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A small borough gets big results promoting Recycle Coach

Posted by Tyler Munro on Monday, July 9, 2018 8:30 AM

Promoting your Recycle Coach app locally can be a bit of a challenge. It requires time, effort, and some promotional chops. Some members of the Recycle Coach network are finding interesting ways to encourage residents to download the app, and they’re doing it affordably and effectively. Nowhere is this more evident than in New Milford, New Jersey.

In just a week, New Milford attracted over four hundred and fifty new users to their app. At first glance, this might seem like a modest number, but New Milford has 6,700 households. To look at it another way, the borough managed to get three percent of their total households on Recycle Coach in a week—a resounding success by any standard.

This impressive feat represents plenty of hard work, dedication, and creative thinking from New Milford’s Public Works Department. Specifically, its recycling coordinator Julia Burdge, who’s played an instrumental role in getting residents excited about the app by strategically promoting it in and around the borough.

The main ingredient of a banner week

On May 25, New Milford hung a street banner advertising their app over Boulevard, one of the community’s busiest thoroughfares. This is the first time a municipality has used a street banner to promote Recycle Coach, and if the results are any indication, it won’t be the last time, either. According to Julia, it played a vital role in building hype for the app, and the numbers prove it. Beyond attracting tons of new users, New Milford also gained seventy new subscribers.

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Recycle Coach street banner over Boulevard

Going grassroots

New Milford’s success goes deeper than its street banner. It's rooted in the active role local government plays in promoting good recycling habits at home. For example, part of the community’s new resident welcome package includes door hangers with instructions to pick up a free recycling bin at the Public Works Department. Each bin contains directions on how to get the app.     

Recycle Coach flyer on the Borough Hall bulletin board

Recycle Coach flyer on the Borough Hall bulletin board

Little things can make a big difference, whether it’s reminding residents about the app over the phone, showcasing it on town hall bulletin boards, or promoting it at local events. Even in parks, like attaching promotional flyers to public bins. New Milford’s recycling coordinator is constantly thinking of new ways to engage the community, and her enthusiasm has paid off in more ways then one. She received a proclamation from the borough’s mayor for her efforts.

Recycle Coach in the Twin-Boro News from a press release Julia submitted

Recycle Coach in the Twin-Boro News from a press release Julia submitted

To Julia, the app makes a big difference in the community every day. In fact, she wouldn’t be surprised if it soon made print calendars obsolete. At a recent paper shredding event, she was surprised by the enthusiasm her older residents had for Recycle Coach. Though many of them didn’t have computers, most had smartphones. The app was an easier way for them to access their garbage and recycling information. 

“Already, Recycle Coach has transformed our community. It’s gotten residents to be more proactive about recycling—and this is only the beginning,” said Burdge in a phone interview. “Residents love it, too. The reception has been one-hundred percent positive.”

Other towns are interested in speaking with her about how the app was launched in New Milford and what they can do to ensure it’s a resounding success. 

Topics: Recycling Outreach, promoting recycle coach, success stories, case studies

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