On Thursday, Nov. 15, Keep Virginia Beautiful (KVB) is joining thousands of local organizers holding recycling events across the country to celebrate America Recycles Day, the only nationally recognized day dedicated to promoting and celebrating recycling in the United States. KVB will team up with Dominion Virginia Power and Virginia Green to install recycling carts and educational signage and to do some trail clearing in three Virginia State Parks — First Landing in Virginia Beach, Lake Anna in Spotsylvania County and Leesylvania in Woodbridge. These events will be held simultaneously in the afternoon of Nov. 15. Additionally, all 35 Virginia State Parks will receive between six and eight 95-gallon recycling containers and educational signage over the winter months to be installed and ready for use by the Spring of 2013.

Keeping Virginia beautiful is no simple task, but one great place we can start is within our award-winning Virginia State Parks, managed by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation. In June, KVB was awarded a $25,000 grant from Dominion to install additional recycling carts in each of the 35 state parks. Dominion is the parent company of Dominion Virginia Power. Funding is provided by The Dominion Foundation, the company’s charitable arm.

“The protection of the environment is not only important to Dominion as a company, but also to our employees,” said Pamela F. Faggert, Dominion’s chief environmental officer. “Many of them will volunteer to work at three state parks on November 15, installing recycling carts and cleaning up the grounds. We remain environmentally responsible and wholeheartedly support spreading the recycling message to all those who visit Virginia’s state parks.

Environmental education and natural resource stewardship are integral to the mission of Virginia State Parks and they are now fully committed to provide recycling opportunities to their visitors. However, state parks have been limited in their ability to recycle, due to a lack of suitable and sufficient equipment. While all state parks now have some sort of recycling program in place, most have only a few recycling containers in use. Many maintain more than 100 trash cans and less than 5-10 “makeshift” recycling containers. The lack of suitable, highly-visible recycling containers has been identified as a major need for implementing effective recycling programs in Virginia’s state parks. Therefore, KVB, Dominion, and Virginia Green will provide more than 250 additional bins and educational signs in order for each of them to improve and grow their recycling efforts.

These state parks are the starting point of all that we hold beautiful and natural in our state. By helping all 35 state parks, KVB and its partners would essentially be able to reach hundreds of thousands of Virginians that visit our state park system with our recycling message. KVB feels responsible for keeping our natural and scenic areas beautiful. By providing recycle bins, KVB and Dominion can help the 35 Virginia State Parks sustain their natural beauty and cleanliness for all to enjoy, especially our future generations.

“This partnership with KVB and Dominion will pay huge dividends for all Virginians,” said DCR’s State Parks Director Joe Elton. “The recycling containers allow us to greatly increase our in-park recycling efforts keeping valuable resources out of our landfills. Perhaps more importantly, the signage and our commitment to bring a recycling message to our visitors will encourage more Virginians to recycle at home and at work.”

“Virginia’s State Parks are wonderful destinations that draw visitors to Virginia who are looking to spend quality time with loved ones in the great outdoors,” said Rita McClenny, Interim president and CEO of the Virginia Tourism Corporation. “We are proud to promote our state parks and the many other green vacation destinations throughout Virginia.”

“We are very proud supporters of KVB’s America Recycles Day events and commend their efforts to promote recycling in Virginia. Recycling is the easiest thing we can all do to save energy, conserve natural resources and create green jobs. Collectively, through events like these, we aim to make recycling bigger and better 365 days a year,” said Brenda Pulley, Vice President of Recycling Programs at Keep America Beautiful and national program manager for America Recycles Day.

Image courtesy Keep Virginia Beautiful

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