America Recycles Day is Here

For many individuals, businesses and organizations, recycling is completely ingrained in everyday life. And while more and more people are reusing and recycling everything from trash to treasure, there’s still work to be done. Stats from Keep America Beautiful indicate we’re not doing all we can to keep trash out of the landfills.

According to KAB, “Overall, Americans recovered 34 percent of waste generated in 2009. That means we threw away 161 million tons of material, which amounts to about three pounds of garbage per person per day.”

Some sobering recycling stats:

The U.S. recycling rate for aluminum beverage cans reached 58.1 percent in 2010.
In 2009, Americans threw away almost 9 million tons of glass.
Only 8 percent (by weight) of all mobile phones no longer in use in 2009 were collected for recycling.
In 2010, Americans recovered 63.5 percent of U.S. paper (a massive increase since 1990). However, Americans threw away $2.8 billion worth of paper.
In 2009, almost 30 million tons of plastics were generated in the United States, and only about 2 million tons were recovered.
So on Thursday, Nov. 15, we turn our attention to recycling with America Recycles Day. Organized by Keep America Beautiful, this is a nationally recognized day dedicated to promoting and celebrating recycling.

Locally, the Medical University of South Carolina is hosting an awareness event on Thursday to educate health care workers about how to recycle in a clinical setting. You can also tour green facilities on campus, including the MUSC Urban Farm. Learn more about MUSC’s Go Green initiative at

You also can take the recycling pledge. With a nationwide recycling rate of just 34 percent, we can all do better. Commit to reducing your personal waste and recycling more in the next month.

What are you doing to be better stewards of our environment?

Back to News