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Recycling effort kicks off Friday

By Hope Miller 1:26 AM November 14, 2013

Nov. 15 is America Recycles Day

ANCHORAGE – This Friday is America Recycles Day, an effort to promote recycling in the United States, and Anchorage residents have joined in to do their part.

Green Star, a conservation-focused nonprofit, along with Denali Elementary School, Mt. Iliamna Elementary School and the Alaska School Psychologists Association have teamed up for the “Recycling Monster Challenge.” Students and adults decorated containers as colorful monsters that can store recyclable items such as newspapers, plastic bottles and aluminum cans.

The monster-themed bins are on display in the ConocoPhillips atrium and will be auctioned off Friday from 6 to 8 p.m. Money from the auction will provide classrooms with school supplies and benefit nonprofits such as the Stone Soup Group, Covenant House and AWAIC. Refreshments will also be provided as well as recycling information.

Kim Kovol, Green Star executive director, said the event is targeted at businesses and hopes it prompts people to pause and think about their behavior when it comes to recycling.

Alaskans for Litter Prevention and Recycling (ALPAR) is using America Recycles Day as a platform to promote a national campaign called “I Want To Be Recycled.” ALPAR coordinated with Keep America Beautiful and the Ad Council for the campaign, which aims to raise awareness about how recycling gives waste materials a second life, according to a press release about the campaign.

Alaskans still have a ways to go when it comes to recycling, said ALPAR Executive Director Mary Fisher.

The national average for recycling solid waste is about 34 percent. Compare that to Anchorage’s 20 percent, she said.

But the numbers grow every year, Fisher said. In 2012, more than 27,000 tons of recyclable materials from Anchorage were shipped to markets locally, in the Lower 48 and around the world, according to ALPAR’s 2013 guide to recycling.

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