In early 2012, we had the opportunity to work with DeKalb County, GA. on their “DeKalb Recycles” marketing campaign. After doing some situation analysis, DeKalb County had discovered that their recycling services were being underutilized by the community. Recycling varied anywhere from 5% to 56% participation in certain areas. The recycling program needed a jump start on a limited budget.
Our goals for the campaign were simple but very important. They included informing residents of the recycling program, educating them on why they should recycle and achieving a noticeable increase in participation in DeKalb’s recycling program. It was also vital that we put in place a sustainable foundation that could be built on over time.
In order to make the “DeKalb Recycles” campaign successful we explored some cost effective ways of promotion. We selected key audiences such as government employees, community organizations, schools, and local media to help us spread the word. Other tactics included social media and a DeKalb Recycles website that provided information about the program and how to sign up. Through these avenues we introduced the tagline Sort, Set, Save. Sort, Set, Save showed residents what could be recycled, how to sort these items, where to deliver their recyclables and how they were helping save their community. To eliminate the monetary barrier to joining the recycling program, we were able to eliminate the bin/bag fee. The idea was to ask non-recyclers “Why not give it a try?”
Within three months of the launch of “DeKalb Recycles,” DeKalb County had received over 4,000 new requests for recycling service. This number well exceeded our projected participation expectations. DeKalb Recycles was a success that continues today.
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