Recycling of post-consumer materials has been a way of life in America for decades.
In recognition, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad has established today as America Recycles Day in Iowa. This event, part of a nationwide observance, is designed to promote awareness of the benefits of recycling.
According to the Iowa Recycling Association, a network of business, industry and local governments focusing on advancing effective recycling activities, recycling is a multi-billion industry that employs millions of Americans.
The rewards of recycling are manifold. In addition to keeping usable material out of landfills, recycling materials can also save energy. Indeed, recycling just one aluminum can saves the energy equivalent of powering a 46-inch television for three hours.
In Iowa, the recycling industry generates more than $2.4 billion in annual industrial output and supports more than 11,400 jobs, according to the association.
Annually, Iowa diverts 36 percent of waste generated, recycling 1.2 million tons per year.
On the local front, strides have been made to promote the practice.
In Fort Dodge, single stream recycling, which makes the process easier for residents by removing the requirement to separate materials, is being tested for six months in 100 homes on the city's north side and another 100 on the south side.
Eventually, the entire city will be converted to single stream recycling, with a tentative start date of 2014.
We welcome these strides in conservation. The Messenger urges all Iowans to incorporate recycling and other green initiatives into their regular household routines.