Celebrating America Recycles Day by Diverting Waste


I’m Alexandra Dunn Regional Administrator
for EPA New England November 15th is America Recycles Day. We use this day to raise awareness about waste
reduction. Landfills across the region and the country
are filling up quickly, and it’s important to avoid putting items in landfills that don’t
belong there. In fact, the U.S. produces over 260 million
tons of trash per year- which is about 4 pounds of trash per person, per day. We only recycle and compost about 30% of this
waste. Re-use, recycling and composting are three
important ways to reduce landfill waste. You can do all these things at home, at work
and at school. At EPA New England, we work diligently towards
a zero-waste goal. We conduct waste audits to learn what our
waste streams look like. It’s important to know how much trash is actually
trash, and how much trash could be recycled or composted. Last year, our EPA Boston office recycled
19 tons of material and composted 5 tons of food waste, significantly reducing the amount
of waste going to landfills. Each year we also partner with the General
Services Administration (GSA) Regional Sustainability team and we conduct an annual ‘Race to Recycle’
competition. We hold this in the summer to engage federal
facility managers to reinvigorate recycling and inspire tenants, like EPA, to boost recycling
and waste diversion over an eight-week period. From 2016-2017, Nine federal facilities diverted
approximately 180 tons of waste from landfills. On America Recycles Day, I hope you will all
learn tips and tricks for recycling and diverting waste. You can find some of these tips on our EPA
website.

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