Recycling may seem so common sense to you that talking about it feels like beating a dead horse, but it’s good to be reminded of the importance of one’s personal commitment to protection of the environment, and recycling is one simple way that you can lessen your footprint on the world. Tuesday, November 15 is National America Recycles Day, and the AS Recycle Center will be stationed in Red Square, fielding any and all recycle-related questions you may have.

“What we do is try to raise awareness. Because Western students are so environmentally centered, it’s not like anyone going to be saying, ‘boo, recycling.’ What we try to do is show people how to recycle correctly,” said Ebe Ball, who works in the Recycle Center as the Recycle Educator. “We’ll be offering candy and information about the Recycle Center here, and also information about recycling in general,” she said. “Our aim is to get knowledge out there.”

The AS Recycle Center was started in 1971 by Huxley students. Today, it employs about 15 students, who collect nearly 38 hundred pounds of recycling per day! Ball said that the largest challenge the center faces is, “trying to convince people to just walk those few extra steps [to a recycling bin]” because, despite the fact that there are 500 recycling barrels on campus, there is not one by every single trash can. Ball said that these 500 barrels are the maximum number that the staff can pick up. Although it would be nice to have a recycling barrel for every trash can, Ball pointed out that there is at least one recycling barrel on every floor of every building at the University, and all it takes to recycle is holding on to your empty soda can just a few steps longer till you come to one of the many bins.

“Recycling is important for the sustainability of the earth,” said Ball. “There is no doubt among scientists and scholars that we can’t go on living like we are now. Recycling is such an easy step to make life more sustainable. Its something that’s not going to save the world by itself, but it will definitely help.”

In addition to the Q & A booth in Red Square on Tuesday, the AS bookstore will be offering 20% off all recycled items all week long. As part of the national event, there will be a lottery drawing to win a brand new Ford Escape Hybrid, “the cleanest and most fuel efficient SUV in the world.” It seems a bit ironic that giving away a car is part of a National Recycling event, but as Ball said, “You can’t ignore that US society is so reliant on individual transportation. Obviously with the monorail in Seattle, we’re trying to bridge that, but we’re not even close. It is a bit ironic to give away an SUV.” The idea is that the Hybrid is an eco-friendly alternative to its gas-guzzling, emission-releasing associates. Celebrate America Recycles day by renewing your personal commitment to recycling, and stop by the Recycle Center table in Red square on November 15 to get all your recycling questions answered!