EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP — In an upstairs room at the Atlantic County Utilities Authority recycling center off Delilah Road, Kyra Vestpertino frantically tries to dislodge an elastic band from her hand.
She can’t use her other hand, according to the rules, or try to slip a finger under. So she flips her hand as hard as she can, but makes little progress.
The point of the exercise is to show a third-grader from Somers Point, and anyone else who tries it, what happens when a sea turtle gets a plastic six-pack ring stuck on its flipper.
Sarah Laskowski, a freshman at Oakcrest High School who is a member of the Student Environmental Association, is staffing her group’s table, which includes a sea life display and a trash sorting game, at the fifth annual open house at the recycling center Friday, Nov. 17.
The event marked America Recycles Day, a national initiative of Keep America Beautiful. There were games, refreshments, crafts and a chance to tour the recycling facility to see how the mixed stream of recyclable materials are sorted and then gathered into separate bales of steel, aluminum, paper, plastic and glass.
There was also a poster contest aimed at informing county residents that plastic bags and bottle caps should not be placed in the mixed stream.
“America Recycles Day is a great way to bring attention to recycling," said ACUA President Rick Dovey.
"Recycling is still one of the easiest ways for residents, schools and businesses to make a positive impact on the environment. We want everyone to get to see how recycling works and to understand the important role they play in reducing waste and pollution.”
Thousands of organizations across the country observe America Recycles Day, according to ACUA staff.