The national initiative is to provide Americans with real-time, personalised, and hyper-local recycling information through Facebook’s Messenger experience
In honour of Global Recycling Day, The Recycling Partnership has launched Communities for Recycling, an innovative national initiative to provide Americans with real-time, personalised, and hyper-local recycling information through Facebook’s Messenger experience.
The Recycling Partnership, a national nonprofit working to transform recycling for good whilst activating a circular economy in the US, finds that despite decades of recycling, there is no centralised guidance to help Americans recycle the right way — as each US community has its own policies and procedures for waste and recycling.
These roughly 9,000 local recycling programmes force recyclers to “check locally” on whether or not a specific material is accepted in their neighbourhood programme — an increased barrier to participating in efforts to protect our planet, support our economy, and conserve natural resources.
“Americans want to recycle, and they want to recycle the right things. Frequently the public is just confused because recycling varies from place to place,” says Keefe Harrison, a Founder and the CEO of The Recycling Partnership.
“That’s what is so exciting about Communities for Recycling – it allows us to localise recycling information in one tool that will soon be available nationwide. It allows the public to know what is recyclable in their town and it connects with companies who are doing more to design their products to be more recyclable.”
Communities for Recycling is a national initiative with the purpose of helping individuals have an impact at the local level when taking on recycling as a global challenge.
Through a special programme within the personalised Facebook Messenger experience, people in Atlanta and Fort Worth can find out if and how to recycle common items like plastic bottles, cardboard, and metal as well as learn more about the recyclability of less commonly recyclable items like yoghurt cups, pizza boxes, and egg cartons by typing questions into the Messenger experience to get real-time recycling guidance in their location.
“Knowing how to recycle everyday items is a complex problem, but also an empowering opportunity to equip people with hyper-local solutions to play a role in shaping the future of sustainability,” said Arielle Gross Samuels, Head of Global Business Strategy and Engagement at Facebook.
“We are excited to partner with the esteemed organisation The Recycling Partnership and leverage Messenger to provide consumers with practical information around recycling best practices to benefit themselves and their broader communities.”
The digital tool was launched this month to Atlanta and Fort Worth Facebook and Instagram users in both English and Spanish, and The Recycling Partnership intend to expand the experience to additional US communities later this year as it launches a national database that includes accurate recycling information, including accepted materials for thousands of communities nationwide.
“The launch of Communities for Recycling is a foundation for what is likely to become a new national standard for hyper-local recycling education and contamination reduction efforts, helping communities like Atlanta recycle more and recycle better,” says Kanika Greenlee, Environmental Programmes Director for the City of Atlanta, Department of Public Works and Executive Director of Keep Atlanta Beautiful.
“Communities like Fort Worth realise that social media is a progressively important communication tool to connect with new audiences for specific programmes such as recycling,” said Robert Smouse, Assistant Director of Code Compliance, Solid Waste Services.
“Fort Worth is proud to be one of the pilot cities chosen to share this personalised, hyper-local recycling information to our residents. Recycling and waste minimisation are important issues in our city. In order to reach the largest audience possible, who better to do that with than Facebook.”
In addition to providing real-time localised recycling education, Communities for Recycling will showcase local heroes who give back to their communities through recycling, an effort to capture all three-stage gates (access, knowledge, engagement) required to influence positive recycling behaviours, which were outlined in a recent report.
Participating brands will help amplify the recycling education message by featuring information about products that are fully recyclable in the pilot communities.