Raising Recycling Awareness
Waste program managers are often tasked with raising recycling awareness at their organization because success relies on the daily actions of everyone. Increasing recycling awareness can increase the quality and quantity of recycled materials, but even the best campaign for recycling awareness won’t overcome a poorly designed recycling program.
For 70+ years, Keep America Beautiful has run a recycling awareness campaign to inspire daily action that improves the beauty and health of our communities. More than four decades ago, Keep America Beautiful and the Ad Council first teamed up to bring recycling to the forefront of America’s consciousness with this powerful ad featuring Iron Eyes Cody, “The Crying Indian”. Their recycling campaign “I Want To Be Recycled” is a great site for those looking to understand what can be recycled and to find a recycling center near them.
“This campaign is the emotional push needed to raise awareness and positively change people’s behavior to recycle more. Our intent is to increase recycling rates, which translates into measurable benefits including waste reduction, energy savings, natural resource conservation and job creation,” said Brenda Pulley, Keep America Beautiful senior vice president, recycling. “Based on survey feedback, we know people want to recycle. This campaign is designed to tap into that desire as well as provide helpful tools to make recycling easier.” – Keep America Beautiful
The new ads showcase the awesome potential of recyclable material. The goal is to inspire the nearly two in three Americans who do not recycle regularly to make recycling a part of their daily lives.
Here are the links to their three (3) Public Service Announcements. Look out for Baltimore in the ads!
How to actually increase recycling awareness?
Don’t forget!! Even the best recycling awareness campaign won’t succeed if the recycling program is poorly designed. Here are a few tips for designing an effective recycling program that helps to increase and support recycling awareness.
Recycling Awareness Tip #1: Keep accepted recycling items simple!
Focus on quality of recycling over quantity. If you collect mixed or single stream recycling, don’t tell your team all the things they ‘could’ recycle. Focus on the most common items such as aluminum cans, plastic bottles, white paper, and cardboard boxes.
#2: Be consistent with recycling containers and signs!
The size, shape, color, lid, label, bag color, and placement of your waste and recycling containers matters! Sometimes you need to design a system that makes it harder to recycle to reduce contamination.
#3: Monitor and track your progress!
Don’t ‘set it and forget it’! Spend time looking in your bins and talking with your team to identify opportunities to further educate or make improvements.
Start increasing recycling awareness at work!
Schedule a waste audit or waste program assessment
If your organization needs to increase recycling awareness, a good place to start may be a waste audit or waste program assessment from a waste audit company such as Reduction In Motion.
A waste audit will show what and how much you’re throwing away while a waste program assessment will evaluate the effectiveness of your policies, procedures, equipment, and vendors to identify opportunities for improving waste reduction and waste diversion.
We can work with you and your organization, at no cost, to design a waste audit or waste program assessment that gathers the right information for you to take the next step in your journey to increase recycling awareness.
Contact us to learn more about how Reduction In Motion is helping organizations achieve their sustainability goals. We specialize in waste reduction and waste flow strategies for companies of all sizes. Focused on education and driven by on-site facilitation, our processes have helped our clients achieve award-winning programs. Don’t forget to connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
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