SAINT LOUIS COUNTY MISSOURI LAUNCHES FIRST-EVER COUNTY-WIDE EDUCATION CAMPAIGN TO INCREASE RECYCLING
Campaign celebrates the strong culture of recycling, encourages even more
Saint Louis County residents will soon be hearing a lot more about the importance of recycling, particularly curbside recycling, thanks to a new education campaign launched in October by the Saint Louis County Department of Health’s Solid Waste Management Program. The campaign is one of two to launch this fall as part of a national partnership with the Curbside Value Partnership (CVP), an invitation-only program designed to increase participation in curbside recycling programs through education and measurement.
The campaign, called “Recycling Becomes Me,” features preposterous visuals that interject common recycling containers into unexpected situations. In an attention-getting manner, residents can see that recycling is part of many different lifestyles and that everyone can—and should—recycle. Recycling becomes me, and you!
County residents will encounter the new campaign in a variety of ways, including newspaper and radio advertisements, direct mail, at events, and online via Facebook and a new campaign website: www.RecyclingBecomesMe.com. Additionally, residents may be recognized at any time for their support of recycling and positive recycling behavior!
“For the first time, we are launching a unified education effort county-wide that we hope residents can enjoy and make their own,” said John Haasis, program manager of Saint Louis County’s Recycling and Solid Waste Management Program. “Most importantly, we hope it motivates residents to become even more diligent recyclers. And for those who haven’t quite gotten started, well now is the perfect time!”
The campaign was made possible in part through a partnership with CVP, a national invitation-only program. CVP selects communities with which to partner that have strong existing curbside recycling programs, the means to measure the effectiveness of those programs, and a desire to “think outside the box” when it comes to educating their residents about recycling.
“It has been a pleasure to work with Saint Louis County to develop this new campaign,” said Steve Thompson, executive director of CVP. “We expect this campaign will result in greater commitment and participation by residents, and therefore an increase in curbside collection rates. And moving forward, other communities will be able to look at Saint Louis County’s experiences as a model to improve their communications efforts and make their curbside programs more cost-effective.”
The Saint Louis County/CVP partnership is a true example of successful public-private collaboration. CVP brings national-level recycling and communications expertise to the region at no cost to the county. Education can pay off, in particular if it results in increased recycling tonnage collected. Recycling helps keep operational costs down. There’s value in the various recyclables, so the more we all recycle, the cheaper it is to collect. It’s a win-win!
“Of course we can also not underestimate the environmental benefits of recycling,” said Haasis. “If residents recycle just 5 percent more paper than last year, the county could fill Busch Stadium more than 12 times over with all the trees that would be saved.”
The “Recycling Becomes Me” campaign developed for Saint Louis County will be used locally but could also be adapted for other communities in 2012 and beyond. The other CVP partner for 2011 is the Central Virginia Waste Management Authority, a public service authority for 13 local governments in the greater Richmond, Va. area.
ABOUT THE CURBSIDE VALUE PARTNERSHIP
The Curbside Value Partnership (CVP) is a 501(c) (3) organization designed to grow participation in curbside recycling programs nationwide. It is the only current national program that engages all recycling stakeholders (including government, private industry, haulers and materials recovery facilities) to identify solutions to improving curbside recycling programs through education and data analysis. CVP’s goal is to launch and study education programs to increase participation in local curbside programs, and make programs more profitable and sustainable. To date, 28 communities and four states have been engaged by CVP in education campaigns. The program is currently funded by members of the Aluminum Association (Alcoa, ARCO Aluminum and Novelis) and Can Manufacturers Institute (Ball Corporation, BWAY Corporation, Crown Holdings Inc., Impress USA, Metal Container Corporation, Sonoco-Phoenix Inc, Rexam, Silgan Containers Corporation and the Van Can Company) as well as Coca Cola Recycling. Other corporate sponsors interested in impacting recycling rates in a meaningful way are always welcome. For more information, visit www.RecycleCurbside.org.
ABOUT SAINT LOUIS COUNTY RECYCLING
Saint Louis County’s Solid Waste Management Program assists in protecting public health and the environment through waste reduction, recycling, and enforcement activities. In 2008, the program distributed free 64-gallon recycling carts to 104,000 households in unincorporated areas of Saint Louis County. The program has also used grants to provide recycling carts to households in many of the County’s 91 municipalities. Prior to these efforts, approximately three percent of households in unincorporated Saint Louis County participated in curbside recycling. Now households county-wide all have uniform weekly single stream curbside recycling collection for one and two family residents. For more information, visit www.RecycleSaintLouis.com.