Centre of Excellence

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.

CIF Connections Blog: Promotion & Education

Best Practices

Make a plan

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.

Maintain regular communication and feedback

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 opportunity for two-way conversations

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.