Savvy Blog

Beverage Containers Collected During Charles River Cleanup

In April of this year, Regional Recycling and Waste Reduction District implemented a new recycling program for the residents in the cities of Little Rock, North Little Rock and Sherwood.

See information about the Art of Recycling Sculpture Contest at the bottom of this post!

The new Single Stream Recycling on a Roll program has made recycling easier than ever and residents in Little Rock, North Little Rock and Sherwood have responded positively to the changes—the recycling bins have been replaced with 65 gallon bins complete with a lid and wheels.

John Roberts, Executive Director of Regional Recycling and Waste Reduction District, said they put a lot of research into the program and the positive results speak for themselves. “The secret to a good recycling program is to make it convenient,” Roberts said.

And that’s just what Regional Recycling did. You literally place all your recyclables in one bin, instead of separating them out, and place the 65 gallon bin on your curb every other week. Roberts explained that by picking up the recyclables every other week, they are able to reduce their carbon footprint by keeping their “big trucks” off the road a little more. “If one bin isn’t large enough for your family’s recyclables, you can get a second bin to fill,” Roberts added.

Since 1994 the Regional Recycling and Waste Reduction District has overseen recycling programs in Pulaski County and the Single Stream Recycling on a Roll program is just the beginning of the improvements they plan to make. Roberts explained they are working to improve their electronics recycling program and are looking into implementing an organics recycling program, saying that the Single Stream program has been a springboard for future programs.

Roberts said one of Regional Recycling and Waste Reduction District’s biggest fans are elementary students. Understanding this, they have many educational programs set in place for families, groups, schools and more. Working closely with the Recycling Division of the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, other solid waste districts and governmental agencies, the District promotes education by holding teacher workshops, participating in area expositions and festivals, speaking engagements and classroom education programs.

Kids can also visit and find recycling coloring pages, a family recycling quiz, “Recycle Roundup Game” and more!

Why Recycle?

Recycling is an important first step in making our world a healthier place to live and work. Recycling not only keeps material out of landfills, it saves energy and water, both of which are precious resources. In addition to recycling, simple strategies that improve energy and water efficiency make our environment healthier and save us money. Below are a few facts from the UT Health Science Center San Antonio about the benefits of recycling and efficient energy and water use.

  • Recycling 1 ton of paper saves 17 mature trees, 7,000 gallons of water, 3 cubic yards of landfill space, 2 barrels of oil, and 4,100 kWh’s of electricity, enough to power the average American home for five months (EPA, 2008).
  • Compared to making paper from new material, making recycled paper uses 50% less water, 60% less energy, and creates 74% less air pollution (EPA, 2008).
  • Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a 100-watt light bulb for 20 hours, a computer for 3 hours, or a TV for 2 hours (EPA, 2008). So next time you see someone throw away their soda can, remind them that UT Health Science Center recycles.
  • Recycling other metals is important too – The steel industry’s annual recycling saves the equivalent amount of energy as is required to power 18 million households for a year.
  • If every American household recycled just 1 out of every ten plastic bottles they used, we would keep 200 million pounds of plastic out of our landfills every year.
  • If all American homes were retrofitted with water-efficient appliances, the country would save more than 3 trillion gallons of water and more than $18 billion dollars each ear (EPA. 2008).
  • If 1 percent of American homes replaced an old toilet with a new WaterSense labeled toilet, the country would save more than 38 million kWh of electricity – that is enough to power almost 50,000 homes for a month (EPA, 2008).
  • Turning your faucet off while you brush your teeth saves as much energy as is required to power a 60-watt light bulb for 14 hours (EPA, 2008).
  • Electricity production is the leading cause of industrial air pollution in the United States, and is responsible for 40 percent of the nation’s carbon emissions that contribute to global climate change (Worldwatch Institute, 2007).


Pulaski County students in grades K-5 are invited to participate in The Art of Recycling Sculpture Contest, sponsored by Regional Recycling and Waste Reduction District and hosted by the Museum of Discovery.

Sculptures should be created from recyclable household materials detailed on the “Acceptable Materials List.”

There will be top 2 overall winners in grades K-2 and top overall winners in grades 3-5. Each winner will receive $300 for their school art program. Each overall winning project will win $50 total for either an individual or for a group project to share.

Entries are due by March 25, 2013 and will be on display at the Museum of Discovery through the month of April.

For more information, visit or call 501-340-8787.

Between meeting some amazing “Savvy” kids and writing informative articles for our readers, Emily loves spending time with her 5-year-old son.
See all posts by Emily