The best weapon against contamination is recycling knowledge. When residents know what is and isn’t recyclable in your community, they make smarter disposal decisions, which directly benefits your solid waste program.
If you find yourself thinking about work over the holidays, you’re not doing it right.
Unfortunately, for too many frontline staffers in municipal solid waste, this is reality. That’s because holidays mean collection schedule changes in most communities. And when residents aren’t prepared for these changes, they turn to you. Which means, instead of enjoying a carefree long weekend filled with R&R, you’re spending time worrying about whether residents know when to bring their trash out.
Technology Brings Independence
You may think of digital assistants as a convenience or novelty, but they can mean much more than that to a good portion of your residents. To the 1-in-5 people in North America with a disability, digital assistants are an equalizer.
Topics: digital assistants, North America, United States, Canada, For Municipalities in the USA, For Municipalities in Canada, Alexa, Google, Recycling Education, compliance, contamination, accessible information, voice search, Google Home, Older Populations, Recycle Coach Technology
Voice-activated digital assistants have come a long way.
When they first came out, they only had the ability to set alarms or perform basic tasks. However, they can now order pizzas, create shopping lists, play music, turn lights on/off, tell you your local weather, and much more. As the technology makes its way into every resident's home, they will be streamlining more aspects of daily living, including helping residents recycle better - and recycle more accurately.
If you’re not already convinced, here are 5 reasons you should consider integrating your recycling program’s information with digital assistants now:
The holiday season usually brings lot of happiness – and waste. Did you know on average:
- Americans throw away 25% more garbage from Thanksgiving to New Year’s, resulting in 1 million EXTRA tons of waste during those few months?
- Canadians EACH add 100 lbs. of garbage to landfills after shopping, decorating, unwrapping and eating over the holidays?
- Australians spend over $1 billion on unwanted gifts that will eventually end up in landfill, contributing to the 30% increase in rubbish volumes?
So, let’s work together to reduce that, starting with some very relevant and useful tips for your residents.
You can provide these tips through your website, social media posts, or real-time notifications sent directly to your residents’ smartphones via Recycle Coach.
These tips can even be part of a larger annual campaign – such as the Metro Vancouver, Canada’s “Create Memories Not Waste” campaign that started in 2010. Six years later, in 2016, it appears to be having a sustainable impact. "We've definitely seen a trend and it is measurable," said Stephanie McCardle, who is a policy coordinator at Metro Vancouver.
Here are the top 12 tips to provide residents for a greener holiday season:
Let’s face it, technology moves fast. Today, there are more ways for residents to navigate the complicated world of recycling than ever before. From print, to web, to mobile, in the past it was easy to ensure that the information residents received about waste and recycling was coming directly from you.
However, there's now an explosive growth of chatbots and digital assistants such as Siri, Cortana, Alexa, and Google Home.
As a result, your residents are increasingly turning to a technology that you do not have a presence on for answers to their common waste and recycling questions.