National Recycling Day 2022: History, Significance and Activities

National Recycling Day is annually celebrated on November 15th in the United States. This day encourages people towards recycling to make sure that nothing goes wasted and we can make use of everything. 

We all have heard fro school, news, internet and everything that recycling is very important for our nature but when we really take special actions or steps to do anything about it and that’s when comes National Recycling Day which gives us an opportunity to do something remarkable for waste recycling. 

According to “National Geographic,”  Americans send 64 tons of waste to landfills during their lifetime. That’s 246 million tons of waste each year. National Recycling Day aims to encourage Americans to purchase recycled products and recycle more.  

Event National Recycling Day
Date November 15, 2022
Day Tuesday
Significance The day aims to encourage Americans to purchase recycled products and recycle more.
Observed by United States


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National Recycling Day History: 

Recycling has been a common practice for most of human history with recorded advocates as far back as Plato in the fourth century BC. Archaeological studies have found that during periods when natural resources were sparse, waste dumps show less household waste, giving many reason to believe that they were recycling and reusing products in the absence of virgin materials. In fact, finding recycled or reusable resources has always held a premium in human history. However most of the ancient artefacts were actually melted for reuse so recycling was kind of synonymous with re-melting.  

In pre-industrial times, there is evidence of scrap bronze and other metals being collected in Europe and melted down for continuous reuse. Paper recycling was first recorded in 1031 when Japanese shops sold repulped paper. In Britain dust and ash from wood and coal fires was collected by “dustmen” and downcycled as a base material for brick making. These forms of recycling were driven by the economic advantage of obtaining recycled materials instead of virgin material, and the need for waste removal in ever-more-densely populated areas. 

A considerable investment in recycling occurred in the 1970s due to rising energy costs. Recycling aluminium uses only 5% of the energy of virgin production. Glass, paper and other metals have less dramatic but significant energy savings when recycled. Although consumer electronics have been popular since the 1920s, recycling them was almost unheard of until early 1991. The first electronic waste recycling scheme was implemented in Switzerland, beginning with collection of old refrigerators, then expanding to cover all devices. Later in the 21st century recycling became associated with moral principle and duty as recycling helps in protecting our environment. 

National Recycling Day was originally started back in 1997 by the National Recycling Coalition. This day is declared each year in the United States by Presidential Proclamation, which encourages Americans to recycle and is nationally-recognized. In 2009, National Recycling Day was hosted by the Keep America Beautiful initiative. To continue contributing to progress in recycling, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) encourages every person in America to recycle right – not only on National Recycling Day, but on every day of the year! 


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National Recycling Day Significance: 

We all know about the concept of recycling as we have thought about it from the start only first at home then at schools and then we learn about its importance from the internet so most of us already knows that what is recycling and about its benefits but those who still don’t know then it is an alternative to “conventional” waste disposal that can save material and help lower greenhouse gas emissions. It can also prevent the waste of potentially useful materials and reduce the consumption of fresh raw materials, reducing energy use and prevents various types of pollution. 

Recycling is a key component of modern waste reduction and is the third component of the “Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle” waste hierarchy. It promotes environmental sustainability by removing raw material input and redirecting waste output in the economic system. Recyclable materials include many kinds of glass, paper, cardboard, metal, plastic, tires, textiles, batteries, and electronics. The composting and other reuse of biodegradable waste such as food and garden waste is also a form of recycling.  


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Today there are many regulations which promotes recycling like governments have used their own purchasing power to increase recycling demand through “procurement policies”. These policies are either “set-asides”, which reserve a certain amount of spending for recycled products; or “price preference” programs that provide larger budgets when recycled items are purchased. Additional regulations can target specific cases: in the United States, for example, the Environmental Protection Agency mandates the purchase of oil, paper, tires and building insulation from recycled or re-refined sources whenever possible. 

We all are very much aware about the impact that waste causes on our environment. Most of the waste generated today is made up of plastics and we know that plastic is non-biogradable and thus effects our environment very negatively. In this case recycling of such waste is very important in saving our environment. So along with reuse we will also help in protecting our environment as well. Along with protecting our environment recycling is actually very cost-effective as well. As it helps us in reducing cost by reusing the same materials and sometimes it also produces energy like in bio-waste during which waste produces energy so it is very good in economic sense as well. 

National Recycling Day Activities: 

Participating in National Recycling Day is easy because it starts off with every day finding items you don’t use that can be recycled and then recycling them. However, this takes a daily effort and dedication to this act. So what are you waiting for now keep looking for things which you think can be recycled but do make sure that these things get recycled!  

If you want, you can host an event through the Keep America Beautiful website or by yourself to start educating people about recycling. Whether it’s a neighborhood drive to encourage people to turn their broken electrical and electronic items into the recycling center or negotiating to get the community recycling pickups to happen more often so that most people can get the habit of recycling. 


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You can also create social media posts using the hashtag #NationalRecyclingDay to create awareness for this day and about the extremely negative effects of not recycling and the harm it is doing to yourself, your communities, and overall the planet. So, try making that commitment and see where it takes you!  

Most Searched FAQs on National Recycling Day: 

1. When is National Recycling Day celebrated? 

National Recycling Day is annually celebrated on November 15th in US. 

2. When did recycling start in the US? 

Recycling of linen and rags started in the US in 1690, but it wasn’t until WWII that people started recycling household items. 

3. How much does recycling cost in the US? 

Recycling can, reportedly, cost around $50 to $150 per ton. That’s much less than trash collection and processing, showing that for most cases recycling is also more cost-effective.

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