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America Recycles Day showcases local success

By LEXIE O'CONNOR

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Thursday marked the 15th annual America Recycles Day, a nationwide initiative dedicated to increasing awareness and showcasing the accomplishments of recycling.

"It is a day to encourage people to recycle, to remind them to recycle but this community really does not need a lot of reminding," said Executive Director of the Oneida Herkimer Solid Waste Authority Bill Rabbia.

Currently, Oneida and Herkimer counties have a recycling rate of almost 51%, while recycling rates across the nation stand at approximately 34%.

The Solid Waste Authority says their success not only has to do with them staying on top of technology but also the community starting with when the center first opened in 1991.

"We built our integrated solid waste management system from the ground up the community was committed to diverting as much recoverable materials from disposal facilities," said Rabbia.

Rabbia says their new technology combined with the community's help has made it easier for more residents to recycle and reuse materials rather than sending them to a landfill.

"With single stream that we put in place 2011, now we have nearly over a year of operating experience here we've made recycling even easier more cost effective for communities and we have seen an increase in recycables." said Rabbia. "We're now diverting roughly 10 percent more material away from the landfill."

Single stream recycling has made recyclables collection more efficient as well, saving an average of about 6% on waste disposal costs.

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