How Long Do Recycling Campaign Effects Last?

12 Dec 2017

From the Recycling Partnership December 12, 2017 Newsletter:

You’re implementing a recycling campaign in your town. Ever wonder how long those results are good for? A new study commissioned by The Recycling Partnership shows that campaign effects typically last between one and three years. The better your initial campaign reaches residents and activates behavior change, the closer to that three-year mark you’ll get.
So, go big with new information. Adding a material, fighting a top contaminant, or upgrading curbside service? Put more work into campaigns up front to see bigger and longer-lasting returns. Remember: a simple message delivered through direct, personalized contact is most effective.

  • Host an activation event and line up your local politicians to speak.
  • Attend community meetings or reach out to groups in town.
  • Go door to door.
  • Tag recycling or garbage carts.

The more people you can reach in a meaningful way, the less follow-up you’ll need to do down the line. 
Then, touch upon the critical pieces of your program – your yes/no list, collection days, and drop-off locations – about once a year to ensure that your residents always remember the basics. And if local decision makers need convincing to support your approach, be sure to show them this study.