US Mayor Article

Earth Day 2000 Clean Your Files Day Success

July 17, 2000


Nearly 150 cities and more than 100 other organizations once again celebrated Earth Day 2000 by hosting a "Clean Your Files Day" event. Clean Your Files Day is the official Earth Day event of the U.S. Conference of Mayors' Recycling at Work Campaign. The event encourages employees to clean out their files and recycle the office paper at work. This simple concept was piloted in Chicago in 1995, resulting in recycling rates increasing to twelve times the normal rate of collection! By participating in Clean Your Files Day, employees are reminded of the importance of recycling at work every day.

Clean Your Files Day participants reported collecting more than 500 tons of paper at events hosted around the country this year. Below are just a few of the highlights from these many unique events:

1) Kansas City/Jackson County (MO)

Jackson County, Missouri challenged area businesses and governments to participate in the largest "Clean Out Your Files Day" event held in the Kansas City Metro Region. Eleven organizations recycled more than 27.5 tons of mixed office paper. On May 10, 2000, 8 drop-off sites, located throughout the metropolitan area were available for small and medium businesses to take their mixed office paper. Since 1996, Jackson County's office recycling program has recycled more than 1000 tons of materials and has saved county taxpayers more than $200,000.

2) City of Ann Arbor (MI)

Ann Arbor used the slogan "Recycling is NOT an Alien Concept" to promote its Clean Your Files Day. An alien mascot greeted municipal workers as they arrived at City Hall. The city also displayed a natural gas Honda Civic in front of City Hall. The employee that came closest to guessing the total amount of paper collected for the day received use of the new Honda Civic for one week, as well as a parking spot at City Hall.

3) Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency Syracuse (NY)

To promote Clean Your Files Day to the community, Onondaga County partnered with a radio station to promote a contest at a their local mall. A 1974 Volkswagon was stuffed with paper and people were invited to guess the amount of paper in the car. The winner that came closest to the actual amount (640 pounds) won a suite for one night at a local hotel.

4) U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Office of Solid Waste

EPA headquarters for solid waste supported its recycling message by hosting its own internal Clean Your Files Day event. They collected approximately 1.75 tons of paper over two days.

5) City of Waco (TX)

Waco hosted an educational exhibit during its Clean Your Files Day event. Exhibitors from local businesses participated by promoting their recycling programs as well as a variety of recycled products.

6) Washoe District Health Department Reno (NV)

Washoe District Health Department partnered with several local radio stations to promote its Clean Your Files Day event. It conducted two live radio interviews each hour throughout the day of the event.

7) Haywood County (NC)

Haywood Vocational Services asked local businesses and schools to "roll up their sleeves" and clean out their files for recycling. They successfully assisted these organizations in collecting more than 7 tons of materials during the event.

Other events of note include the City of Los Angeles, which collected 147 tons of paper from its municipal offices, and the U.S. Postal Service Suncoast District Office, which collected an average of 100 pounds of paper per employee during their event.

The Recycling at Work Campaign appreciates the participation and enthusiastic support of the cities and businesses that annually support the Clean Your Files Day event. We also thank the sponsors of the event: The Direct Marketing Association, Fort James Corporation, Hewlett-Packard Company, Lexmark International, Inc., Waste Management, and Weyerhaeuser Company.

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U.S. Mayor
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