How to Get People to Recycle Right

Waste360
March 31, 2017
By Arlene Karidis

People want to recycle, but a diversion program’s success depends on residents’ and workers’ understanding of how to recycle correctly. As a result, the industry is ever wrestling with how to design strategic communication initiatives, with both the solid waste industry and product and packaging manufacturers joining the effort.

They have learned that simple messaging is better; choosing a universal language that resonates is critical; and consumers need assurance that what they put to the curb actually gets recycled.

In its research to learn of consumers’ attitudes and behaviors, national nonprofit Keep America Beautiful (KAB) made several discoveries: “It’s important to make recycling as convenient as possible. Communication should be simple and digestible, with an emotional connection. And communication must be consistent,” says Brenda Pulley, KAB senior vice president of recycling. Pulley will also present at the WasteExpo session on recycling education.

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