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The Three Rs

November 8, 2012
Jane Whitmore , Emmetsburg News

Some of us in the "older generation" remember the three Rs as reading, (w)riting and (a)rithmetic. Today, the three Rs have a whole new meaning:?reduce, reuse, recycle.

This is the era of reducing the amount of trash we send to the landfill. This is the era of reusing, or repurposing, our possessions. this is the era of recycling paper, plastics, glass, cardboard, and fabrics, too.

Thursday, Nov. 15, is America Recycles Day, a nationally recognized day set aside to celebrate and promote recycling.

A news release from the Iowa Recycling Association is encouraging Iowans and Iowa businesses to learn more about the benefits of recycling. Iowa Governor Terry Branstad sign a proclamation and various organizations, schools and businesses across the state will be holding events throughout the month to celebrate and educate about recycling.

"For Iowans, recycling is not just a day; it's a way of life," said Teresa Kurtz, executive director for the Iowa Recycling Association. "As a state, we have a strong history and commitment to recycling and waste reduction."

Kurtz explained that Iowans have diverted 36% of the nearly 2.7 million tons landfilled in Iowa annually, conserving natural resources and creating jobs.

Helping to advance a clean energy economy, recycling is a multi-billion dollar industry that employs millions of Americans.

Iowa's recycling industry generates more than $2.4 billion in annual industrial output and supports more than 11,400 jobs.

Nonprofit organization As You Sow estimates that the value of discarded packaging in the U.S. is worth 11.4 billion dollars.

Recycling 75 percent of the nation's waste will create nearly 1.5 million jobs by 2030, according to the Tellus Institute.

We are fortunate to have recycling opportunities right outside our front door. Curbside recycling, picked up by Shamrock Recycling Inc., is twice each month: the first and third Wednesdays for residents to the north of Highway 18 and the first and third Thursdays for residents to the south of Highway 18.

We also have Horizons Unlimited, located on the south edge of Emmetsburg, for drop-off recycling. They offer recycling of old clothing as well. The can and bottle redemption center is also located there.

I recycle because I can. It's a good feeling to repurposing items instead of throwing them away.

How about you??Do you recycle? Get in the swing of the three Rs:?reduce, reuse, recycle.



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