2017 Summary


WM RECYCLE CORPS AND EVENT OUTREACH

WM Recycle Corps
WM Recycle Corps

WM Recycle Corps
Waste Management's Recycle Corps Internship Program, now in its sixth year, continues to be a valuable resource for our communities. Throughout the summer, 14 WM Recycle Corps interns engaged with residents across King and Snohomish counties to improve recycling habits and reduce waste. With team members fluent in Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Taishanese and Japanese, our interns helped bridge language gaps so more community members understand and participate in waste-reduction programs.

In 2017, the interns participated in 72 events and engaged in over 9,800 conversations with customers across Puget Sound!

The WM Recycle Corps Program has been a big success for our community and the environment. Nearly 50 percent of WM Recycle Corps alumni are now working in the industry for private companies and the public sector, continuing to improve recycling habits in our communities. Recognizing these successes, the Solid Waste Association of North America honored Waste Management's Recycle Corps program with the prestigious Gold Excellence Award, one of the highest honors in the industry.


14 Recycle Corps interns had 9,800 conversations at 72 events to engage the community in recycling and composting.


WM Recycling Corps


Waste Management's Pacific Northwest Recycle Corps internship program, now in its fifth year running, continues to be a valuable resource for our municipal partners. Throughout the summer of 2016, 12 Recycle Corps interns engaged with businesses, multifamily properties and other residents in 26 cities, across three counties, to improve recycling habits and reduce waste. To meet the needs of our communities, Recycle Corps 2016 was our most diverse class to date with language abilities in Spanish, Mandarin, American Sign Language and Greek. During their ten weeks with Waste Management, the interns attended 74 community events and made over 1,500 in-person site visits and over 7,000 calls to businesses and multi-family complexes.

Recycle Corps is not only valuable for communities, but also a valuable and recognized program within the industry. This unique approach to recycling education earned recognition from the Solid Waste Association of North American (SWANA) Award in both Education and Innovation in 2015. This program not only teaches college students the latest strategies in effectively engaging the public and businesses in waste reduction and recycling behavior change, but also provides opportunities for professional development. Nearly 50 percent of Recycle Corps alumni have begun working as professionals in the industry for private companies, the public sector, consulting firms and at Waste Management. Over the past five years, the Recycle Corps program has truly become an incubator for the green professional industry!


12 Recycle Corps interns attended 74 community events ,
made over 1,500 site visits, and over
7,000 calls to engage
the community in recycling and composting.



Recycling Information Station
In 2015, Waste Management engaged event attendees from across the Puget Sound through our signature Waste Management Recycling Information Station. The station hosts a multitude of resources on recycling and composting. These include interactive displays that serve as a module for teaching recycling and composting in a fun way, informative and comprehensive handouts that clearly display and educate on the nuances of recycling and composting and token giveaways made from recycled materials to bolster the messaging of renewal and reuse.

Each year, the Recycling Information Station can be found at a variety of events throughout the Puget Sound Region, such as Algona Days, Enumclaw Street Fair, Gold Bar Gold Dust Days, Mill Creek Festival, Pacific Days, Sultan Summer Shindig, Tour de Terrace and White Center Jubilee Days.

At the Recycling Information Station, Waste Management staff encouraged residents and business owners to ask hot topic recycling and composting questions, provided tips and tricks to encourage positive recycling behavior at home and at work and supplied information on where to take hard to recycle items, such as block foam. Community events provide a unique opportunity for customers to ask questions directly to trained staff, and gather the latest tools and resources. By meeting customers where they are, Waste Management's education booth continually increases the accessibility of recycling information to complement ongoing community-based outreach.






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.




Promotion of Recycling at Key Events























Click each banner for a larger view

Create a family-friendly, inviting and interactive education booth were UTC residents attending community events and festivals can ask questions, pick-up current recycling guidelines and learn more about which recyclable and compostable items can be diverted from the garbage.


WM Recycling Information Station

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 complimented ongoing community-based outreach efforts.

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 pick-up recycling guidelines, as well as information about community recycling resources and Household Hazardous Waste disposal information.

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 utilized 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.

Educational Materials and Green Giveaways

In 2013 Waste Management education staff worked with Triangle Assosicates to create a new "4Rs" coloring book, which included a pledge, puzzles and key educational messages developed as part of the WM "Recycling Rock Stars" elementary school assembly and EALR-aligned classroom workshops.

