. It could be paper in your home or office, or maybe those overwhelmingly popular individual water bottles. (Which, by the way, could be rendered obsolete if everyone bought reusable drink containers and a water purifier, like Brita or Pur.) But back to recycling 101. So, choose your one item and find a container to collect it in. No, you do not have to have a special blue recycling bin to recycle at home or at work. Try a plastic container or a box or even canvas bags. At my house, we use canvas shopping bags on hooks because our kitchen is small. There is no room for bins. We use a local solid waste convenience center for garbage disposal and recycling drop-off, so I just grab the garbage and recycling all at once and go. It works for us.
Just don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to go from zero to 50 in six seconds. Once you have comfortably started recycling one item, add another. You will soon see it’s not really more effort. It is just a change in process. My husband has one item he is responsible for recycling — his beverage bottles (beer). I take care of everything else. He knows he must make a commitment to do at least that much. Yes, it’s possible to teach an old dog new tricks.
Recycling is a simple way for Americans to protect the environment, preserve our natural resources and contribute to the economic well-being of our country. In conjunction with America Recycles Day, KLCB is also promoting recycling events and education this season. We had a Recycle It! Fair last weekend for household hazardous waste materials and an extended electronics collection this week. We are working with local schools on implementing a milk-bottle recycling program called the Green Milk Campaign and, this month, we are implementing a year-round friendly school competition for recycling plastic water bottles and aluminum cans. We are having “Meet Tommy” sessions in schools and at local events as part of the entertaining statewide “I Don’t Recycle” campaign ( We will also decorate an eco-friendly holiday cottage at Yellow Bluff’s annual Holiday Open House on Dec. 5-6.
Recycling our containers and papers at home, at work and at school is a great start, but we all need to “close the recycling loop” by buying recycled products whenever possible at home and at work. We can look for ways to reduce the amount of waste that we generate.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection  Agency, many easily recycled materials are still thrown away. For example, 78 percent of glass containers, 60 percent of aluminum cans, 41 percent of steel cans and 45 percent of paper and paperboard containers and packaging are not recycled. What a waste! Each year, millions of people become better informed about the advantages of recycling at home and buying recycled products. Last year, thousands signed or e-mailed pledges to recycle and buy recycled products. Maybe it is time for you to take that pledge too.
Take the pledge online at or just make your own pledge today to start recycling that first item. Happy recycling!

KLCB announcements that you can use to help save the environment:
• Nov. 7-24: Soles4Souls Thanks4Giving collection.  Clean out your closets and bring in gently worn shoes to help people in need around the world. Go to for information.
• Nov. 5-6: Eco-friendly holiday house at Yellow Bluff’s Holiday Open House. Keep Liberty County Beautiful will put together a “green” holiday cottage at the annual event. For more information, call Yellow Bluff at 884-6778.

For more information on Keep Liberty County Beautiful programs, contact Swida at 368-4888 or
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