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Recycling

Old televisions are piled high at the America Recycles Day Electronics Event Nov. 18, 2017, at the Auburn landfill.

America Recycles Day 2018 is rapidly approaching! While it officially occurs on Nov. 15, which happens to be a Thursday this year, locally, the city of Auburn is hosting an event on Saturday, Nov. 10, with a few more details and contact information provided below.

America Recycles Day was established over 20 years ago to recognize our nation’s progress in recycling. According to the Environmental Protection Agency website, epa.gov/recycle/america-recycles-day-2018, America Recycles Day “encourages every American to recycle more and trash less to minimize environmental effects, create jobs and strengthen the economy.”

Unbelievably, the EPA reports that materials worth over $9 billion are thrown away every year. Over the past 30 years, the rate of recycling has significantly increased; however, there is still room for improvement with increased contributions to the recycling stream versus the waste stream.

The benefits of recycling include:

• Reducing the amount of waste filling our precious and expensive landfill space

• Conserving natural resources that include timber, water and minerals

• Increasing our national economic prosperity and security by using domestic sources of materials

• Preventing pollution by reducing the need to mine and collect new raw materials

• Saving energy and supporting American manufacturing

• Creating well-paying jobs

The EPA researched and updated the economic benefits of the recycling industry. The report can be found at epa.gov/smm/recycling-economic-information-rei-report. A single year of active recycling and reuse activities in the United States accounts for 757,000 American jobs totaling over $36 billion in wages and $6.7 billion in tax revenues. Broken down, this means that for every 1,000 tons of materials recycled, there are 1.57 jobs paying an annual average wage of $76,000 and generating $14,101 in tax revenues. Recycling is by no means small business.

Interested in learning how you can do more to reduce the amount of materials going into the waste stream? Visit the America Recycles Day website at americarecyclesday.org, plus city of Auburn residents can participate in a citywide recycling event from 7 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 10. The city’s website gives more specifics about the event, and can be found at auburnny.gov.

There are some rules and regulations that will need to be followed, which include residents bringing materials directly to the landfill, providing both a driver's license and vehicle registration for proof of residency, and no trailers, box vans or rented vehicles. The following will be accepted at no cost: garbage, recycling, mattresses and box springs, brush and yard waste, furniture and car tires, with a limit of four per residence. Also accepted, but with a cost, will be items that contain Freon at $45 per unit, and electronic items (this includes computers, monitors, microwave ovens, DVD players, VCRs and printers) with a limit of two, each having a cost of $10. The following will not be accepted during the city’s event: hazardous waste, asbestos, motor oil and liquid waste, fluorescent tubes, grease, solvents, paint and cooking oil.

This is a great opportunity for city residents to clear out some stored items in preparation for winter. By participating in America Recycles Day, Auburn residents can help protect the environment and the community. For more information or questions, call (315) 255-4155 during business hours.

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Judy Wright is a senior resource educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Cayuga County. For more information, visit cce.cornell.edu or call (315) 255-1183.

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