Promotion and Education
Municipal blue box programs can make measurable strides in compliance and capture rates with good, consistent and effective P&E efforts. CIF offers resources to assist in developing and implementing Promotion & Education (P&E) plans for recycling, particularly in smaller communities.
Templates, Tools and Resources
Relationships Matter: Social Media and Internet Marketing for Blue Box P&E Programs
In 2016, the CIF published this six-page guide on social media and internet marketing for blue box programs.
P&E training course
This training course focuses on the fundamental elements of building and executing a strategic recycling P&E initiative as well as how to measure, monitor and report project outcomes. Check the Training and Events sections to see if the course is currently being offered.
New approach improves Multi-Residential recycling
The City of Guelph expects the high-density, multi-residential (MR) sector to grow to over 30% of its total housing stock by 2031, up from 11% in 2011. In an attempt to improve and expand collection services to MR buildings the City added front-end service in 2018. This involved purchase of a front-end collection vehicle with [...]
How do outreach efforts impact different households?
This week's blog post was originally published March 30, 2021 by Resource Recycling. Education campaigns may improve curbside recycling practices for residents who produce average or low amounts of contamination, but they may not impact the worst offenders, according to new research. The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) has released a report developed by [...]
Public Engagement: Going Online Only
Appropriate engagement opportunities allow municipalities to make better decisions on projects or plans. Public input can maximize the benefits of a project, minimize any negative impacts, and provide new ideas or initiatives for communities. Since successful waste management systems rely on those that participate, getting public engagement in waste management planning ensures that those taking [...]
Reaching residents during a pandemic
Contamination levels in the blue box program have been top of mind for many municipalities. The issue has led to a variety of contract management challenges, requiring, in some cases, that contracts be renegotiated. Contamination has also been a topic of concern in the development of the impending regulation. Interestingly, the pandemic offers program operators [...]
Public Space Recycling – A Review of Better Practices
Public spaces have their own unique issues to manage when setting up collection programs. They can be a broad range of situations and the types and quantities of waste generated can vary significantly depending on who uses the space and how it is used. To assist municipalities with designing a successful program, the CIF has [...]
Digital Communication: Can It Help Municipalities Change Resident Set out Behaviours?
Using digital media to get a message out is a relatively new practice for municipalities Over the last few years, groups have tested their hand at communicating through social media and other digital media platforms. What we’ve learned is that digital media, while allowing for faster circulation of our ‘calls to action’, still requires just [...]
A Multi-Municipal Initiative: RFP and P&E Development
The Renfrew County Multi-Municipality Waste Group (“Group”) through CIF project 956 obtained technical RFP support, and financial assistance to develop promotion and education (P&E) materials. The Group aimed to develop a joint waste management procurement document between to standardize recycling and waste management contracts and improve access to recycling program for multi-residential buildings. The Group […]
Use your digital media to get your message out: Peel did!
High contamination rates got you stumped? Peel Region transitioned from curbside Blue Box service to an automated cart based collection system in January 2016. Cart based service offers residents more storage capacity so they can set out more recyclables. The good news is that the amount of recycling set out by residents has increased; the [...]
It’s not one or the other…experience shows P&E & operational re-enforcements must go hand in hand
Promotion & Education (P&E) is the messaging to residents that builds awareness of the Blue Box program, motivates them to participate, and instructs them on how to do it properly. P&E messaging can be conveyed through a broad range of multi-media tactics and channels – newspapers, billboards, posters, flyers, calendars, guides, TV, radio, social media, [...]
New Learnings about Effective P&E Distribution to Boost MR Recycling!
Distributing P&E in person to multi-residential tenants requires a lot of resources and may not be feasible for all buildings in all municipalities. However, occasional in-person distribution to prudently selected buildings can reap valuable information and boost recovery. To test this theory, Simcoe County put a new spin on a familiar study. Staff selected three […]
Message received, understood, and action taken!
Day in and day out we’re all required to communicate to try to encourage those around us to take action based on what we’ve asked them to do. We’re required to drive changes in perspective and behaviour whether it’s in how residents set out materials at the curb, or in how a contractor collects or […]
City of London Communicates Effectively on YouTube
Promotion & Education (P&E) is important because, done well, it can secure public support and help ensure the success of Blue Box recycling programs. Here’s a closer look at a P&E strategy that the City of London has undertaken. When the Corporation launched a YouTube Channel they began posting educational videos from various service areas. […]
P&E: Are we getting through to residents? How can we find out?
CIF Staff interviewed communications expert Barbara McConnell as well as some of our municipal colleagues who are actively engaged in P&E campaigns to find out how they analyze the impact of their P&E campaigns. Here’s what we found. Audits are a great starting point, but they’re not the whole story Barbara tells us, audits answer […]
Public Spaces and Signage tools
The new public space recycling and signage page features a lot of great information for you laid out in a convenient, drill-down format. When you go to the page, simply click Read More below the button on the topic that interests you to jump to the detailed information you need. (Note – the buttons are not clickable on […]
Best Practices…That’s a Wrap for Ottawa’s Multi-Res Promotion & Education
Convincing residents in multi-residential (MR) buildings to recycle is a challenge, getting them to recycle right can be even harder, but - as City of Ottawa staff have demonstrated, that doesn't mean you want to stop trying. The issue In 2015, staff approached CIF with a proposal to try a novel approach to MR P&E. [...]
The distribution of instructional materials alone is rarely enough to inspire new or improved recycling habits. Effective P&E planning goes beyond informing an audience and takes into consideration ways of stimulating positive recycling behaviour. The most successful P&E incorporates carefully developed design and distribution strategies to help remove barriers and provide incentives to action. In addition, strong P&E programs include consultation (pre-project), tracking (monitoring and measuring), and evaluation steps – all of which are necessary to inform on-going program improvement.
All successful waste diversion programs are supported and improved by a strong and consistent Promotion & Education (P&E) plan that features regular reminders about participating in diversion programs and tries to correct undesirable behaviours. P&E is not a one-time effort to inform residents about new programs or changes to programs. Successful operations require regular P&E to remind users to maintain or correct diversion behaviour.
The key is to maintain regular communication and feedback. Residents need to know how to recycle, what to recycle and why it is important. They also need to know that their efforts are worthwhile and making a difference in the community. Providing information occasionally is not enough. Plan on providing P&E materials at least once a year with reinforcements provided throughout the year using fliers in municipal mailings, articles in the local newspaper, billboards at the depot kiosk and messages on the website.
Outreach provides an opportunity to engage in a two-way conversation with a targeted audience. Outreach enables interaction with the audience and delivers a message that resonates with them and, at the same time, receives insights and feedback about the topic being discussed. Depot attendants provide one of the most effective outreach delivery mechanisms to help the public understand the importance of why and how to recycle and to get feedback about obstacles to participation.