Tuesday is America Recycles Day

(ABC 6 News) – Tuesday is America Recycles Day, a day to raise awareness about recycling and sustainability and encourages purchasing recycled products.

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the recycling rate has increased from less than 7% in 1960 to the current rate of 32%. An EPA study found that recycling and reuse activities in the United States accounted for 681,000 jobs and $37.8 billion in wages.

In Olmsted County, approximately 44% of the waste generated is recycled. The rate is slightly higher than the rest of non-metro Minnesota counties (38%) and well above the national average of 32%.

Meanwhile, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a proclamation declaring Tuesday, “Iowa Recycles Day.” In the proclamation, the Governor noted that reducing, reusing, and recycling waste is important to “ensure a cleaner, greener state for future generations.”  Building on that theme, she wrote “on this day we renew our commitment to making environmentally conscious changes in our lives so that our children and grandchildren can live that better, cleaner future.”

The Governor also recognized the Iowa Recycling Association and Keep Iowa Beautiful for playing leading roles in promoting the protection of Iowa’s natural resources and quality of life.

In Albert Lea, Infinite Recycled Technologies is doing its part to keep millions of pounds of glass out of landfills.

The company has developed a process to recycle a type of glass left over from window manufacturing. It separates laminated glass from plastic interlayers, returning the glass to the manufacturer for raw material, and sending the plastic to a different manufacturer for carpet backing. Before this new technology, all the waste glass went to landfills.

“Due to the work that we’ve all done, over the last several years, we have diverted 30 million pounds of material that would have gone directly into a landfill. Because of this work, that material has gone back into making new products that improve all of our lives. I’m very proud of that,” said Jeremiah Watson, chief executive officer of Infinite Recycled Technologies.

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