WASHINGTON, D.C. (Nov. 11, 2014) — “I Want To Be Recycled” is the theme of Keep America Beautiful’s 2014 America Recycles Day (ARD), which takes place annually on and around Nov. 15 throughout the country. America Recycles Day, in its 17th year, educates people about the importance of recycling to our economy and environmental well-being and helps to motivate occasional recyclers to become everyday recyclers.

America Recycles Day celebrates the benefits of recycling and provides an educational platform that motivates people to take action to recycle more and recycle smarter, influencing recycling behaviors at work, at home and on the go.

“When material is recycled, you’re ‘giving your garbage another life’ as it becomes something new and valuable,” said Jennifer Jehn, president and CEO of Keep America Beautiful. “For example, a plastic bottle can be recycled into new containers, t-shirts and fleece jackets, park benches, plastic lumber, and more. America Recycles Day can inspire people to reduce, reuse and recycle – and realize that recyclable materials have the potential to become something bigger.”

“The United States has embraced recycling since the first America Recycles Day in 1997 and as a result, today, the vast majority of the population has curbside recycling programs. It is time to re-invigorate recycling by promoting more and better sustainable materials management to secure a healthier environment today and for future generations to come,” said Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. “There is much more to do and communities, businesses, and individuals each have a role to play in making recycling work for everyone. By increasing recycling, and reducing contamination in the recycling stream, we can provide the valuable resources essential to a growing manufacturing sector.”

Here are five actions people can take on and around America Recycles Day:

  • Take the “I Recycle” pledge and tell us what you pledge to recycle more. Five people who take the pledge will win a park bench made from recycled content.
  • Take a recycling “selfie” and post it to your social networks – you just might win a prize! All you have to do is take a photo of yourself recycling and post it with the words “#RecyclingSelfie” on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Tumblr.
  • Join us on Wednesday, Nov. 12, at 8:00 p.m. (EST) for a live America Recycles Day Twitter Chat about what and how you can recycle in each room of the house, and to share and learn ways to do more! Search #AmericaRecyclesDay on Twitter to follow the conversation. 
  • Visit IWantToBeRecycled.org to find your nearest recycling center, and learn the facts about what materials can be recycled and what they can become in their new lives.
  • How can you get involved? Find events near you or host an event of your own.

Keep America Beautiful is providing resources and supporting activities to thousands of grassroots events across the country. Here is a sampling of creative events taking place on and around ARD:

  • Local libraries and elementary schools will join with the Georgia Recycling Coalition to encourage both reading and recycling through the first-ever Read for Recycling program during the week of Nov. 8-15. Students are encouraged to read books that celebrate, educate and encourage waste reduction activities.
  • Dell employees in Austin, Texas, are supporting ARD with a large volunteer recycling event in partnership with Goodwill Industries of Central Texas when Dell team members will help take apart computers for responsible recycling on Nov. 15. The event supports Dell Reconnect, a Dell and Goodwill partnership that enables customers to recycle any brand of unwanted computer, in any condition, at more than 2,000 participating Goodwill locations in the U.S. The plastics Dell collects are recycled back into new Dell products.
  • In Arlington, Va., nonprofit Bikes for the World will donate its 100,000th bike to be reused for social good. Bikes for the World staff, volunteers and representatives from the EPA and KAB will attend a ceremonial loading of the 100,000th bike into a shipping container.  The donated bikes will be shipped to Bikes of the World partner Fundación Integral Campesina (FINCA Costa Rica), a rural micro-business program that distributes bikes to community groups that recondition and sell the bikes locally.
  • Through Nov. 15, Malibu, Calif., and area residents can drop off polystyrene foam at Malibu’s City Hall where it will be collected and recycled by the environmental nonprofit Sustainable Surf and Marko Foam Inc. The material is used to make recycled surfboard blanks (and other products) to create more environmentally friendly surfboards as part of the Waste to Waves project.
  • The Philadelphia Streets Department is hosting an outdoor celebration and information fair on Thursday, Nov. 13, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Dilworth Park (https://goo.gl/oR4rFj) in celebration of ARD. Representatives from partnering organizations Keep America Beautiful, Keep Philadelphia Beautiful, Recyclebank, PECO and U.S. EPA Region III will be on hand to outline the ambitious goals for the City’s future of recycling.
  • While the University of Tennessee (UT) and University of Kentucky face off on the football field, UT student volunteers will “Make Orange Green” by collecting recyclables and compostables at Neyland Stadium as part of its ARD GameDay Recycling Challenge.

America’s leading companies are proud to make America Recycles Day possible. National sponsors of America Recycles Day are: Amcor, American Chemistry Council, Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Pilot Corporation of America (Pilot Pen) and Waste Management.

About Keep America Beautiful
Keep America Beautiful is the nation’s leading nonprofit that brings people together to build and sustain vibrant communities. With a national network of community-based affiliates, we work with millions of volunteers who take action in their communities to transform public spaces into beautiful places. Through our programs and public-private partnerships, we engage individuals to take greater responsibility for improving their community’s environment. For more information, visit kab.org, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, or view us on YouTube.

About America Recycles Day 
America Recycles Day is a national program of Keep America Beautiful, and is the only nationally-recognized day and community-driven awareness event dedicated to promoting and celebrating recycling in the U.S. Since its inception in 1997, communities across the country have participated in America Recycles Day on Nov. 15 to educate, promote environmental citizenship, and encourage action. To learn more, visit americarecyclesday.org.