County to Highlight Reduce + Reuse at Annual Prince William Recycles Day

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Provided by Roger LeBlanc, Prince William County Solid Waste Division

For over two decades, Prince William County Solid Waste Division has been hosting Prince William Recycles Day in conjunction with America Recycles Day. This year’s event will be held at the Prince William County Landfill on Saturday, Oct. 13, from 10:00 a. m. to 2:00 p. m., and admission is free. County residents and families are encouraged to attend to learn how they can support waste reduction, save landfill space and found out what’s new about recycling.

“Managing our waste is something most people probably don’t think much about, but it is a very important part of taking care of our environment and sustaining healthy communities,” says Deborah Campbell, Communications Specialist for the Solid Waste Division. “Recycling can be puzzling and even people that recycle regularly learn something new at our event.”

Families board the Landfill Tour Bus to see up close where waste is managed

The annual event has grown to attract over 1,000 residents who come out every year to enjoy entertainment, play recycling themed games, learn more about the environment, and tour the County Landfill. Local high school students will also display their artwork made from recycled products, and numerous county organizations will provide information, share volunteer opportunities and ways to participate in an environmentally friendly activities. A recycling magic show has been added this year, which is sure to amaze and inform children and adults alike.

Recycling in Prince William County has had some slight shifts over the years with a rate of 33.7 percent in 2015, 36.8 percent in 2016 and 34.6 percent in 2017.  The national recycle rate, just under 35 percent, has been flat for several years (latest published rate 34.7 percent in 2015).    However, all of us can still make substantial progress in solid waste management with some actions focused on reduce and reuse aspects.

The theme for Prince William Recycles Day 2018, Double Down on Waste, will shine a spotlight on recycling’s often neglected, perhaps less glamorous siblings – reduce and reuse. While recycling is a wonderful option, all waste reduction alternatives must be utilized for successful landfill conservation and future waste disposal in Prince William County.

Strategies to reduce waste include not making waste in the first place. Opt for reusable products instead of disposable ones, reusable shopping bags and water bottles are great examples of this. Also buy products made from recycled material and select products with less packaging, which is a more sustainable practice.

Some ideas for reuse include get products repaired, donate items in good condition, or resell them, instead of throwing them away.  Purchase second-hand items. Another great reuse alternative, borrow or rent items that are used infrequently.

Another less well known waste reduction strategy is “pre-cycling”. Consider how the product and packaging will be disposed before you buy it. This avoids bringing unneeded waste into your home and cuts waste at the source before trash is even created. Buying products in bulk with less packaging instead of single use items, for example coffee, sugar and condiments.

Also, purchasing products that are packaged in materials that are recyclable in your community, such as aluminum beverage containers, steel food cans, cardboard cartons and plastic soda bottles.  An example is buying eggs in a paper carton, which can be placed in the recycling in the Prince William area instead of polystyrene (Styrofoam ®), which should not be placed in the recycling container.

Discover more tips for waste reduction and reuse at Prince William Recycles Day in October. For more information about the Recycles Day event or other Prince William County Solid Waste programs, visit





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