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America Recycles Day is November 15

America Recycles Logo November 15With all the changes in the recycling industry over the past couple of years, you might well be confused and curious as to what is actually being recycled today. We addressed this topic in a recent blog.

America Recycles Day (ARD), a nationally recognized day dedicated to promoting and celebrating recycling, is coming up! Every year on November 15, people around the country take the pledge to recycle more and encourage others to join in. You can do your part by embracing the 3 R’s: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

Reduce by buying reusable items.  Food utensils, disposable drink cups, and other throwaways create a lot of waste.  Instead, use metal utensils, coffee mugs, and glass lunch containers.  See our recent blog on single-use disposables, and find out if compostable disposables will work for you.

Another way to reduce is to purchase products with less packaging. Many manufacturers attempt to get the attention of consumers by adding fancy packaging on their products. Most of it ends up in landfills.  Thankfully, this is an easy problem to fix.  Be a conscious consumer and consider buying products that use less packaging, and if you do have excess packaging, let the manufacturer know and recycle it if possible.

Reuse materials to conserve energy, resources and landfill space. Before you spend hundreds of dollars on new equipment or on clothes your child will outgrow in a few months, check out our community’s thrift and consignment shops to save big and help the environment in the process. Many of these shops also support great local causes. And don’t forget to try Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore, where you can find previously owned and gently used furniture and building materials.

For those needing household, automotive, garden products and paint, The City of Thousand Oaks has a Free ReUse store located at our Household Hazardous Waste facility at 2010 Conejo Center Drive in Newbury Park.  The Reuse store is open every Friday and Saturday (excluding holidays) from 9:00am – 1:00pm and offers free materials for Thousand Oaks residents. 

More and more of our household waste is comprised of food we throw out.  Reduce food waste by planning your menu before you go shopping. Buy only those things on your menu.   Find out how to store fruits and vegetables so they stay fresh longer inside or outside your refrigerator.  Freeze, preserve, or can surplus fruits and vegetables.   Compost food scraps rather than throwing them away.

And of course, when you go shopping, bring your reusable bag.  Some grocery stores even give out incentives such as reward points or small discounts for using a reusable bag.

One of the biggest barriers to recycling is knowing what items can (and cannot) be recycled.

Before you place any material into your recycling bin, find out what items are recyclable in your community.  Check out our Recycling Guide for Thousand Oaks residents or download our app, RecycleTO, where you can type in an item and find out how to best dispose of it. You can also access the RecycleTO tool on our website at www.toaks.org/RecycleTO. After you educate yourself, help by educating your family, friends and neighbors. And remember, keep your recyclables clean and unbagged.

recycling pile

If you’re active on social media, take the #BeRecycled Pledge to actively choose to live a recycling lifestyle  and ask others to join you. 

Post on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and don’t forget to use the hashtag #AmericaRecyclesDay to help spread the word.

For more information and ideas about the 3 R’s, visit our trash and recycling web pages.

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