The coloring book joined the other educational materials offered at the booth:
  • Newspaper Plant Pots activity instructions
  • Recycled Crafts Resources flyer
  • Foodcycling coloring sheet
  • Waste Watchers activity sheet
  • Regional Recycling Guide (English, Spanish, Russian, Korean, Chinese, Somali, Vietnamese, Amharic)
  • Household Hazardous Waste information flyer
  • "Which Compostable Bags are Actually Compostable?" flyer
Games offered at the booth included the "Wheel o' Waste", "Recycling Relay" and "Sustainability Bingo". Kids and adults could play for prizes, including a recycled silicon "I (heart) Recycling"/"I'm closing the loop!" bracelet, reusable shopping tote (made from recycled plastic bottles) or pencils made from recycled newspaper.

Educational Banners

In 2013, a new customer engagement tool was added to the WM Recycling Information Station: 3-panel wrap-around 3'x10' educational banners. The banners were created as another mechanism to draw people to the booth, as well as to encourage and solicit questions.

Two sets of the educational banners were created:
  • Is this Recyclable?

    Large pictures of items identified as confusing by customers in the 2012 Customer Recycling Survey.
  • Destinations

    Each of the three panels shows photographs of the processing facilities where garbage, recycling and compost is taken after being collected at the curb.
Staff Recruitment and Training

In 2013 Waste Management celebrated its second year offering an 11-week, hands-on job training program in which university students are trained as recycling and outreach specialists. More than 270 university students, attending schools across the United States, applied for the 12 open internship positions. Finalists selected for this program included students from the University of Washington, Seattle University, Stanford, Northwest University, Western Washington University, George Washington University, University of Washington Evans School and University of Washington Tacoma.

After completing a 40-hour training program - which included presentations by regional thought leaders and topic experts - the new Waste Management Recycle Corps interns worked as recycling ambassadors at community events, and lead recycling education campaigns for business and multifamily customers in Waste Management's service areas.

Throughout the summer, the Waste Management Recycle Corps interns engaged residents, property managers and businesses in conversations about recycling, composting and waste reduction.

In 2013, the WUTC Revenue Sharing Agreement funded intern hours spent at community events in King and Snohomish Counties.

Event Locations

Each year, Waste Management education staff select community festivals and farmers markets throughout King and Snohomish Counties for the annual Waste Management Recycling Information Station tour.

Each event selected met one or both of the following criteria:
  • Located within or on the border of Waste Management's WUTC service area
  • Large event that would draw visitors from across the region

In 2013, Waste Management's team of professional outreach and education staff participated in thirty-seven community festivals and farmers markets serving WUTC customers across King and Snohomish Counties:
  • Algona Days
  • Arlington Farmers Market
  • Arlington Street Fair
  • Auburn Farmers Market
  • Bothell Farmers Market
  • Bothell Sustainamania
  • Burien Farmers Market (2)
  • Edmonds Farmers Market
  • Enumclaw Street Fair
  • Everett - Forest View Annual Science Day
  • Everett - All-You-Can-Shovel Event (5/18)
  • Everett - All-You-Can-Shovel Event (8/17)
  • Federal Way Farmers Market
  • Gold Bar Gold Dust Days
  • Kirkland Farmers Market
  • Lynnwood Big Dig, Compost Days
  • Maple Valley Farmers Market (2)
  • Mill Creek Festival
  • Mountlake Terrace National Night Out
  • Mountlake Terrace Tour de Terrace
  • Mukilteo Farmers Market (2)
  • Mukilteo Lighthouse Festival
  • Mukilteo National Night Out
  • Newcastle Days
  • Pacific Days
  • Renton Big Dig (Compost Days)
  • Renton Farmers Market
  • Renton River Days
  • Sammamish Days
  • Sammamish Farmers Market
  • Sammamish Nights
  • Stanwood Farmers Market (2)
  • Stanwood Touch-a-Truck
  • Sultan Summer Shindig
  • Sustainable Sammamish
  • White Center Jubilee Days
  • Woodinville Farmers Market


  • The 2013 Waste Management recycling education booth accomplished everything we hoped it could do: engage children, teens and adults in an age-appropriate dialog about recycling, composting and waste reduction.

    In many cases, kids came back to the booth bringing older siblings to play the games or take advantage of the craft station.

    The next evolution of the education booth will include a display and "Plastic Baffle" game, highlighting which plastics are recyclable and why.

    In addition, we will be adding a new WM Recycling Information Station created for Spanish-language customers.





