How to Celebrate America Recycles Day

America Recycles Day (ARD) is celebrated every year on November 15. The whole point of this day is to recycle things, to buy recycled products, and to learn more about the recycling process, especially as it relates to your local area. Participating in ARD can be a great learning experience and can also help you clear out some clutter. Here are some suggestions for getting involved in America Recycles Day.


  1. 1
    Image titled ARDlogo.png
    Take the pledge to recycle on the official America Recycles Day (ARD) website.
    Do this before you begin. Tell your friends about the pledge, too, and suggest that they become involved.
  2. Image titled Recycling 7
    Learn more about recycling. There is a wealth of reputable information about recycling available online, suitable for kids to adults. Do a little research and spend some time learning about what can and cannot be recycled (and why), where recycling occurs in the world, and the items that recycled products end up as.
    • The US EPA has an excellent collection of recycling publications at;
    • CalRecycle has lots of freely available publications on waste and recycling at:
    • Many of the industries involved in manufacturing products that can be recycled will also have recycling information on their websites. Look especially for manufacturers of metals, paper, glass, plastic, batteries, and steel.
    • Look for posters, books, games, calculators, and quizzes as well as reading material at online sites. There are many fun, interactive ways to learn about recycling.
  3. Image titled 141 365 Yard Sale
    Consider hosting a recycling event in your area. You can register the event with America Recycles Day and let them know what you're doing. There are lots of amazing things you can do to get into the recycling spirit, including:
    • Have a garage sale or yard sale, arrange a community swap meet, ask offices to give away their unwanted furniture to people who can use it, hold a garden tools swap meet, go shopping at a thrift store, exchange unwanted household goods and clothing, etc.
    • Make crafts from recycled items, sell recycled crafts and artwork, decorate and improve old clothes and shoes, make bird feeders from old items, make this year's Christmas cards from last year's cards, etc.
    • Collect and donate items such as eyeglasses, clothes, costumes, stationery, computers, fire extinguishers, ink cartridges, construction materials, etc.
    • Hold a recycled art and craft exhibition. Encourage all local residents to enter something they've made from recycled items. Award recycled prizes for the best entries and try to get the media interested so that the winners get their names in the paper or online.
  4. Image titled Recycle
    Find out what your own town's policy on recycling is. The easiest way to get an answer would be either at your town/city hall or at a local recycling center. Have plenty of time available should you need to wait. Write down any questions you have beforehand to avoid any forgetfulness. Be sure to write down a quick answer, too. Ask about when you can drop off recyclables and what kind of recyclables your center takes.
    • If you're unhappy with the extent of recycling offered in your area after you've received your information, why not follow it up with letters to your local authority making suggestions on possible improvements. Some suggestions might include asking the local authority to collect more kinds of recyclables, to provide better recycling facilities and bins, to encourage their own staff to collect recyclables at work, to compost and mulch garden waste and Christmas trees, to run programs that show people how to compost, etc.
  5. Image titled Fort Hood Celebrates America Recycles Day
    Collect recyclables. Collect items such as newspapers, soda cans, bottles, and whatever else your recycling center allows. Don't just save up your own. Get your friends, family, and neighbors involved! You can even offer rewards, if you so choose.
    • Recycle the items you've collected. Whether you have recycled a bottle or 200 bottles, you will have made a difference in the environment.
    • Learn how you can recycle batteries, cell phones, and other electronic things legally. Most town recycle centers have special requirements for these kinds of items, so should you get one from a recycle drive, inquire about the item before dropping it off.
    • Download a widget that lets you know whether or not an item can be recycled. America Recycles Day provides a free widget for download that takes the guesswork out of it for you.
  6. Image titled Recycled love
    Tell everyone you know that recycling is useful and fun. If family members and friends aren't yet convinced of the value of recycling, pointing out its benefits can help to improve their attitude toward it. For example, recycling not only clears the clutter out of your life but it helps to protect the environment by reusing resources rather than always seeking new resources, it provides jobs for people in the recycling industry, and on the fun side, recycling can burn calories as you sort the items and toss them into bins!
    • Recycled craft has become more and more popular in recent years and can be a fun way to express your creativity without having to spend too much money on materials. For more ideas on crafts with recyclable items, read How to make recycled crafts.
    • If you have Microsoft Excel, download the US EPA's iWarm tool to calculate how much your current recycling reduces your carbon footprint. It's available at:
  7. Image titled My dad translating a fan letter
    Write to your local government (senators, governors, etc.) about increasing the amount of money to promote and sustain recycling. Unfortunately, most states don't provide enough money for adequate recycling centers. You can help by asking the right people to increase funding and give a sound list of reasons as to why this is a good idea (including benefits to the community as a whole), and some suggestion on how you think it could be done, if you have any.
    • Type your letters for a more professional appearance. If you're shy about writing to your governor, try writing to your town manager or mayor.
    • Attend your local town meetings soon after you've sent your letter, or at least try to find a response to it televised.
  8. Image titled Recycle_276
    Make it a habit to recycle things. Just because one day out of 365 is dedicated to recycling doesn't mean that's the only day for recycling. Make recycling the norm in your household; and if you're already well into the habit, think of ways you can crank it up some more and reduce the garbage, and increase the recyclables. Also think of ways that you can reduce the amount of disposable items you bring into your home in the first place.
    • Buy canvas hampers to sort cans, bottles, etc. and get in the habit of bringing your full hampers to the recycling center as needed.
    • Take bags to the supermarket instead of accepting plastic bags. For bulk store purchases, take along your own reusable containers (well cleaned).
    • Read How to ask a store to sell you items in your own containers for some more ideas.


  • If you choose to offer rewards for recycling, try to keep it with the theme. Try an environmental button, a canvas tote, or something earth-friendly and... recycled!
  • Take pride in what you've done. Pat yourself on the back every time you add something to your recycle bins.
  • Listen to Jack Johnson's song "The 3 Rs". It will help you into more of a "recycling spirit".


  • Take care not to cut yourself on glass jars or bottles.
  • Wash hands after handling recyclables and recycling bins.

Things You'll Need

  • Recycling containers
  • Internet access
  • Email or letter writing items

Article Info

Featured Article

Categories: Featured Articles | Reduce Recycle and Reuse