More than a billion people across the globe were expected to take part in environmental activities last Friday. As usual, materials recovery was a key component in many of the initiatives.

As in years past, Earth Day 2016 was officially marked by a presidential proclamation from President Obama. This time around he highlighted the Paris Climate Agreement, which was signed by 175 countries at the United Nations headquarters in New York on Earth Day (April 22).

According to the Earth Day Network, more than 1 billion people were expected to take part in environmentally focused efforts around the globe.

The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries commemorated the day by noting the significant environmental impact of the recycling industry. According to the group, annual carbon dioxide emissions reductions from recycling reach 500 millions tons per year.

Earth Day was marked in Buffalo, N.Y. with the announcement that the 2015 recycling rate rose to 25.7 percent in 2015. That figure is 2.9 percentage points above the rate reported for 2014.

Phoenix residents took advantage of free car-seat recycling on Earth Day. According to a local news story, more than 60 volunteers offered to receive and break down the children’s car seats for recycling as part of a child safety initiative.

Throughout the state of California, communities of all sizes came together to celebrate the 46th annual event.

Meanwhile, the Portland, Ore.-suburb of Gresham hosted an all-day event on April 23 allowing residents to drop off hard-to-recycle items, household hazardous waste and small electronics and appliances for free recycling.

In Maine, single-stream recycling provider ecomaine re-launched its school recycling grant program. The program will award $20,000 to schools looking to expand recycling programs.

Uber Lebanon continued its electronics recycling drive by offering free pick-up of used devices on April 22 in Beirut. The company says it is expanding the effort internationally to continue to divert e-scrap from landfills.

In a tongue-and-cheek video, technology tastemaker Apple gave viewers a sneak peak at Liam, the company’s recycling robot. Click here to see what Siri thinks of the invention.

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