America Recycles Day provides opportunity to renew environmental dedication Published Nov. 9, 2012 By Paul Edwards 509th Civil Engineer Squadron Environmental Engineer WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. -- Nov. 15 is a holiday! Whoa, calm down, and take the briefcase back out of the closet. No one gets a day off, but you can buy a card or even party supplies to mark the occasion. It might not be a Hallmark holiday, but appropriate materials do carry a special logo. Just turn the card or plates upside down and find the famous three arrow triangle that designates an item as being made from recyclable products. Nov. 15 is America Recycles Day - a special day set aside to encourage Americans to recycle and buy recycled products. First celebrated in 1997, the number of participants has grown each year as communities and individuals renew their commitment to preserving our planet's resources. Recycling has been around for many years and has proven to be an easy and effective way to manage waste. According to www.americarecyclesday.org, the average American generates about seven and a half pounds of waste each day - nearly 1.5 tons a year! Recycling plastic, metal, and paper not only significantly reduces the amount of material sent to incinerators and landfills, it also goes into making many new products. Most of us are used to seeing paper and cardboard made from recycled paper, but did you know that the soda bottle you recycled a couple of months ago may be in that new park bench down by the Commissary? The more people recycle, the more material is available for products we all use every day. So how does this help the environment? In addition to not going into landfills, using recycled material means that manufacturers have to take fewer raw materials from the environment. This saves a lot of energy and helps preserve natural habitats. Here at Whiteman, we are committed to preserving the environment through, in part, offering comprehensive recycling services. In the last year we have added glass and pallets to the long list of commodities we recycle. We offer 24/7 access to the recycling center across the street from the Shoppette.We offer many recyclable drop-off bins located throughout the installation. You can place separated cardboard, office papers, aluminum cans and plastics in these and our recycling center personnel will come by to pickup. We offer recyclable containers for any Team Whiteman individual that requests them. These can be placed in the workplace or used for a special event such as a picnic or ceremony. And we strive to accommodate any other unique requests. If you are having an inspection party and anticipate an excess amount of paper, then let us know and we will accommodate. The Air Force is dedicated to protecting and respecting the natural resources of our country and our world. As part of our ongoing Win the War Against Waste campaign, an initiative to reduce solid waste, we encourage all our active duty members, civilian employees, and their family members to support us on Nov. 15 by renewing your commitment to recycling.