2014 Summary


Increase Recycling and Decrease Contamination Education Campaign
The Waste Management team put the findings of its 2013 recycling behavior study to use in 2014 and developed a strategic plan to guide the development and implementation of future outreach and educational campaigns. Waste Management, along with King and Snohomish Counties, participated in several planning sessions that focused on designing two pilots that will test the information and conclusions gleaned from the 2013 study. One pilot will focus on curbside composting while the other will focus on paper recycling. Information gathered from the 2013 research was also used to develop an organics message map that is currently being used in all curbside compost materials.

Elementary School Programs
In 2014, the Waste Management team offered the third year of a three year program of waste reduction and recycling (WRR) programs to schools in select areas of Snohomish County. The intent of the program was to increase recycling and reduce waste by educating school communities, including students, staff and families, on waste reduction and why and how to recycle and compost.

The 2014 program expanded to offer the following new elements:

  • Increased emphasis on sharing messages with families and taking action at home
  • New pre-workshop take-home survey for students to complete with families
  • Updated assembly and workshop script messaging
  • Technical and project assistance piloted for select secondary schools
  • Feedback surveys for technical assistance and action projects
  • Assistance for schools with Washington Green Schools certification goals
  • Direct family outreach through an interactive recycling “booth” located at family-focused school events
The WRR school program reached a total of 63 schools, and provided 37 assemblies, 214 classroom workshops, in-depth technical assistance to 23 schools, action project assistance for 11 student groups and outreach booths at six family night events. The program had a total of 28,712 contacts with students and teachers, with some contacts counted more than once, as some individuals participated in multiple program components.

Recycling Information Station
In 2012, Waste Management designed a new interactive educational booth for recycling outreach at community fairs, farmers markets and festivals. Waste Management’s signature Recycling Information Station is a hands-on interactive educational booth where customers of all ages can increase their recycling and composting knowledge, ask questions about waste reduction and pickup recycling guidelines, as well as information about community recycling resources and Household Hazardous Waste disposal information.

Each year, the WM Recycling Information Station can be found at events throughout Puget Sound, such as White Center Jubilee Days, Algona Days, Celebrate Woodinville, Gold Bar Gold Dust Days, Enumclaw Street Fair, Lake Stevens Aqua Fest, Sustainable Sammamish and Duvall Sandblast Days.

Community events provide a unique opportunity for customers to ask questions directly of trained staff, as well as gather the latest tools and resources for increasing recycling and composting. Meeting customers where they are, Waste Management’s engaging education booth increased the accessibility of recycling information and complemented ongoing community-based outreach efforts.

Key elements of the WM Recycling Information Station are upcycled and recycled craft projects and recycling games and sustainable prizes, offered as a means to draw in customers and solicit questions about recycling and composting. In addition, trained topic experts stand in front of the booth with the goal of actively engaging kids and adults walking by.

The education booth utilizes an “L” shaped layout, with the main table at the back so as to encourage visitors to move through the booth between an activity station for kids and teens, and a hands-on information station for adults.

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