Sustainablity Tip: Here’s what to know before participating in America Recycles Day on Friday | VailDaily.com

Sustainablity Tip: Here’s what to know before participating in America Recycles Day on Friday

Jake Watroba
Sustainability Tip
Be sure to recycle properly: if a load is too contaminated with materials that can't be recycled, the processing plant can't recycle it.
Special to the Daily

Did you know recycling a single ton of paper can save 17 trees and 7,000 gallons of water?

Recycling is one of the most important things we can do to lessen our impact on the environment. Recycling in our nation, both as a movement and as an industry, took off in the 1970s as part of a widespread environmental movement. As the initiative gained momentum over the following years, two employees from Texas’ environmental commission created Texas Recycles Day in 1994. A year later, they proposed the idea of America Recycles Day. In 1997, the National Recycling Coalition adopted this idea and chose Nov. 15 to be the first official America Recycles Day.

This year’s America Recycles Day takes place on Friday.

While in theory, recycling is easy, in practice, it’s a bit more complicated. It is important to stay up to date on what can be placed in your recycling bin to prevent contamination because recycling centers are not able to process our recyclables if they are overly contaminated. Recycling markets and facilities change frequently, so avoiding contamination is a challenge. In Eagle County, what is and what is not recyclable can change on a monthly basis.

Luckily, our community values recycling and providing up to date resources. Here are three tips to help you recycle and ensure it is done the right way:

Take the pledge to participate in America Recycles Day. The pledge can be found at americarecyclesday.org/pledge. By taking this pledge, you agree that you will participate in America Recycles Day, which includes learning about, acting on and sharing information about recycling. By doing these three things, you can help increase our nation’s current recycling rate of 34%.

Download the Eagle County Waste Wizard App. This informational app can be downloaded for free via the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. You can search almost any product you can think of, and it will tell you the best place to put it. Also, if your item is not listed, you can suggest its addition to the app.

Utilize the new textile recycling containers in Eagle County. There are four textile recycling locations provided by USAgain: the Vail, Avon, and Eagle drop sites, and the Wolcott landfill. All of these locations can be used free of charge and accept clothes, shoes, and even household textiles like tablecloths, towels, bedding, and blankets.

Jake Watroba is a sustainability intern at Walking Mountains Science Center. Contact him at jakew@walkingmountains.org or 970-827-9725.