Don't waste recycling opportunities [Letter]

November 14, 2013

November 15 is America Recycles Day, a time for us to reflect on our successes and examine where we can do better when it comes to recycling.

The good news is that residential recycling rates have increased dramatically during the last few decades. That's an achievement we should all celebrate.

And in a recent national survey, a majority of Americans said recycling makes them feel proud. That shouldn't be surprising. After all, recycling is a simple yet powerful way to save huge amounts of energy and conserve natural resources.

But there is still room for improvement, particularly when we're outside our houses.

The same survey found that a majority of Americans can recycle at work, but far fewer could find recycling options while shopping, dining out or traveling.

Americans clearly want to recycle, but we need more recycling bins in our public spaces — on our main streets and in our shopping malls, restaurants, airports, gas stations and other public spaces.

Residents, local business owners and community leaders can all partner with waste and recycling companies to make more public recycling options a reality. On America Recycles Day, let's all pledge to do our part. For more information, see http://www.BeginWithTheBin.org.

Sharon H. Kneiss, Washington, D.C.

The writer is president and CEO of Environmental Industry Associations.

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