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America Recycles – Facts and Tips for Everyday Recycling

Recyclable bottles and containers

America Recycles Day is November 15, 2021. It is the only nationally-recognized day dedicated to promoting and celebrating recycling in the U.S. Here are a few facts and tips for how to properly recycle in everyday life.

Aluminum and steel are infinitely recyclable.

    • Recycling aluminum saves more than 90% of the energy required to produce new aluminum products versus producing new metal from virgin ore.

    • Recycling steel cans saves nearly 74% of the energy used to produce it from raw materials (enough energy to power about 18 million homes for a full year).

    • Clean aluminum foil is recyclable.

Glass can be recycled over and over without any loss in purity or quality.

    • Recycled glass reduces emissions and comsumption of raw materials, extends the life of glass manufacturing equipment, such as furnaces, and saves energy.

    • Recycle only glass containers used for food and beverages. Other types of glass, such as window, ovenware, Pyrex, crystal, etc. are manufactured through a different process and are not recyclable.

Plastic Bottles and jugs labeled #1, 2, or 5 are 100% recyclable - even the caps

    • Making new bottles from recycle bottles uses 88% lesss energy than using virgin materials.

    • Recycled PET can be used to make new bottles, along with a range of other consumer products.

Paper, junk mail, magazines, newspaper, telephone books

    • Currently, about 45% of magazines and office paper are recovered for recycling; about 73% of newspapers in the U.S. are recycled.

    • Glossy paper can be recycled.

    • No paper plates, towels, or napkins

    • There are enough phone books created annually to circle the earth about 4.28 times.Recyling 500 phone books could save between 17 and 31 trees, 7,000 gallons of water, 463 gallons of oil, 587 pounds of air pollution, 3.06 cubic yards of landfill space, and 4,077 kWh of energy.

    • Reduce unwanted mail: use the opt-in or opt-out service at

Cardboard can be recycled

    • Currently, about 70% of cardboard is recycled

    • Recycled cardboard can become products like napkins, tissue paper, paper towels, paper, cereal boxes, more cardboard, and environmentally-friendly building and construction materials.

Plastic bags and film are recyclable in special receptacles

    • Return plastic bags and films to labeled receptacles, widely available at grocery and retail outlets.

    • Please do not put them in curbside bins as they jam the sorting equipment.

Electronics are recyclable at specific drop-off centers

    • Computers, tablets, and cell phones contain valuable precious metals such as gold, silver, platinum, palladium, copper, tin, and zinc that can be recovered and used to make jewelry, plating, new electronics, or automotive parts.

    • Do not place in curbside recycling bins; check your local recyling program for specific instructions.

    • Some businesses such as office supply stores offer electronics recycling.


    • All items must be empty, clean, and dry before placing them in your recycle container.
    • Do not bag or box recyclables; leave them loose in the bin.
    • No food, liquid, or plastic bags should be placed in the bin.
    • Recycled items should not have an odor (eg. sour milk).
    • Never recycle anything smaller than a credit card (it could jam the sorting equipment.
    • Check with your local recycling center to determine items accepted for recycling.
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