THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
AMERICA RECYCLES DAY, 1999
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Recycling is one of the great success stories in America's crusade to protect our environment and preserve our natural resources. Americans have undergone a fundamental change in attitude about recycling during the past 4 decades. Where most Americans and many industries were once unmindful of our resources and careless in disposing of waste materials, people across our country now recognize the importance of recycling and have made it part of their daily routines. In 1996 alone, recycling nationwide diverted a total of 57 million tons of material away from landfills and incinerators -- more than a quarter of our country's annual municipal solid waste.
Nonetheless, the recycling process is complete only when recovered materials return to the market as new products for purchase by consumers. The most effective way we can ensure the continued success of recycling in America is to expand markets for products that contain recycled materials. Buying recycled products conserves resources, reduces water and air pollution, saves energy, and creates jobs. Producing 1 ton of paper from recycled pulp saves 17 trees, 3 cubic yards of landfill space, and 7000 gallons of water. It also reduces air pollutants by 60 pounds, saves 390 gallons of oil, and conserves 4200 kilowatt hours of energy -- enough to heat a home for half a year. Estimates show that 9 jobs are created for every 15,000 tons of solid waste recycled into new products.
The U.S. Government has helped promote recycling by purchasing recycled-content products -- in fiscal 1997 alone, we purchased $354 million worth of such products. In September of 1998, I was proud to sign Executive Order 13101 -- Greening the Government Through Waste Prevention, Recycling, and Federal Acquisition -- which directed all Federal agencies to expand and strengthen the Federal Government's dedication to recycling and to buying products made with recycled content. This responsible use of Government purchasing power will not only help the environment, but will also stimulate the growth of clean industries in the 21st century.
America Recycles Day unites business and industry, environmental and civic groups, and local, State, and Federal Government agencies to encourage recycling. This partnership challenges all businesses and consumers in America to increase their purchases of recycled products, to boost their recycling efforts, and to start new recycling programs. The theme for this year's observance -- "For Our Children's Future . . . Buy Recycled Today" -- reminds us of the profound and long-term implications of the actions we take today. By using products with recycled content and creating new markets for such products, we will conserve America's precious natural resources for the benefit of generations to come.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM J. CLINTON, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim November 15, 1999, as America Recycles Day. I urge all Americans to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities and to take personal responsibility for the environment not only by recycling, but also by choosing to purchase and use products made from recycled materials.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fifteenth day of November, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twenty-fourth.
WILLIAM J. CLINTON
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