Highlights New York State's Leadership on Annual America Recycles Day
"New York Recycles Day" is now underway, State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today. In observance of the day, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo proclaimed Nov. 15 "New York - America Recycles Day" to highlight the State's leadership in recycling promotion and reducing waste. Visit DEC's website to read the proclamation New York-America Recycles Day - 2017.pdf. New York's efforts complement America Recycles Day, a national initiative to promote the environmental benefits of recycling and purchasing products with recycled content.
Commissioner Seggos said, "Over the last 25 years, New York's policies and programs to recycle and re-use waste have galvanized strong economic and environmental benefits, putting thousands of New Yorkers to work while preventing pollution from harming our air, water and natural resources. By participating in New York Recycles Day, our residents and municipalities can continue our efforts to lead the way in reducing the amount of waste generated and help preserve our natural resources for future generations."
Across New York State, individuals, community groups, businesses, schools, and government agencies are celebrating New York Recycles Day in a variety of ways, from encouraging others to reduce their waste or take recycling pledges to starting an office or school recycling program, participating in the NY Recycles poster contest, hosting a reuse exchange, and improving awareness of local recycling rules. These combined efforts are helping to educate and inform residents about the advantages of recycling through community events throughout the state and additional information on America Recycles Day events is available at the Keep America Beautiful America Recycles Day website.
The State celebrated the 25th anniversary of New York's recycling laws on Sept. 1. Since 1992, local source-separation programs have captured and diverted more than 320 million tons of recyclable materials from disposal resulting in an estimated net emission reduction of 1 billion metric tons of CO2, the equivalent of taking 211 million cars off the road for one year. The New York State Solid Waste Management Act of 1988, signed into law by Governor Mario M. Cuomo, required municipalities to adopt local laws or ordinances requiring the separation and segregation of recyclable or reusable materials from solid waste. More information and anniversary milestones are available on DEC's website.
New Yorkers generate nearly five pounds of waste per person each day, and many of these materials can be reused and recycled saving energy and landfill space. DEC's State Solid Waste Management Plan, Sustainable Materials Management Strategy for New York State - Beyond Waste, sets a long-term goal to reduce waste disposal to 0.6 pounds per person per day by 2030. Recycling is an important and necessary component to reaching this goal by diverting additional materials from the waste stream.
In addition, at Governor Cuomo's direction, the New York State Plastic Bag Task Force is developing recommendations to address the impacts of plastic bags on the environment. The Task Force is evaluating policy approaches to reduce plastic bag waste for New York State to consider. Since 2009, New York State has required malls, large retailers and chain stores to collect plastic bags and film plastics from consumers for recycling. To learn more about plastic bag recycling visit DEC's website.
Citizens from across the State can participate in New York Recycles Day to learn about the benefits of recycling, promote recycling awareness in their communities, and work toward the 0.6 pounds per person per day goal. Recycling is required by law in New York to decrease the amount of waste sent to landfills, slow the rate of the extraction of raw materials from the earth, decrease greenhouse gas emissions, and reduce litter.
In addition, recycling creates jobs by developing markets for recyclable materials, recycling facilities, and reuse industries that improve the economy. Recycling also results in important energy savings. For example, according to Recycle Across America, recycling just one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a television for three hours. Recycling cardboard uses 25 percent less energy than making cardboard from virgin materials and nearly 50 gallons of oil are saved by recycling one ton of cardboard. Glass can be recycled and made into new products countless times and the recycling of one glass jar can run a compact fluorescent light bulb for almost 20 hours.
New York Recycles Day is an opportunity to recognize the benefits of waste reduction, recycling, and buying products made with recycled content and to promote these practices in homes, businesses, schools and more. For additional information visit the NYS DEC's recycling webpage.