7 ways you can promote recycling via community engagement


7 ways you can promote recycling via community engagement

We’ve established that we all can play a modest but significant role in conserving the environment and restoring the grandeur of our communities by recycling waste. However, there’s still a lot to be done about improving municipal recycling efforts.


While recycling has gone mainstream and is being adopted in many communities around the world, there is still a significant number of people who are unaware of the benefits (both environmental and financial) of recycling.


Below are ways that individuals, organizations, and governments can drive more communal engagement in recycling:


Put recycling bins in public spaces


Enhance your city or town’s core waste service by adding a recycling option at the point of disposal in your parks, on your sidewalks, or at your transit stops.


Simply placing a recycling bin next to a landfill waste bin encourages constituents to properly dispose of their recyclable waste.


Educate the community


Use social media or a website dashboard to promote recycling programs and increase participation.


You can also share valuable information with residents and businesses about acceptable recyclable materials, and provide contact information for whom to call for public space waste questions or about delayed/missed pickups.


Don’t forget to share metrics of success (amount of recycling month to month, year to date, diversion from landfills, etc.), explain the benefits of recycling, and share details about the recycling supply chain.


Implement volume-based waste disposal


Incentivize residents to recycle or, alternatively, pay extra to dispose of recyclables in landfill waste streams.


Target non-recyclers


Consider targeting a recycling message to a certain community. Learn from your collectors where the empty bins are often located.


You can also leverage the voices of community leaders to spread the word. In addition, use public space to advertise (side of recycling trucks and bins, bus stop billboards, sides of buses).


Finally, understand the objections or barriers to recycling and how to address them with your community in mind.


Goals and benefits


Set goals and report on recycling achievements and how they tie to benefits that residents and businesses understand and realize.


Also, share metrics and successes! Include them in the education about recycling benefits, empower them, help them feel they are part of the overall effort, and support recycling legislation.


Focus on schools


Our youngest citizens are often the strongest change agents. Laying the grounds at an early age will encourage recycling behavior regardless of location.


Adjust collection techniques


Evaluate current operations and plan for the future – if trucks are not running at full capacity, can you add new materials to the recycling program, leverage technology that allows you to plan routes efficiently, or include local businesses in the collection routes?


Also, design efficient collection routes that might be supplemented with collection from businesses and retail centers to decrease the usage of the most expensive aspects of a recycling program (labor, fuel, and equipment).


Support this by keeping track of how facilities and events perform and ensuring adequate facilities to meet community demand. Consider locations like fire and police station parking lots to base collection bins.


You can consider working with neighboring towns to pool materials, increase recycling, and efficiency of scale.

Related Post