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Peoria Picks Up Campaign Encourages Recycling

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Recyclable items will be making it into Peoria residents’ carts Sunday for America Recycles Day. 

Peoria Public Works is pairing up with Peoria Disposal Company (PDC) to celebrate the nationally recognized occasion that started in 1997. 

They both will be participating in the Peoria Picks Up campaign, designed to raise awareness about recycling efforts. 

“We are raising awareness to try to get people to sign up to get a recycling cart, if they don’t already have one,” said Public Works Communications Specialist Alexandria Williams. “Or to just visit our website and get familiar with the materials we do accept. glass,paper cardboard or whatever, we are trying to get more people to actually recycle in the city of Peoria.”

All residents have to do is sign upor call PDC.

“Everyone that lives in the City of Peoria has the ability to participate in our recycling program,” said Williams. “Every property is entitled to one PDC recycling cart.”

“I think it is amazing that we have this service offered in the City of Peoria. There are some communities who are not recycling,” said Williams. “Considering we offer bi-monthly recycling, it’s a great opportunity for people to get involved and protect the environment and also staying conscious of where we are with recycling in society.” 

The campaign has increased the participation rate. About two years ago the city started at about 0%. 

Currently, Peoria has a recycling rate of 44% according to a June 2020 Peoria Picks Up report. The city’s goal is 90%. 

The national recycling rate has increased from less than 7% in 1960 to the current rate of 35%.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average person generates over 4 pounds of trash every day and about 1.5 tons of solid waste per year.

“Recycling just diverts materials that would normally go into the landfill,” said Williams. “It actually keeps them in recycling and keeps them going and gives them new life. People don’t necessarily think of their trash as commodities, but there are certain items that can continue on their life-span given the chance. Just place them into your recycle bin.” 

And recycling also has a big impact on the country’s workforce.

An EPA study found that on a national scale, every 10,000 tons of materials recycled supports nearly 16 jobs and $760,000 in wages. 

To build on the progress, the EPA encourages everyone to contribute by recycling correctly, not only on America Recycles Day, but throughout the year as well.

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Catrina Petersen is an intern at WGLT focused on reporting and online writing. She is also a student in Illinois State University's School of Communication.