Join Waste Management's Reduce and Recycling Challenge
October 1st 2012 - March 29th, 2013
Waste Management is partnering with neighborhood organizations to challenge 10 Seattle communities to reduce waste. There are two big prizes on the line:
What does it take to win? It's simple: Shop smart. Waste less. Recycle more. Tell others.
- The community who reduces their garbage the most by March 2013 will win a $40,000 check to give to the non-profit of their choice.
- The neighborhood organization that has done the best job encouraging neighbors to reduce their garbage will win a $10,000 check to give to the non-profit of their choice.
We'll help you each month with seasonal tips, posted here on our website.
Two Ways to Win
Reduce waste. The community who reduces their garbage the most will win a $40,000 check to give to the community non-profit of their choice.
To determine the winner, WM will compare the total garbage collected from each of the 10 communities last year (Oct. 2011 - March 2012) to the total garbage collected from the same time-period this year. The community that has the greatest reduction in their garbage, or "waste-line" wins.
Each month, we will post an update with how each of the 10 communities are doing in this "waste-loss" challenge. You will see the total tons of garbage collected to-date for each community, and how it compares to the same time last year.
Educate. We have provided five Think Green outreach challenge opportunities as well as a seasonal outreach challenge option. Neighborhood organizations may choose one of these six challenges (the five described or the seasonal challenge) to complete per month, for each month of the competition. Each challenge is worth one point, and each neighborhood may earn one point per month, for a maximum of 6 points. Challenges must be documented with a photo sent through the partner organization to email@example.com by the first of the following month.
At the end of the competition, the neighborhood organization with the most points wins a $10,000 check to give to a community non-profit of their choice. If more than one neighborhood organization completes every challenge, they will share the winnings evenly. That means each neighborhood organization could win at least $1000 by participating in a Think Green outreach challenge each month of the competition.
We will post an update monthly with how many points each neighborhood organization has earned.
Think Green Outreach Challenges
Use our seasonal waste reduction tips, posters, and handouts to reach out to your community. If you would like to participate in an outreach challenge for your community, contact your partner organization (listed below).
Competition Map - find your community!
- Distribute Posters - We will provide each neighborhood organization with 25 Think Green Recycling Challenge posters to put up at local businesses. Choose areas that are highly visible to your community. Tell the owner/manager about the competition and how we are involving the community. Then ask for permission to hang the poster in a visible location. We recommend completing this activity at the start of the competition.
- Recycling Flash Mob - Gather your friends, family, neighbors, pets - anyone you can - to "spontaneously" join you in a high-traffic area to promote recycling. Whistles, boas, streamers, and signs, are encouraged, but make sure they're borrowed or reused!
- YouTube Video - Promote the competition to your neighbors by highlighting our waste-reduction tips of the month in a YouTube video. If you have a forum, you can even post a link on your website, FaceBook page, or neighborhood blog. Send the link to your video to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Event Table - Many communities and schools host events throughout the year, from back-to-school nights, farmers markets, holiday fairs and spring celebrations.. Set up a table to let attendees know about the competition and promote our monthly waste-reduction tips. We'll provide competition flyers and educational brochures about what can be recycled and composted in Seattle.
- Door-to-Door Outreach - Visit 200 neighbors and tell them about the competition. We will provide competition flyers to share with anyone who wants one. Remember, we are measuring total residential garbage in each community, so every household counts! Tell us how many houses you visited and send us a picture at email@example.com.
- Seasonal Challenge - Every month, we will post a seasonal challenge on this website. Promote the competition and the corresponding waste reduction tips and, again, send us pictures!
- October's Think Green Outreach Challenge - Host a costume exchange. National Costume Swap Day is a national grassroots effort to reduce waste, and save families money during Halloween. Although officially National Costume Swap Day is 10/13, you may host your swap any day in October. Visit Green Halloween for details.
- November’s Seasonal Outreach Challenge
In the spirit of cooking and waste reduction, our November outreach challenge option will involve recipes. Come up with 5 waste-free recipes, and post them on your blog, Facebook, website, list-serve - anywhere for your community to see. If you’d prefer to hand them out an event, that’s okay too! Send the link to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Earth 911 has some great ideas to get you started.
