Lifting the Veil: Marketing to Change Recycling Behavior
Jessica Shrout, President, Circle Three Branding
The recycling industry faces several issues in recycling practices for consumers. The severity of these issues could be reduced by marketing to educate the public. The world of recycling is shrouded in mystery. Consumers simply don’t understand the intricacies surrounding proper disposal techniques: the process ends for them at their curbside cart. Bad information from uninformed sources or “wishcyclers” with good intentions result in recycling contamination and increased costs. While many haulers and municipalities publish guidelines on recycling best practices, the reasons behind these “rules” aren’t explained and the rules get broken or the consumer must make intuitive leaps. Recent news on contamination has left consumers feeling confused about recycling and jaded about paying for those services. By lifting the veil on recycling processing, the industry can mitigate the effects of poor recycling practices. Marketing tactics can educate consumers on why these rules exist and how to make eco-friendly decisions on items that are particularly problematic. By leveraging your marketing platforms, you can ensure customers understand the rules and adhere to them –slowing down rising costs - and position yourself as the only relevant authority on recycling: making your service even more valuable.
Jessica Shrout is the owner of Circle Three Branding – a marketing agency dedicated to the waste and recycling industry. Her passion grew from a frustration that no outside agency seemed to understand the needs of the waste world – and so it became a mission to provide quality marketing services from someone who understands what you’re talking about. Jessica’s work in marketing and brand development have won first-place awards at the national level in 2018 and 2019. She is also a columnist on marketing strategy for the industry and her articles can be found in Waste Advantage Magazine.