Reduce, reuse, recycle. It’s a mantra that bears repeating and quite frankly there’s no time to waste.
As we approach America Recycles Day in November, let’s focus on that word “recycle.” There are many feelings and phrases associated with recycling. It makes me feel good when I recycle; it’s too hard to recycle in my community; and where the heck does it even go?
And while there is a lot to improve upon, there is a lot of good to celebrate too. The Recycling Partnership’s (The Partnership) national research shows that 8 in 10 people believe in recycling’s positive impact and making a difference; 7 in 10 believe recycling is worth the effort. Recycling is something we should do – and it’s not just for personal benefits. Recycling helps our family, our neighbors, and our community at large achieve countless environmental and economic benefits from clean neighborhoods, air, and waterways to jobs and local economy dollars. To reap those benefits and begin improving your community recycling program, it’s important to have tailored solutions. That’s where The Partnership comes in.
The Partnership has free research-backed, open-source resources and tools to help local recycling programs create scalable solutions to engage and educate residents on the basics and not-so-basics of recycling. Not sure where to begin? Don’t worry, this is where The Partnership can help. Whether you are a community recycling program coordinator, a solid waste leader, or working in a public works’ role where you’re totally new to recycling, it’s never too late to learn more and get involved.
Take a few minutes to delve into The Partnership’s free resources and discover the best ways to improve recycling in your community:
1. Fight Recycling Contamination
Community recycling program coordinators are already familiar with the concept of recycling contamination and its propensity to cause malfunctions at material recovery facilities (MRFs). The good news is – there is a strategy to address this. Increasing awareness and education helps reduce contamination, which creates a cleaner, higher quality recycling stream. A clean recycling stream lowers landfill costs and avoids contamination costs as well. The Partnership’s Anti-Contamination Kits are tailored to meet community recycling programs where they are – offering specific guidance for both curbside and drop-off household recycling programs. These resources contain recycling contamination communication tools as well as staff resources and even information on a baseline survey to help assess a MRF’s acceptable materials and which items are causing problems.
Click here to download the Curbside Anti-Contamination Kit
Click here to download the Drop-off Anti-Contamination Kit
2. Explore Available Grants for Recycling Programs
The Partnership knows community recycling programs have tight financial budgets. That’s why it’s imperative to have public-private partnerships to fill the gaps. Through the Residential Curbside Recycling Cart Grant Program communities get the opportunity to apply for grants to support cart-based recycling program implementation or enhancement – whether a community is just getting started with recycling carts or transitioning remaining districts or wards to carts. The grant funding includes financial and technical assistance for recycling education and outreach. Applications are accepted year-round on an ongoing basis.
Learn more and apply for a grant today.
3. Learn about MRF Contracts and Best Management Practices
Materials recovery facilities (MRFs) have a critical role in the recycling supply chain, sorting and processing collected recyclables. However, the MRF contracting process can be complicated and costly for all parties due to unpredictable market conditions and consumer packaging changes. The Partnership’s Guide to Community Material Recovery Facility Contracts cuts through the noise and breaks down 11 elements of MRF contracting including processing fees, material audits, and education and outreach support for community recycling programs.
Download the guide today to see how you can work collaboratively to improve MRF process and financial efficiencies.
4. Strategize and Engage Residents with the Multifamily Recycling Guide and Community Toolkit
Access to convenient recycling is often difficult for the more than 22 million American households who live in multifamily properties like apartments and condos. There are many factors that contribute to this lack of recycling access, from lack of communication and outreach on recycling to issues with recycling container space. Access to recycling is an issue of equity. The Partnership believes everyone should have the ability to recycle wherever they live, work, play, and learn. The Guide to Multifamily Recycling provides best practices and real-world examples to guide how to implement effective recycling programs for multifamily properties.
Transform multifamily recycling in your community, today.
5. Create a Recycling Education Campaign with Campaign Builder and DIY Signs
This resource is more of a 2-for-1 special. The Partnership’s Campaign Builder and DIYSigns are FREE resources that work together to help create customized recycling education materials. For Campaign Builder, just answer five quick questions and you will be on your way to enhanced outreach and communication. Materials can describe what items are accepted for recycling and tackle contamination head-on with clear, direct messaging. DIYSigns is an excellent complement for curbside, drop-off, and in-home recycling containers to help people know what to throw.
Start your outreach journey with Campaign Builder