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«Recycling: A Component of Strong Community Development Strong community recycling programs can contribute to a healthy, united community. Cover Box ...»

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Myth: Recycling Is Hard As long as the community is able to provide adequate recycling opportunities and accessibility, recycling should not be difficult for the consumer. America’s Beverage Association’s Recycle It Now program believes that recycling success can be as simple as just reminding people to do it. As part of their campaign, they provide large plastic recycling containers in the form of a plastic soda bottle (see inset) to encourage recycling, and to also make it easily accessible. Providing visuals in the community will help residents know what can be recycled.

Photo at Right: Recycling containers such as this one are available through the Recycle It Now program.

Recycling Brings a Community Together After the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, Harrison County, Mississippi started out on the long road towards recovery. Committed to rebuilding an even stronger community, Harrison identified recycling as a top priority for this severely damaged community’s rebirth. Immediately following the hurricane, EPA arrived to aid the county in setting up a recycling center for white goods and other materials that could be salvaged from the disaster. According to Cindy Simmons of Harrison County, the process took nearly six months to complete.

Since the hurricane, Harrison has taken further steps to improve the county by restoring curbside recycling and implementing a household hazardous waste drive each year. The Phone Book Recycling Campaign was created as a way to bring the community together. To encourage school participation, schools were rewarded with funds for each phone book donated. The county continues to rebuild and is looking for opportunities to further improve their electronic waste recycling program. They have proven that recycling is an important component of a healthy and united community.

Support Recycling and Invest in Your Community: “Take it to the Curb!” (Orlando, FL) – From Curbside Value Partnership On a sunny day in May 2004, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer held a press conference on the steps of City Hall to kick off a new education campaign called Take it to the Curb! At the event the mayor encouraged Orlando residents to increase recycling by 10 percent. To accomplish this, he urged residents without bins to contact the city to get one. To help promote the new campaign, city officials created rolling billboards by covering their existing fleet of recycling trucks with new campaign-themed messages. The mayor also participated in a “ridealong” following the press conference where he hung door-hangers and talked to area residents about their needs. After the launch and subsequent city-wide communications campaign, bin requests increased 1,000 percent over the prior year.2 More EPA Region 4 Resources EPA has developed the Region 4 Municipal Government Toolkit (MGTK) to help state and local leaders initiate and improve community recycling programs. Several other fact sheets and resources are available online. Community improvements are just one positive aspect of adopting efficient recycling programs. Recycling also plays a role in addressing climate change through reducing energy and greenhouse gas emissions. In addition to the environmental benefits of recycling, communities can save money and boost their local economy through greater participation in recycling programs. To

learn more about how your community can reap the benefits of recycling, check out the MGTK online at:


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Check out other EPA fact sheets from the Toolkit:

Source Reduction and Recycling: A Role in Preventing Global Climate Change The Economics of Recycling in the Southeast: Understanding the Whole Picture EPA U.S. Recycling Economic Information Study, 2001, http://www.epa.gov/jtr/econ/rei-rw/rei-rw.htm Curbside Value Partnership, http://www.recyclecurbside.org/ North Carolina’s Recycling Means Business, http://www.p2pays.org/ref/34/33912.pdf North Carolina’s RE3.org, www.re3.org Office of Federal Environmental Executive, Task Force on Recycling, Recycling…For the Future, 1998, http://www.ofee.gov/wpr/future.pdf Florida Recycling Economic Impact Study http://www.epa.gov/jtr/econ/rei-rw/pdf/fl_report.pdf S.C. Department of Commerce, Economic Impact of Recycling Study in South Carolina, 2006 EPA Markets for Recovered Aluminum, 1993, http://www.epa.gov/garbage/pubs/sw90077a .pdf

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