November is here and for many of us that gets us thinking about Thanksgiving and all the things for which we are thankful. It’s also the month that we celebrate America Recycles Day (Nov. 15) and it provides us an opportunity to think about how we all reduce, reuse and recycle.
Recycling programs have been around for a long time and participation has jumped over the years. Per the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the recycling rate has increased from less than seven percent in 1960 to the current rate of 32 percent. Plus, an EPA study found that recycling and reuse activities in the United States accounted for 681,000 jobs and $37.8 billion in wages.
We encourage our customers to reuse, reduce and recycle not only on America Recycles Day, but every day. Each city in the vast APS territory across the state has its own recycling policies and best practices, so check your city’s website for details.
For our part, we have an APS team dedicated to reducing, reusing and recycling. Our Investment Recovery team’s primary purpose is to keep our used or antiquated equipment and materials out of our state’s landfills after they have served their purpose.
Here are two ways that our Investment Recovery (IR) team has reused or plans to reuse materials and equipment:
1. Our IR team regularly collects older or damaged APS-logoed clothing and fire-resistant clothing from employees and then donates the clothing to Goodwill Industries, which shreds the clothing and finds helpful uses for it, such as making more clothes with the shredded fabrics or using the shredded clothing fibers for insulation.
It's a win-win endeavor as it gives the material a second life, and, by shredding the clothing, it cannot be used by scammers who might have happened upon it otherwise.
In 2021, APS donated roughly 1,000 pounds of used APS clothing to Goodwill.
2. In past years, we discarded approximately 1,100 wooden reels per year. The IR team has been working to find a solution to reduce this waste and find a partner that could reuse the reels. The team recently created a partnership with CTS Greenwaste Recycling, which will transform the used wooden reels into mulch, keeping them out of our landfills. We are excited to start this project in 2022.