America Recycles Day 2016

By: 
Rosemary Kent

With the elections behind us finally, we can now get back to the issues that occupy our lives the rest of the year. For instance, did you know that America Recycles Day is upon us once again, Nov. 15?
As you might expect, our local ROWL plastics recycling and recycling education program never forgets this day. It is an opportunity to express appreciation to those in our community who take the time and make the effort to recycle. You know it makes a difference for our environment when we limit the number of landfills needed to keep up with the amount of waste we produce each day, not to mention off our by-ways and out of our oceans.
It is also a day to recognize our hard working volunteers, your own friends and neighbors, who work at the ROWL drop-off site handling, baling and transporting your plastic waste to Billings. This program would not be available to our community without them. Your words of “thank you” confirm that the program is important to you.
However, to confirm that your efforts count and to encourage others to give recycling a try, on America Recycles Day we would be remiss not to share a few recycling facts with you. According to the National Recycling Coalition and the EPA, 2,500,000 plastic bottles are used every hour. The typical family consumes 182 gallons of soda, 29 gallons or juice, 104 gallons of milk, 26 gallons of bottled water a year. One third of an average dump is packaging material of some kind. By looking in your kitchen cabinets and refrigerators it might surprise you just how much packaging material ends up in the trash.
The US is the number one trash-producing country in the world at 1,609 pounds per person per year. Five percent of the world’s population produces 40 percent of the world’s waste. So, wouldn’t we hold some responsibility to clean it up? Isn’t that what we were taught as children, “If you make a mess, clean it up”?
The plastics recyclers can be counted in the numbers of those making a difference. You are also making the jobs of our volunteers easier by following the necessary guidelines. One little helpful tip, however: you may leave the lid on the bottle or throw it away, but please don’t put it in the bag loose. It becomes a real nuisance when it falls out of the bales.
ROWL, located at Lewis Lane on the truck-by-pass, is here to help manage the insurmountable problem of keeping ourselves from being buried in our own garbage. However, at a market price of one cent a pound at present, ROWL relies on donations to keep the operation available to the community. The ROWL non-profit recycling program, operating under the Central Montana Foundation, is a worthwhile cause for your donation dollars looking for a tax-deductible place this time of year. Donations can be sent either to CMF 224 W. Main Street, earmarked ROWL or PO Box 251 Lewistown, MT 59457.
Snowy Mountain Industries, the complement to ROWL at 132 Wunderlin Street, provides recycling for your aluminum cans, cardboard, newspapers, office paper and magazines. And if you are wondering what to do with those pesky grocery bags, take them to Albertsons or ShopKo for recycling.
ROWL, Recycle Our Waste Lewistown, takes its name seriously and America Recycles Day is the perfect time to shout it out and spread the word. Recycle.

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