- December’s Seasonal Challenge
Write a Christmas carol about recycling and the competition. Sing it to 10 of your neighbors. (You might have to knock on a few doors.) To complete the challenge, send us your carol lyrics and photos. With the creativity in this group, I’m excited to see what you come up with!
- January’s Outreach Challenge
While your neighbors are making New Year’s Resolutions, engage them in sustainable behaviors. From your community, collect at least 40 pledges to use reusable bags. I have attached a pledge form for you to gather the pledges as well as a pledge reminder with tips for you to give to the community member pledging. Once you have 40 pledges, make them public, so your whole community can see the commitments. Post them at your neighborhood’s community center or a local business, and send us the picture of your posted pledges.
- February’s Seasonal Challenge
Ask 10 neighbors (outside of your community group) to finish the sentence: "I love recycling, because ___________________________." Include their name (you may leave out their last name). Post the responses on your website, blog or list serve. Also, send the them to email@example.com or directly to me and we will share them with our social networks.
- March’s Seasonal Challenge
Host a spring cleaning swap where your neighbors may bring cleaning items and tools that they no longer need and may borrow items they do need. Think anything from household cleaners to lawnmowers, rakes and steam cleaners. If you have no physical space for a swap, start an online forum, where residents may post what they need and/or can lend to their neighbors. Send us a picture and a description of a few items exchanged.
We've divided our service areas into neighborhoods based on your garbage, recycling and food/yard waste service day.
Here are the partner organizations representing neighborhood:
Steps to Success
How can you help your neighborhood win this competition?
Shop smart. Waste less. Recycle more. Tell others.
Here are some tips to reduce your garbage:
- Opt out of unwanted junk mail, catalogs and phone books.
- Buy groceries in bulk quantities, using reusable containers. Think of how many containers you can save by buying bulk rice, dried beans, and flour!
- Plan meals without waste.
- Visit your local Seattle Public Library for books, magazines, DVDs, and CDs
- Rent or borrow equipment.
- To reduce packaging, shop at your local farmers market.
- Sell items you no longer want and find bargains at consignment shops, garage sales, thrift stores, online exchanges and auctions like eBay and Craig's List.
- Buy long-lasting durable products that last longer than disposable products.
- Use bar soap instead of bath gel.
- Bring your own reusable bags and containers when you shop.
- Use a reusable water bottle instead of buying a disposable plastic one and drink coffee from a reusable mug instead of paper cups.
- Visit the Seattle's South Household Hazardous Waste Facility for free hazardous products, including oil-based paint, household cleansers, wood care products, antifreeze and other automotive products.
- Always think twice before printing. Print double-sided and learn other ways to save paper through the City of Seattle's PaperCuts reduction strategies.
- Pack lunches with reusables - Tupperware, bags, and utensils.
- Donate old magazines to charities, doctor's offices, hospitals, schools or your local gym.
Every month, we'll post current, seasonal waste-reduction tips.
How is your neighborhood doing?
We will update our tonnage graph and outreach tracker monthly, so you can see how your neighborhood is doing.
Measuring Community Garbage Waste-lines
For each neighborhood, we're measuring the change in the total amount of garbage collected from October-March last year, compared to the same period this year. The neighborhood with the greatest reduction in garbage collected will win $40,000. It's a simple formula -
[this year's garbage tonnage (to date) - last year's garbage tonnage (to date)]
Rankings by collection day
Data is through March 31st 2013.
Regardless of your garbage tonnage, every neighborhood can win up to $10,000 by educating your community about recycling and reducing waste. Track your neighborhood's points here. Remember, each neighborhood can earn a maximum of one point per month, for a total of 6 points.
Data is through March 31st 2013.
The winner(s) of this year's waste reduction and outreach competitions will get to select a local non-profit to receive a check for $40,000, and $10,000, respectively. The partner organization of the winning neighborhood(s) will select where to allocate the money.