Sunday, November 15, 2015 marks the return of America Recycles Day (ARD) – a national initiative of Keep America Beautiful. First established by the National Recycling Coalition in 1997, ARD represents the only nationally recognized day dedicated to encouraging Americans to recycle and buy recycled products. To celebrate, Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful is hosting its first ever “Sidekick Story” essay contest!


We’ve identified the following four unsung superheroes of the recycling bin. These crushed crusaders are frequently overlooked and all too often wind up in landfills – but when recycled can go on to do and be great things:

  • Paper
  • Cardboard
  • Plastic Beverage and Detergent Bottles
  • Aluminum Cans


Because every superhero needs a sidekick to have their back and tell their story, we want YOU to play the role of sidekick to one or more of the superheroes listed above. In addition to detailing your adventures in a 1-page essay, we want you to answer the all-important questions:

  • How do these superheroes help me?
  • How does recycling these superheroes help our community and environment?


GOOD LUCK! Essays will be reviewed by the Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful team and prizes will be awarded for most outstanding essays that identify these recycling superheroes and reasons to recycle them. Each entry represents a chance to win one of three fabulous prizes:

  • $100 Prize for Best 1-page essay written by a Gwinnett County Elementary or Middle School Student
  • $100 Prize for Best 1-page essay written by a Gwinnett County High School Student
  • $250 Prize for Best Overall 1-page essay – No Age Limit


Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful reserves the right to publish any and all essays the organization receives. By submitting an essay for consideration, entrants automatically agree to those terms. To be considered for a prize, essays must be sent in digital format (either Word document or PDF) to by 11:59 p.m. Sunday, November 15. Winners will be announced by November 30, 2015. Please include Name, Grade/School (if school-age student), Category they Wish to Enter and Contact Information (phone, mailing address and email address) on your essay submission. All participants must be Gwinnett County residents. Only one submission per person will be considered.


No Time to Write… That’s OK!

If you are unable to participate in this year’s ARD essay contest, it’s important to remember that here in Gwinnett County, recycling is a vital component to keeping our community clean and beautiful – not just November 15, but all 365 days of the year. You can make a difference, and Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful can help. As part of our 18-year commitment to America Recycles Day and everything for which it stands, we encourage you to become educated on items that can and cannot be recycled curbside, then collect and deliver the remaining recyclable materials to a local recycling facility, like The Recycling Bank of Gwinnett – located at 4300 Satellite Blvd. in Duluth. The Recycling Bank of Gwinnett accepts more than 65 materials including paper, cardboard, aluminum cans, steel cans, scrap metal, glass bottles and jars, plastic bottles and containers, most electronics (SORRY – NO TVs OR MONITORS) and more. Best of all, the facility offers free shredding services for sensitive documents (on select days and times) and a 24/7 drop-off area that is open year-round. CLICK HERE for a complete list of items accepted for recycling at the Recycling Bank of Gwinnett. For items not on that list, Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful is proud to provide a database of locations that accept additional recyclable materials. Join us in observing America Recycles Day November 15, and then keep it the great recycling work all of the remaining days of the year.


Helpful Links:

Read our 10 Easy Steps to Recycling at Home

Learn how YOU can Start a Recycling Program at Work