Minneapolis recycling
Minneapolis viewed from Lake Calhoun. Photo by Jon Platek.
America Recycles DaySince 1997, people across the country have come together on November 15 to celebrate America Recycles Day. This is the only nationally recognized day dedicated to the promotion of recycling — a day to educate and motivate our neighbors, friends and community leaders about what can be achieved when we all work together. Here’s how to get involved if you live in the Twin Cities and surrounding areas:

Recycle Your Holidays kickoff

Recycle Your Holidays is a statewide holiday light recycling program, which is relaunching for another holiday season. Holiday light collections will be at various businesses throughout the state of Minnesota. Public drop-off locations can be found at RecycleMinnesota.org. Recycle Your Holidays is a program of the Recycling Association of Minnesota. Holiday lights are collected from local businesses and organizations by vocational centers that employ individuals with disabilities. This program provides meaningful employment for these individuals. Collections began November 1 and continue until January 31, 2012. Location: Various locations throughout Minnesota Dates: November 1, 2011 through January 31, 2012 Contact: Maggie Mattacola, Recycling Association of Minnesota

America Recycles Day at River Bend Nature Center

Bring your recyclable items to River Bend Nature Center and receive a free gift made out of recyclable materials (please bring a reasonable amount if recycling small items like aluminum cans or candy wrappers). Tour the first-ever Eco-Market featuring products made from recycled materials from local vendors or purchase a rain barrel from the Cannon River Watershed Project. Come learn about composting, participate in the aluminum can competition (more information to be announced) or learn how to make your own paper. Information will be available from the Rice County Environmental Services Department about your local recycling options. Eco-Market and programs begin at 3:30 p.m. Location: River Bend Nature Center, 1000 Rustad Rd., Faribault, MN 55021 Date: Tuesday, November 15, 2011 Time: 8 to 8 Contact: Suzy Boysen, River Bend Nature Center

Tech Dump

Tech Dump is a free electronics recycling event sponsored by Jobs Foundation. Tech Dump will accept computers, laptops, mice, cell phones, keyboards, routers, switches, servers, flat-panel monitors, external and internal peripherals and other computer-related devices. Broken and obsolete items as well as hardware in good, working condition will be accepted. A tax-deductible receipt will be given for each donation and a Certificate of Destruction for data-storing devices will be furnished to the donor upon request. Location: Jobs Foundation, 2050 E. Center Cir., Plymouth, MN 55441 Date: Tuesday, November 15, 2011 Time: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Contact: Jenny Walsh, Jobs Foundation

America Recycles Day in Brooklyn Park

A table will be set up in Brooklyn Park City Hall with education/awareness materials and staff to help answer questions. The focus is on employees, but residents that are interested will also receive outreach. Staff will be reinforcing and strengthening the We Choose to Reduce program. Location: City Hall, 5200 85th Ave. N., Brooklyn Park, MN 55443 Date: Tuesday, November 15, 2011 Time: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Contact: Emily Bowers, City of Brooklyn Park

America Recycles Day in St. Paul

Educational information about recycling will be available in the St. Thomas student union, along with the possibility of an evening video about recycling. Location: University of St. Thomas, 2115 Summit Ave., St. Paul, MN 55105 Date: Tuesday, November 15, 2011 Time:11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Contact: Robert Douglas, University of St. Thomas For more information on these and other events in the Twin Cities and surrounding areas, visit AmericaRecyclesDay.org.