With America Recycles Day around the corner, what celebration ideas do you have in mind for your municipality?
Increasing recycling awareness and IQ on a nationally recognized day is an ideal way to connect with your residents. So if you haven’t planned anything yet, we’ve drummed up a list of ideas to help you get the process started:
Hold a recycling event
Keep America Beautiful has lead the America Recycles Day program since 2009. They have a handful of event ideas and templates available to follow.
- Plastic bag and film recycling event
A great idea to create awareness about plastic bag and film recycling (while getting residents to actually recycle this material) is to hold an event. Set up a booth outside a local retailer that recycles plastic film packaging or hold an event in a high traffic site like a shopping mall, city hall, or public park to spark attention. Use free Recycle Coach technology to promote your event to your residents. Hire volunteers to educate residents on recycling products with soft, flexible polyethylene packaging:
- Grocery, bread, zip-top and dry cleaning bags
- The wrap around many paper plates, napkins, bathroom tissue/diapers
- Newspaper bags, grocery & retail bags
- Case wrapand food storage bags
Let your residents know that over 18,000 stores nationwide recycle plastic bag and film packaging and that they visibly mark their participation at the front checkout area. Also help bridge the knowledge gap by letting residents know that manufacturers recycle plastic bags and film to produce decks, fences, furniture, building products and even new bags. Use this handy guide to plan this event if it’s something you're seriously interested in.
- Electronics recycling event
Hold an event on America Recycles Day with a focus on e-waste. Educate residents on what e-waste is, and provide a list of e-waste drop offs in your area. Keep America Beautiful has a wonderful How to Host an Electronics Recycling Event guide to help you out with an event like this.
- Eyeglass collections event with a local Lions Club
Learn more about the Lions Recycle for Sight program and then find a Lions Club near you to discuss how to plan an eyeglass collections event. Once you’ve run your event and have a bag full of re-usable eyeglasses, send them in bulk to an Eyeglass Recycling Centre near you or to the Lions Clubs International Headquarters. Keep America Beautiful provides this comprehensive guide to help you out with running this specific event.
Create a contest or join an already existing one (like Game Day Challenge)
A great way to educate residents while instigating some healthy competition is to create a community-wide recycling challenge with your own rules and rewards. An even simpler approach, is to join a contest that already exists. Game Day Challenge for example, is a great way for colleges and universities to engage students on the national day of recycling. Find a handy tail gating guide for an event like this here.
Host a “recycling information table”
If planning an event seems daunting, another more “low maintenance” idea is to set up a recycling information table in your municipality with flyers, outreach materials and volunteers. Placing a table like this in a high traffic area is a great way to get the word out about your recycling program. And besides just generally educating residents, a more tangible tactic is to run a paper phone book opt-out workshop as residents pass by. This involves visiting the yellow pages opt out page on your computer with each and every person that passes by and physically helping them opt out of paper phone book delivery. Follow this “Stop or Limit Phone Book Delivery” document for more specific information.
Ask residents to sign a pledge
An effective way to get your residents committed to recycling well all year-round is to get them to sign a pledge on America Recycles Day. Signing a pledge on a day where residents across the country are united in the name of recycling helps build the momentum you need to get your residents engaged and excited about improving their habits. There is an online pledge for your residents to sign and also handwritten pledge templates too. College or University students can even text “recycling pledge” followed by their school’s name to 9 10 11 on the day of their Game Day Challenge.
Run activities and games in classrooms and workplaces
Play the following games in your classroom or office on America Recycles Day. This is a great way to get everyone involved and make recycling education fun.
- Bet theBottle tops game- Tailored for both work and school environments
- Mug shots- Bestsuited for a work environment
- Get caught green handed-Best suited for a work environment
- Dumpster Dive- Best suited for a school campus
- Ready, set, sort- Appropriate for work and school
Create and send out a Recycling Quiz
Create a printable recycling quiz of your own based on your municipal recycling program. Hand these quizzes out on America Recycles Day with pencils or pens to test our residents recycling IQ. If you’re not interested in using pen and paper, direct residents to taking online quizzes that can help shake recycling complacency all year-round.
Share America Recycles Day content on social media
And if you have absolutely no time to plan anything this November 15th, one thing you can do is raise awareness on social media. Post on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and don’t forget to use the hashtag #AmericaRecyclesDay to help spread the word.
These are just a few ideas for celebrating America Recycles Day. Which one fits your municipality best this year? To learn more about raising recycling IQ all year-round, read 3 strategies to raise recycling IQ or download our whitepaper here.
About Recycle Coach: Recycle Coach specializes in digital solutions for municipal and private waste management services to effectively educate and engage residents. Our technology platforms for web, mobile, and digital assistants focus on education and encouragement to help residents to be better recyclers, with the goal of inspiring positive and lasting change in communities around the world. It is our constant innovation and scalability of services that allow us to meet the needs of over 3000 communities across the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and more.
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