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November 13, 2000

Governor Proclaims November 15 America Recycles Day in Illinois

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan has proclaimed November 15 as America Recycles Day in Illinois, urging Illinoisans to recycle and make a conscious effort to buy products manufactured using recycled commodities.

"For the fourth year in a row, Illinois is participating in America Recycles Day, a day set aside nationally to call attention to the important role recycling plays in preserving our environment," Ryan said. "America Recycles Day not only reminds us to recycle, but also asks consumers to actively seek out products that use recycled commodities, either in their manufacturing or packaging. Buying products that utilize recyclables ensures that we keep recycling growing in the future, and that's good for all of us."

The Governor's proclamation caps weeks of activities leading up to America Recycles Day in Illinois. Coordinated by the Department of Commerce and Community Affairs' (DCCA) Bureau of Energy and Recycling, in conjunction with the Illinois Recycling Association and the Illinois Counties Solid Waste Management Association, activities have included distribution of educational resources to help schoolchildren learn about recycling, retail displays to highlight items with recycled content, and opportunities for Illinoisans to take the "recycling pledge" and become eligible for national, state and local prizes.

A key promotion has been the 2000 Two-Month Traveling Trunk Tour. Since September 14, trunks have traveled throughout Illinois, showcasing products manufactured from or sold in packaging manufactured from recycled commodities. During tour stops at schools and businesses, local recycling coordinators have invited participants to add their own recycled-content item to the trunks. The trunks were opened today during a rally on campus at Illinois State University, kicking off a week of America Recycles Day activities in Illinois.

Last year, DCCA Director Pam McDonough joined First Lady Lura Lynn Ryan to open the trunks and display their contents.

"Recycled-content products are all around us, from cereal boxes to cars," McDonough said. "Consciously buying recycled sends a message to manufacturers to expand their use of recycled materials as feedstock, and keeps the recycling industry growing in Illinois."

Mitch Beaver, DCCA's Deputy Director in charge of the Bureau of Energy and Recycling, joined with Illinois State University President Victor J. Boschini, Jr. and a host of other dignitaries to officially open the trunks during the ISU rally, which also featured the university's Trash Mountain exhibit -- one week's collection of bagged trash from classroom and administrative buildings -- much of which could be recycled and kept out of landfills.

"Each day, the average American generates more than four pounds of municipal solid waste," Beaver said. "America Recycles Day reminds us how important it is to protect our environment by recycling as much of this waste as possible and using these recyclables to manufacture new products."

Beaver pointed to the variety of products collected in the 14 trunks. For example, a Cook County stop yielded a cassette shipping box made from 100 percent recycled fiberboard. A stop in Decatur collected a Trex lumber sample (Trex is made from recycled plastic bags, shrink wrap and wood chips), while in Eldorado, a bag of rubber buffings -- material recycled from used tires that is used to manufacture new products such as floor mats -- was added.

Each trunk will be returned to the local coordinators who participated in the 2000 Two-Month Traveling Trunk Tour for use in future recycling education presentations.

America Recycles Day is held to generate enthusiasm for recycling and help introduce consumers to the importance of buying recycled-content products. It is sponsored nationally by The 100% Recycled Paperboard Alliance, BuyReman.com, Ford Motor Company, The Home Depot, the National Soft Drink Association, Waste Management, the U.S. Postal Service, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation, the Buy Recycled Business Alliance, and the Steel Recycling Institute. Illinois state sponsors include Casey's General Stores, Target Corporation, Jewel/Albertson's, the Hyatt Regency-Chicago, the Illinois Press Association, the Illinois State Chamber, Wildlife Prairie Park, Starved Rock Lodge, the Illinois Recycling Association, the Illinois Counties Solid Waste Management Association, the Chicago Department of Environment, and DCCA.

Adults and children may participate by filling out a pledge card indicating their intent to recycle and buy recycled. The national adult grand prize, to be awarded in December, is a new $200,000 home, built primarily with recycled-content and energy-efficient materials. Illinois state adult prizes include overnight stays at the Hyatt Regency-Chicago, Wildlife Prairie Park and Starved Rock Lodge; and for youths, remanufactured computers. For information, or to enter the contest, visit:



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