Promoting recycling/waste reduction is essential to the success of a program. Unlike most operational areas, recycling/waste reduction require a change in the cultural behavior. In order to implement this system, creative education and promotional activities must compliment the operations.
Mt Trashmore @ Northwestern University in Illinois 2012
WHERE TO BEGIN?
When considering educational opportunities, remember there is not one panacea for getting the word out. People respond to different cues. Some folks respond to pictures, others to printed words. By diversifying educational/promotional activities, you increase the percentage of people that will be reached.
There are many opportunities to implement waste education into all campus practices. Incorporating this information into daily operations is important. Include highlighting the Recycling Program through new student and employee orientation, campus tours, regular advertisement in the campus news paper, notes added on pay check envelopes-onto all campus printed materials (please recycle this!). There are many opportunities to promote the idea of waste reduction and recycling and also promote your school and program in the process.
A college campus has numerous resources through student groups, academic classes and student volunteer opportunities. Professors are always looking for practical application projects for their classes. This is especially true in business, environmental studies, journalism and advertising classes.
Work with Professors to incorporate projects that will benefit Campus Recycling efforts. College classes can produce valuable work such as: business plans, surveys, advertising campaigns, environmental audits and more.
*Recycling Programs on college campuses serve another important function for the Universities: great PR! Often recycling programs have a difficult time making inroads on college campuses because though they are operational, they often end up in facilities areas, which do not traditionally understand the concept of administration, education and promotion. Recycling Programs offer great PR opportunities for Universities just merely by the presence of recycling systems on campus. When students preview Universities to attend, seeing recycling containers gives a message that the school has an environmental awareness which also indicates that the school cares for the campus community. Additionally, as institutions of higher education, our job is to create contributing community citizens. At the University of Oregon, this is modeled through our motto: "Recycling is Higher Education!"
*Create a program name. Many campuses call their recycling department, Campus Recycling. Others incorporate the name of the school for example: "Vermont Recycles". Due to the inconsistency of where recycling programs end up being administered, it is important to create a name that makes the program accessible. Folks do not automatically know that the recycling department is located within facilities or the administration or student government. Additionally, recycling programs are very unique in that they are an operational function that involves much more administration then typical trade functions or even custodial functions. Recycling Programs also incorporate ed/promo into their operations and involve other aspects such as creating conservation practices within existing University procedures. With good PR and convenient collections, waste management will become an economic success.
||*Create a catchy program logo. This can be put on all recycling collection stations, program vehicles, signs, printed materials, employee T-shirts, newsletters, posters, recycling containers. A program logo is the foundation for building a recycling program. It identifies the program and also inspires the practice. This could just be as simple as utilizing the generic recycling symbol with the name of your school.|
The Story of Stuff
|Buy Recycled Game||Food Waste Audits|
|Fun Junk Function||Garbage Art|
|Paper Making||Paper Tree Display|
|Waste Audits||"Weigh-In" Week or Carry Your Trash Event|
|Cans Across Campus||Trash Bash|
|Monster Trash Recycling Bash||Earth Festival|
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