Each year on Nov. 15, millions of people across the United States take part in America Recycles Day.

The purpose of America Recycles Day is to raise awareness about recycling and the purchasing of recycled products. Everyone is encouraged to recycle, buy recycled goods and help teach others about the benefits of recycling.

In 1997, the National Recycling Coalition started America Recycles Day. Keep America Beautiful started participating in the program in 2009. There are thousands of events held across the United States to celebrate America Recycles Day, including a free recycling event in Rocky Mount.

On Nov. 14, we will hold our annual America Recycles event from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Golden East Crossing mall in the JCPenney parking lot. We will have a Shred-It truck on-site to collect documents and paperwork for shredding (limit of 5 boxes or bags per vehicle, please). The Rocky Mount Police Department will be on-site to collect any old or no longer needed prescription medications.

American Greenz will be on-site to collect household hazardous waste, which includes paint, stain, varnish, LP gas tanks up to grill size, pesticides, cleaners, aerosol cans, lead acid batteries, alkaline dry cell batteries, lithium batteries, fuel waste, unbroken CFL bulbs and automotive fluids. The City of Rocky Mount Environmental Services staff will be onsite to collect old or unwanted electronics, including computers, cellphones, TVs, radios, etc.

We encourage everyone to come out and participate in this free event.

Volunteers are needed to help at this event. We welcome students ages 12 and up, civic clubs, individuals, school groups, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, church groups, businesses and anyone that wants to lend a hand.

We will be practicing social distancing and face masks will be required. If you are interested in volunteering, contact me at stephanie.collins@rockymountnc.gov or 252-467-4960.

This event would not be possible without the volunteer support and financial support from our friends at Cummins Rocky Mount Engine Plant. This is the sixth year that Cummins has sponsored this event and we are proud to partner with them. Not only does Cummins Rocky Mount Engine Plant sponsor America Recycles Day, but they also send out employees to clean up areas in Tarboro and Rocky Mount and they have employees that serve on our Keep America Beautiful board. We cannot praise them enough for the positive impact they have on our communities.

Last year, we had 42 volunteers that assisted with the event and over 465 participants. We collected over 10,000 pounds of paper for shredding/recycling, 17,160 pounds of electronics were recycled, over 120 pounds of prescription medications were collected and destroyed and 12,543 pounds of household hazardous waste materials were properly disposed of.

Contact me at 252-467-4960 or stephanie.collins@rockymountnc.gov with any questions or concerns.