It's officially America Recycles Day (ARD)! If you don't know what ARD is, I wrote a blog a few years ago about the nationally celebrated holiday that focuses all on recycling and how it actually has its roots in Texas. Now, Keep America Beautiful administers the program and provides numerous resources and content for groups all across the country to help them host events, educate their residents and engage in discourse about the benefits of recycling (which I also wrote about earlier this year!).  

​In honor of the holiday, KTB has revamped its Recycle page, with new information on partner organizations and other industry groups that can be a huge asset to KTB affiliates, who are either running recycling programs or hoping to get more involved with their recycling program locally. This resource library is just one of the ways KTB supports affiliate efforts in recycling programs. Due to our strong connections throughout the state, we are able to connect affiliates with local and statewide partners who are able to further assist affiliates in their own community.

KTB also offers recycling grants to affiliates throughout the year. Today, on America Recycles Day, we are thrilled to launch our Waste Management Recycle Often, Recycle Right program to offer monetary grants for affiliates to purchase recycling bins to either start a new recycling program or enhance an existing recycling program. These grants, along with the educational material and technical assistance KTB provides, help KTB affiliates build stronger, more robust recycling programs that both support job creation and economic growth in Texas.

In addition to launching our new grant today, we just wrapped up our Recycle2Support Recycling Grant, which provided five affiliate communities with money to take on various recycling projects. Keep Chandler Beautiful used their grant to help offset costs of paving an area at their recycling drop off center to add dedicated paper and plastic roll off containers to meet the demand of their residents. Keep Pearland Beautiful purchased 72 new paper recycling bins and 15 plastic recycling bins for seven area schools to either start a new recycling program or update older bins. The Recycle2Support Recycling Grant helped Keep Smithville Beautiful purchase new, clearer signage at their local recycling center to better inform residents what is and isn't recyclable. Keep Farmers Branch Beautiful is interested in starting a textile recycling program and used the grant funds to run a one-day textile recycling event as a pilot. Lastly, grant funding allowed Keep Waco Beautiful to purchase new recycling and compost bins to increase recycling access at their weekend farmers market.  

 Additionally, affiliates can receive grant funding through our Green Bag Grants, which is sponsored by H-E-B, to do recycling projects. Affiliate recycling programs vary widely from community to community, and these grants give affiliates the freedom to work on projects that are based on their specific community needs and resources.

There are a lot of events and seminars taking place for America Recycles Day, but if you find yourself wanting more recycling in your life, I would encourage you to take a look at our Recycle page on the KTB website and think about getting involved in different organizations. The State of Texas Alliance for Recycling (STAR) is the state recycling organization and has a number of avenues to get plugged into. I participate in the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) as the young professional liaison to the Sustainable Materials Management technical division, and this position has been helpful to build relationships with recycling professionals across the country.

I hope everyone has a great America Recycles Day and feel free to let KTB know if you have any questions about why recycling is important for your community. 

Here are some helpful resources to learn more about recycling. Visit out Recycle page for the full list of resources. 
  • America Recycles DaySince 1997, communities across the country have come together on November 15 to celebrate America Recycles Day. More than a celebration, America Recycles Day is the only nationally recognized day dedicated to the promotion of recycling programs in the United States. One day to inform and educate. One day to get our neighbors, friends and community leaders excited about what can be accomplished when we all work together. One day to make recycling bigger and better 365 days a year
  • TCEQ Study on Economic Impacts of Recycling -   TCEQ conducted a study on the current and potential economic impacts of recycling, including state and local revenue that may be considered lost because recyclable materials are not recycled. The study looked at results from the year 2015. On the website you can will find links to the study and other related content.
  • Waste Management RORR.com - This site is here to educate you on this important topic, and to offer tools you can use to make recycling sustainable for future generations. To learn more about the changing world of recycling, industry news and trends, visit their Newsroom.
  • SWANA/TxSWANAThe Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) is an organization of more than 10,000 public and private sector professionals committed to advancing from solid waste management to resource management through their shared emphasis on education, advocacy and research. SWANA serves industry professionals through technical conferences, certifications, publications, and a large offering of technical training courses. TxSWANA is the state chapter.

​Blog Post Written By Sara Nichols, Program Director.