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Earth Day: Recycling in Anchorage

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) – Earth Day began here in the United States on April 22, 1970.

This particular month and day was chosen because it occurred midway between spring break and final exams for most universities. In this way, the greatest number of young college students could join and be active in the movement.

It wasn’t until 1990, however, that Earth Day went global, or what we might call viral today. Thirty years ago, 200 million people in 141 countries helped put environmental issues at the center of our daily lives. The biggest issue that came out of Earth Day was recycling.

Although recycling in Alaska is different than in the Lower 48, it does happen here. Unless you pay for curbside pickup, you’ll need to do a bit of work sorting and then getting your items to a number of centers for recycling. The Anchorage Recycling Center includes the WestRock Recycling Center near Dowling Road and Rosewood Street in South Anchorage. The recycling depot is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year (366 for leap day).

The Anchorage Solid Waste Services Department provided graphics showing what, where, and how Anchorage residents can drop off their recyclable materials.

Each year, about 1,000 shipping containers are sent to the lower 48 from Alaska with recyclable materials, and the state’s youth litter program kicks off later this month. Approximately $80,000 in grants are provided through this program to inspire the next generation to care for the communities in which they live.

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