    Promotion of Recycling at Key Events







    At festivals and farmers markets, attendees play family-friendly recycling games, ask questions about what can be recycled and composted in their own community and pick up current recycling guidelines and household hazardous waste information flyers.



    Raise awareness about how to recycle with a minimum of contaminations by developing interactive, family-friendly recycling education tools and information booth for community events and festivals in order to increase customer awareness about curbside recycling and composting programs, encourage signups, and provide tools that clearly inform which recyclable and compostable items can be diverted from the garbage.


    In 2012, Waste Management outreach staff provided an interactive recycling education booth at community events attended by WUTC customers across King and Snohomish Counties. At each of these events, festival and farmers market attendees could play family-friendly recycling games, ask questions about what can be recycled and composted in their own community and pick up current recycling guidelines and household hazardous waste information flyers.

    Booth Design and Green Giveaways

    Meeting customers where they are, Waste Management's engaging education booth increased the accessibility of recycling information and complimented ongoing community-based outreach efforts. Booth visitors of all ages were greeted by Waste Management recycling experts and encouraged to play recycling games, make crafts out of recycled materials and ask recycling questions. The education booth utilized 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.

    The education booth also featured "green giveaways" and prizes included recycling-themed coloring books, pencils made from recycled newspaper, seed packets, "Close the Loop" silicon bracelets and "Ask me…I am a recycling expert!" stickers that visitors could earn by answering recycling questions.

    At each event, regional recycling and compost guidelines and household hazardous waste disposal information flyers were made easily accessible for booth visitors.

    During the height of summer festivals over six weekends in July and August, Waste Management staff and Waste Management Recycle Corps college interns conducted a recycling survey to better understand which household items are the most confusing and what educational tools would make recycling easier for residents. More than 800 booth visitors answered three questions:

    1. What are the most confusing items for you?
    2. Who does the most recycling in your home (list of seven age ranges)?
    3. What would help you recycle more or make it easier to recycle?
    The results of the survey will be used in 2013 to evaluate existing programs and educational materials.

    Staff Recruitment and Training

    In 2012 Waste Management launched a new 12-week, hands-on job training program in which university students are trained as recycling and outreach specialists. More than 50 university students, attending schools across the United States, applied for the 11 open internship positions. Finalists selected for this program included students from the University of Washington, University of the Pacific, George Washington University, UCLA, University of Colorado and Northwest University.

    After completing a 40-hour training program - which included presentations by regional thought leaders and topic experts - the new Waste Management Recycle Corps interns worked as recycling ambassadors at community events, and lead recycling education campaigns for business and multifamily customers in Waste Management's service areas.

    Throughout the summer, the Waste Management Recycle Corps interns engaged residents, property managers and businesses in conversations about recycling, composting and waste reduction.

    In 2012, the WUTC Revenue Sharing Agreement funded intern hours spent at community events in King and Snohomish Counties.

    Event Locations

    In March 2012, Waste Management education staff selected community festivals and farmers markets throughout King and Snohomish Counties for the 2012 Waste Management education booth tour.

    Each event selected met one or both of the following criteria:

    • Located within or on the border of Waste Management's WUTC service area
    • Large event that would draw visitors from across the region


    Between April and December 2012, Waste Management outreach staff participated in 65 community events and farmers markets across King and Snohomish Counties, talking to more than 14,000 residents. Over a six-week period during the height of summer festivals, 800 surveys were completed by customers, providing Waste Management with information about the age of the person who recycles in their household, what items are confusing and what resources would help them recycle more.


    The 2012 Waste Management recycling education booth accomplished everything we hoped it could do: engage children, teens and adults in an age-appropriate dialog about recycling and waste reduction. Throughout the summer, we tested several set-up styles and found that the two-table, inverted "L"-shaped approach resulted in more people coming into the booth to participate in activities, pick-up flyers and ask recycling questions.

    Of all of the educational give-aways offered, seed packets, "Close the Loop - Think Green" silicon bracelets and "recycled" pencils were the most popular with all ages. Coloring books were taken by elementary-aged children and the Recycled Crafts and Newspaper Plant Pot activity sheets were taken by teens, parents and teachers. The most popular table displays were the Waste Management "Garbage Book" - a 3-dimensional book showcasing examples of what cannot be recycled, the "Wheel O Waste" trivia wheel and the "Sort it Out" interactive sorting game.

    The next evolution of the education booth will include a Waste Management Recycling Resources flyer that highlights regional resources for hard-to-recycle items, a "Recyclable Plastic Myth-Busters" decision tree and "12 Ways, 365 Days" waste reduction tool.





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