How to Get Involved in America Recycles Day

Every fall, we here at Earth911 anxiously await our favorite holiday. No, it’s not Halloween or Thanksgiving (although those are pretty great, too) — it’s America Recycles Day, coming up on November 15.

America Recycles Day (ARD) is the only nationally recognized day dedicated to promoting and celebrating recycling in the United States. A Keep America Beautiful (KAB) initiative, this annual event started in 1997 to spread the word on the importance of recycling and to educate others on how to recycle correctly. Every year on and around November 15, thousands of local event organizers plan activities to encourage and help people throughout their communities to recycle.

Not everyone knows that there is a right and wrong way to recycle, but there is! In fact, one of the biggest barriers to recycling is knowing what items can (and cannot) be recycled. In a recent Earth911 survey, 66 percent of respondents indicated that they are somewhat to not at all knowledgeable about how and what to recycle. This year, KAB hopes everyone will help promote the value of recycling correctly — and why it’s so important that we all participate.

Doing Your Part

Wondering how to get involved in America Recycles Day? KAB invites you to plan your own ARD event by taking advantage of the tools and resources KAB offers to make event planning easy and successful. Once it’s planned, register your event. KAB will enter your event information in the national register of ARD events so that others can find it and participate.

Recycling well is more than simply placing items in a curbside bin. As part of America Recycles Day, communities across the nation educate individuals about how and what they can recycle and conduct special recycling events for items that are not accepted in local curbside bins.

“We know Americans have a strong commitment to recycling and we encourage you to host a special recycling event that goes beyond the bin in your community. By registering your event with America Recycles Day, you join a strong network of individuals and organizations across the nation committed to improving curbside recycling and building a comprehensive recycling platform for America,” says Helen Lowman, president & CEO of Keep America Beautiful.

KAB is working with other recycling stakeholders to encourage Americans to recycle more and help establish a consistent recycling platform for America. They invite you, your family, and friends from work, school, and neighborhood to participate in America Recycles Day and to take the #BeRecycled Pledge  in a collective national effort to improve recycling.

On Tap This Year

You can schedule an event at any time during the fall before the official America Recycles Day celebration on November 15. Some examples of previous events include a plastic bag “get caught recycling” event at a grocery store, a waste-free lunch at a middle school, and a pledge drive at a neighborhood meeting. KAB loves unique recycling-related ideas!

If you’d like to join existing event — or want some inspiration to plan your own event — here are a few fun ideas scheduled for 2018:

Prince William Recycles Day
Manassas, Virginia
October 13, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
For over two decades, Prince William County Solid Waste Division has been hosting Prince William Recycles Day in conjunction with America Recycles Day. This year, we encourage county residents and families to join the free event at the Prince William County Landfill. Learn how you can support waste reduction and save landfill space, and get the latest info on recycling.

Fall Into Recycling
Urbana, Illinois
November 3, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Join us at the Anita Purves Nature Center to swap Halloween costumes, compost leftover pumpkins, create autumn-themed works of art using recycled materials, and learn more about recycling. Make your own creation from reused or repurposed materials at home before the event and enter to win an award in the fifth annual Creative Reuse Competition!

Saving the Atlantic!
Dover, Delaware
November 13, 4:00 p.m. to November 14, 8:00 p.m.
To help save the sea life and marine birds we have living here on the East Coast, we’ll start by putting more of the right recyclable items in the right place — and committing to do so into the future.

America Recycles Day Recycling Event
San Leandro, California
November 13, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
The City of San Leandro event encourages residents to recycle unusual types of items, including mercury thermometers and thermostats, fluorescent light bulbs and tubes, incandescent bulbs, and household batteries.

Electronics Recycling Event
Trinidad, Colorado
November 15, 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Join us for the second annual electronics recycling event at Trinidad Tech Shop. All electronics recycling will be accepted without fee.


Take the Pledge

As part of America Recycles Day, KAB encourages you to ask your networks how they live a recycled lifestyle by taking the #BeRecycled Pledge, committing to reduce, reuse, recycle in all aspects of daily life. To date, more than 75,500 people have taken the pledge. The pledge is to:

  • Learn. I will find out what materials are collected for recycling in my community.
  • Act. Within the next month, I will reduce the amount of waste I produce, I will recycle more, and I will buy products made with recycled content.
  • Share. In the next month, I will encourage one family member or one friend to take the #BeRecycled pledge.

Learn more about America Recycles Day at If you have questions about event registration or need more information, visit the website for ARD contact details.

Editor’s note: Originally published on October 14, 2016, this article was updated in October 2017 and again in October 2018.

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