Recycle mania

I doubt this was marked on most calendars, but today is America Recycles Day.

Recycling advocates are using it as a way to pump the benefits.

Earlier today in Philadelphia, city recycling coordinator David Biddle and RecycleBank's Denise Diorio McVeigh joined advocates to announce an new initiative for the rewards-based program. RecycleBank tracks how much is recycled -- neighborhood by neighborhood -- and people in that neighborhood who have registered win rewards that can range from coupons for area businesses to donations for charity.

They announced that RecycleNOW Philadelphia will be enlisting and training residents so they can go out and sign up their neighbors, friends, family, and co-workers up for RecycleBank. 

Keep Philadelphia Beautiful used the day to launch its "Bags to Blankets" campaign. The effort provides blankets made from plastic bottles to families in need.  From now through February, for each school or business that hosts a bag recycling effort, the campaign will donate a blanket.

Some Philadelphia officials have sought legislation that would limit the free distribution of plastic bags, but it has not passed. Meanwhile, plastic bag recycling is being encouraged -- as a way to both save resources and reduce litter -- and more than 300 businesses in the city now offer plastic bag recycling at their stores. Find out more about that at the Bring it Back Philly website.

So much for the official campaigns. The rest of us can simply make a point of checking our refuse and sorting everything we can from the trash bin into the recycling bin.

I frequently get questions about what's recyclable and what isn't, but there's no one answer. Different haulers take materials to different facilities, so not all can accept the same things. If you live in the city, check its RecycleBank website.  If your suburban municipality handles trash hauling, check with the borough or township office. If you life in a rural area, as I do, and have to find your own hauler, check with that company to see if they've changed anything and can now accept more materials.