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Recycling movement hits record high

The green movement shows no signs of slowing down. Paper and cardboard recycling in the United States reached a record high in 2009, according to the American Forest and Paper Association.

Statistics from AF&PA show that in 2009, 50,036 tons of paper and cardboard were recovered for recycling, amounting to a whopping 63% of all paper consumed in the U.S. last year.

“Recycling is a hot topic right now, and more people want to do their part to help the environment,” said Bob Novak, Divisional Vice President of Novak Sanitary Service, a Sioux Falls-based garbage collection company. “Recycling is more than a trend; it’s a way of life.”

According to the AF&PA, 87% of Americans now have access to curbside or drop-off recycling programs. Novak sees the increased availability of recycling programs as key to the record-high amount of paper recycled last year.

“When you have easy access to a recycling program, there’s no excuse for throwing paper away,” Novak said. “Garbage collection companies that offer single stream recycling make it even easier, because you don’t have to separate the different types of recyclables. You can just throw it all in one container, which saves time and eliminates confusion.”

Novak Sanitary Service has been a leader in encouraging recycling in the Sioux Falls and surrounding areas, and last year announced a partnership with RecycleBank to offer customer incentives for recycling.  Customers of the waste removal company earn points for participating in Novak’s single stream curbside recycling program, which are redeemable for gift cards, travel, electronics and more.

“The RecycleBank program has been an excellent way to persuade our customers to start recycling,” states Novak. “Once they get started, it becomes a habit. We expect the program will continue to grow, and it’s our hope that in the future nothing that could have been recycled will end up in a landfill.”