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November 15, 2007

Illinois EPA encourages efforts to reuse, reduce and recycle on America Recycles Day
State environmental agency supports and sponsors numerous recycling programs

Springfield – Marking America Recycles Day, Illinois EPA Director Doug Scott urges people throughout Illinois to recycle whenever possible in order to limit the negative impact on the environment by keeping tons of potential waste out of Illinois landfills.

“While the Illinois EPA and many Illinoisans support and participate in recycling programs throughout the year, America Recycles Day offers an opportunity to revisit successful practices as well as develop new recycling habits,” said Director Scott. 

America Recycles Day, and its Illinois affiliate, the Illinois Recycling Association, is a national all-volunteer, non-profit organization, whose mission is to hold an annual national awareness event to promote the social, environmental, and economic benefits of recycling and buying recycled products.  Its goal is to increase recycling and the purchase of recycled content products throughout America. 

Recycling is a way for citizens to be environmental stewards in their communities, and a way to preserve the environment for future generations.  Materials like glass, metal, plastics, and paper can be collected, separated and sent to facilities that can process them into new materials or products.

Recycling plastic, glass or aluminum cans is not the only way to be environmentally friendly.  During the holidays, giving reusable gifts can have a big impact on the environment.  Give items that do not generate packaging waste, and that are non-disposable, sustainable and reusable, such as mugs, plants and lunchbags. 

During home renovations, consider your actions before throwing out unwanted items.  Objects such as windows, doors, lighting, cabinets, tiles, vanities, and sinks frequently end up in landfills, when they can be reused, recycled, or donated to businesses and residents in the community. 

Other actions you can take to recycle include:

• Set up a recycling center in your home.
• Use rechargeable batteries whenever possible.
• Buy products in reusable containers such as glass jars and sturdy plastic dairy tubs.  Reuse these containers when buying bulk foods and for storage.
• Some families spend over $260 each year on paper towels and napkins.  Switch to cloth napkins, sponges, and cloth towels or wipes.
• Avoid single-use products such as disposable razors, diapers and lighters.
• Use a coffee mug when purchasing coffee at your favorite coffee shop.  This simple action will help save 500 disposable cups per person from being thrown away each year.
Some of the benefits of recycling include:
• Conserves resources for our children's future
• Prevents emissions of many greenhouse gases and water pollutants
• Saves energy
• Supplies valuable raw materials to industry
• Creates jobs
• Stimulates the development of greener technologies
• Reduces the need for new landfills and incinerators

Creating a strong market for recycled products is an important key in completing the recycling process or “closing the loop.”  Consumers close the loop when they purchase products made from recycled materials.  Buying recycled has both economic and environmental benefits, and purchasing products that are made from or packaged in recycled materials saves resources for future generations.

To learn more about recycling and find out why it is important, how it works, and the do’s and don’ts about recycling, visit www.illinoisrecycles.org.



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