By the President of the United States of America
As we approach the last decade of the 20th century, the United States faces a growing problem in the management of solid waste. This Nation currently generates 160 million tons of solid waste per year. While that amount is increasing, the number of available landiflls is shrinking dramatically. This situation underscores the importance of recycling.
The benefits of recycling solid waste are substantial. Recycling waste helps to preserve our limited landfill space. Recycling also reduces the need to extract resources from their natural environment and thus helps to prevent the pollution such removal efforts create. It also saves energy and provides a less expensive alternative to landfills and incineration. Finally, communities can use the materials recovered through recycling to generate revenue.
Some cities and States, recognizing the important role recycling can play in waste management, have enacted mandatory recycling laws. Numerous towns and counties across America now boast effective voluntary recycling programs. A well-developed system of recycling facilities has emerged in the United States for scrap metals, paper, and glass. Nonetheless, Americans still do not recycle enough municipal waste. Nearly 80 percent of the municipal solid waste in this country is deposited in landfills, while 10 percent is incinerated. Only 10 percent of our Nation's waste is recycled.
Every American household and community can plan a major role in solving the problems associated with solid waste disposal by recycing -- either through municipal programs or voluntary drives sponsored by local service organizations. The Environmental Protection Agency has set a national goal of 25 percent waste recycling by 1992. While the ability to meet this goal may vary from town to town, such efforts are useful stepts toward eliminating America's solid waste problems.
In recognition of the importance of recycling, the Congress, by House Joint Resolution 102, has designated April 1989 as "National Recycling Month" and has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation calling for its appropriate observance.
Now, Therefore, I, George Bush, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim April 1989 as National Recycling Month. I urge the people of the United States to observe this month by actively participating in community recycling efforts and teaching their children about the benefits of such efforts. I also encourage community leaders to consider the advantages of a comprehensive recycling program as a means of managing municipal solid waste.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this nineteenth day of April, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirteenth.