Create a Recycling Ripple Effect to Protect the Environment

America Recycles Day (November 15) is a day dedicated to promoting and celebrating recycling in the U.S. It’s a great time to share your knowledge of recycling with your family, friends, neighbors and community to help others become better recyclers.

We know that Americans want to recycle, but they don’t always know how to do it correctly. It’s estimated that about 22% of what is sent to recycling centers is contaminated or can’t be recycled. The good news is that we have the tools and resources at our fingertips to not just be good recyclers ourselves, but to help teach others the proper way to recycle. Helping others understand how to recycle creates value for everyone, especially our planet.

Here are the three recycling basics to share with others:

  1. Make sure you know what to throw. There are three primary categories of recyclables: paper and cardboard, metal and aluminum cans, and plastic bottles and jugs. With bottles and jugs, remember to keep the caps on.
  2. Second, recyclables should be empty, clean and dry. Don’t allow more than one teaspoon of liquid to remain in a recyclable container.
  3. Third, don’t bag it. Never bag or bundle your recyclables. Items should be placed in the container individually. Why? The sorting process at a recycling center happens quickly, and most of what is bagged or bundled ends up in the garbage because sorters can’t see the contents. Plastic bags are the worst offenders – they never belong in a recycling container.

For America Recycles Day, pay it forward by sharing your knowledge with others who are interested in being better recyclers. For more simple recycling tips, visit

Recycling Education

America Recycles Day is an opportunity to educate the students, parents or teachers in your life about proper recycling. Republic Services has a variety of resources that are perfect for at-home learning or in the classroom. Check out our Recycling Simplified Education Program for kid-friendly content that can make teaching kids about recycling easy and fun.