Each year, the nation celebrates America Recycles Day on Nov. 15. Started in 1997, this day is recognized as the only day dedicated to encouraging Americans to recycle and buy recycled products.

I have said many times that I firmly believe there are two major reasons people do not recycle. One, it is not convenient. Whether you have curbside recycling or drop-off centers, throwing items in the trashcan is just more convenient according to many people.

Getting in the habit of recycling will cure inconvenience.

The second reason people don’t recycle is they don’t think it makes a difference. Keep America Beautiful heard this and came up with some interesting quick facts.

Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run your television for four hours. Recycling one glass bottle saves enough energy to power a computer for 30 minutes.

America Recycles Day is a great day to start recycling or expand your recycling efforts. The goal is to start small.

When I speak to students, I encourage them to start by recycling one item at home. Cereal boxes and other cardboard usually work best. They are easy (and fun) to flatten, and they don’t need to be rinsed or handled carefully.

Student can easily identify cardboard items in the pantry, refrigerator, freezer or bathroom. For many families, cardboard can be dropped off at a recycling center near the student’s school.

Once the family realizes how easy it is to recycle, other items can be added to the list. This is a great week to jumpstart your recycling efforts.

In February, Keep Opelika Beautiful hosted a forum called Community Canopy. The public was encouraged to attend this question-and-answer session at the Lewis Cooper Library. At that time, the city had recently contracted services with arborist George Barker of Natural Resource Consultants.

George was hired to provide a tree inventory for the city. He was also charged with identifying dying trees in the downtown area and North Historic District.

Many people attended the February forum and were given detailed information about George’s plans. You may recall that replacing the 18 red maples at Courthouse Square was part of the Community Canopy program.

In addition to the tree identification process, the city began work to make city buildings, sidewalks and intersections ADA accessible.

If you have driven down 10th Street or other streets in the historic district, you may have noticed that several trees have been cut or trimmed. Each of the trees were assessed and deemed unsafe.

Additional public forums were hosted in June, and homeowners impacted by the unsafe trees were contacted. If you have any questions about the trees being cut down or trimmed, contact Keep Opelika Beautiful.

Tipi Colley Miller is the director of Keep Opelika Beautiful Inc. and writes a weekly column. Contact her at tipi@keepopelikabeautiful.com.

Tipi Colley Miller is the director of Keep Opelika Beautiful Inc. and writes a weekly column. Contact her at tipi@keepopelikabeautiful.com.

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