Helping Nebraskans enhance their lives through research-based education.

America Recycles Day is November 15

Submitted by Lorene Bartos, UNL Extension Educator

Click to email this page to a this page to a friend

What's in your trash? Take a look – how many of the items in your trash could be recycled? November 15th is America Recycles Day. Hopefully all households do some type of recycling to help save the environment. The 3 R's – reduce, reuse and recycle should be common household words. Recycling should be a family affair. First of all discuss all the items that can be reused or recycled. As the old saying goes one person's trash is another person's treasure. Many items we have around the home can be use by others for crafts, etc.

America Recycle day is set aside each year to:

  • To celebrate and increase recycling.
  • To improve education about what is recycled in your community.
  • To motivate people to recycle more by providing a way to demonstrate their commitment.

Recycling is the easiest thing we all can do 365 days a year to save energy, conserve natural resources and create green jobs.

Recycling is a multi-billion dollar industry that employs millions of Americans and helps advance our clean energy economy.

Our national recycling rate of 34 percent annually:

  • Saves energy equivalent of nearly 250 million barrels of crude oil or nearly 27 days of all U.S. oil imports.
  • Saves Americans the equivalent of the annual energy consumption of nearly 14 million US households per year.

Take the pledge to continue to complete the recycling loop in your home. If recycling isn't something your family doesn't do – now is the time to get started. Start simple by choosing a couple items used daily around the home, such as paper, cardboard, aluminum and tin cans and plastic bottle. These items are common in most homes. Put boxes or tubs in the garage or in a place handy for your family. When you are finished with these items – rinse cans and bottles, remove bottle caps (they cannot be recycled locally) and place them in the recycle area designated for them. Newspapers, mixed papers, unwanted mail and advertisement, phone books and magazines can all be recycled. Make sure to remove any personal information (name and address) from unwanted mail before recycling. Paper grocery bags can be used to put papers in to be recycled. Plastic bags can be returned to many stores for recycling. Aluminum cans can be taken to recycling sites or taken to special recycling stations for money. This is a good way for children to earn some spending money by collecting and recycling cans.

With many sports activities and tailgating there are lots of items that can be recycled. Take extra bags along and recycle the cans and bottles, don't leave them for the trash collectors to take to the landfill.

Recycling is easy in Lincoln and surrounding areas with many drop off sites available to collect most recyclables. Mixed paper, newspaper, cardboard, glass (all colors), plastic (No. 1-5) and cans can be recycled locally. Curbside recycling is available for a minimal cost from several groups in Lincoln. For more information on recycling in the Lincoln area visit

Make Recycling a Habit - Close the Loop

The recycling process doesn't stop at the bin! After materials are processed and back on the shelf as new items, it is up to you to buy recycled products. Look for products and packaging with recycled content (and efficient packaging) to do your part as a recycling-conscious consumer.

Make your plans now to join the recycling gang. Pledge to start a recycling program in your home for America's Recycle Day this year.

Ask Lorene

(This resource was updated November 2012 and appeared in the Lincoln Journal Star Newspaper Sunday edition. For information on reproducing this article or using any photographs or graphics, read the Terms of Use statement)

Contact Information

University of Nebraska-Lincoln in Lancaster County
Web site:
444 Cherrycreek Road, Suite A, Lincoln, NE 68528 | 402-441-7180