As Americans continue to struggle with recycling the correct way, Republic Services reminds consumers they can easily make a positive environmental impact on America Recycles Day, and year round, by recycling two common items: aluminum cans and plastic water bottles.

Most Americans believe recycling is important, but they don’t always do it correctly. Approximately 30% of what consumers place in their curbside recycling bins does not belong there, including: greasy pizza boxes, wet cardboard, plastic bags, food-tainted materials, and even bowling balls and garden hoses. Additionally, liquid and food residue often contaminate clean materials that could have been recycled.

As communities across the U.S. mark America Recycles Day on November 15, individuals can simplify their recycling habits and reduce the use of natural resources by focusing on two items with the biggest impact.

  1. Aluminum Cans – Aluminum is infinitely recyclable and provides unrivaled sustainability benefits. It’s possible to recycle an aluminum can and put it back on store shelves within 30 days. And, recycling just one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a television for three hours.
  2. Plastic Water Bottles – Americans buy approximately 50 billion plastic bottles of water a year, yet only one in four bottles is recycled. Most plastic water bottles can be recycled to make new bottles and many everyday products, including synthetic fiber for clothing and carpet.

Recycling Simplified at Home and in the Classroom
In an effort to introduce positive recycling habits at a young age, Republic Services employees will visit classrooms in several cities on America Recycles Day to teach lessons from its Recycling Simplified education program. This free, downloadable curriculum was designed with teachers for teachers for pre-kindergarten through twelfth grades to help incorporate recycling education in schools. The lesson plans support students’ real-world learning about sustainability and how to recycle properly and align with individual grade-level curriculum standards in multiple disciplines such as science and STEM.

For more information about the school curriculum and recycling, visit for tips, videos, recycling container labels, and many other resources to simplify and improve recycling.

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