On 15 November 2017, America Recycles Day, the United States Army Reserve reinforces its commitment to recycling. Recycling reduces pollution and greenhouse gas emissions by diverting material from landfills and reducing the production of new products. Recycling reduces the amount of energy it takes to produce items, instead of using raw materials. Recycling also conserves the Earth's natural resources by reusing existing materials over and over again to produce new products.
America Recycles Day is an ideal time for our Soldiers, staff, and their families to educate ourselves and expand our knowledge of recycling. Most people are aware of common recyclable items, such as plastic bottles, aluminum and steel cans, office paper, and newspaper. However, there are countless other items that can -- and should be -- recycled, not only at home, but in the workplace. Recycling uncommon and difficult items, such as electronics, batteries, and pallets, will further increase diversion of trash generated at Army Reserve facilities from landfills and reduce our disposal costs.
Our Army Reserve members are encouraged to expand his or her knowledge of what can be recycled. Please consider making your first thought "How and where can I recycle this?" Then, take the next step in "KNOW BEFORE YOU THROW" by seeking out the answer. The answer may be found at your Installation or facility's Department of Public Works office, in on-line resources, or through state and local channels.
The Army Reserve Installation Management Directorate's Sustainability Programs Branch offers information through various social media networks such as Facebook(facebook.com/SustainableUSAR), Twitter (@SustainableUSAR), and a blog (https://sustainableusar.com/); our quarterly "Soldiers for Sustainability" magazine; and public events such as Earth Day and America Recycles Day. Many of our Army Reserve Installations, Readiness Divisions, and the Mission Support Command offer their own information resources as well.
Thankfully, there are many additional resources readily available to quickly learn how and where to recycle numerous items. Some of North America's most extensive recycling databases, such as iwanttoberecycled.org or search.earth911.com, offer new and creative ways to recycle and reuse items. These sites assist in finding locations near you that accept and recycle many products and materials. Several national and local companies provide information on their recycling services such as IKEA's "Mattress Recycling Initiative" and Best Buy's electronics recycling program. Most supermarkets these days offer plastic bag recycling services. State and local governments provide information on recycling mandates, bans, incentives, and programs such as "pay-as-you-throw," product stewardship and take-back programs.
The Army Reserve remains committed to being a responsible and knowledgeable partner in the communities it serves. As America strives to preserve and protect its natural resources, so does the Army Reserve strive to protect our precious and finite resources, as well as our freedom. Commit to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle!
MARSHALL D. BANKS
DIRECTOR, ARMY RESERVE INSTALLATION MANAGEMENT DIRECTORATE
No federal endorsement of non-Department of Defense agencies or links is intended.