recycling signs introduced in Minnesota
Inconsistent and often confusing signage on
recycling bins in the United States has been an issue since the
introduction of recycling in the United States twenty-plus years
ago. The Recycle Across America website introduces and provides
standardized signage to help eliminate confusion, improve capture
rates and improve the quality of materials being collected.
“There are literally thousands, if not millions of variations
of signs on recycling bins across the country,” said Mitch Hedlund
of Recycle Across America. “This inconsistency has led to frustration,
mistakes, contaminated contents, valuable recyclable materials
ending up in landfills and ultimately, inaction. Since the signs
can be applied to existing bins, purchasing new bins is not necessary.”
According the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) in just
one school district, improved consistency in recycling practices
throughout their 15 school buildings resulted in a 47 percent
increase in capture rates.
“Many other state recycling organizations like the Recycling
Association of Minnesota (RAM) are promoting this voluntary approach
to use standardized recycling signs. Every time another school
or business uses the signs, it helps spread the message nationwide.
Eventually as you travel cross-country you’ll start to see the
same signs being used everywhere,” stated Ellen Telander, executive
director of RAM.
The standardized signage initiative was proposed by UPonGREEN
Environmental Advancement Foundation at the recycling industry’s
2009 RAM/SWANA Conference and Show in Minneapolis. As a result,
the solution has been embraced and eagerly adopted by national
industry leaders who recognize the positive and long-lasting
impact such an effort can have on society, the environment and
the overall practice of recycling.
Any business or organization interested participating in this
initiative to help expedite environmental progress and eliminate
confusion can visit www.recycleacrossamerica.org to print the
signage themselves at no cost or they can place an order to have
the signs professionally printed on heavy-duty materials. An
organization or a business’s logo can also be added to the signs.