Mixed Messaging in Recycling Programs

Mixed Messaging in Recycling Programs

The effect of China’s bans and contamination restrictions on recycling made headlines in mainstream news throughout 2018, bringing curbside recycling programs into the spotlight. National companies and local municipalities have all vowed to increase public education and recycling outreach in order to combat contamination in the bin. Community diversion goals remain high while revenue from recyclable commodity sales have plummeted.

Brent Bell, vice president of Waste Management Recycling Services, recently noted that “wishcycling” is the leading cause of contamination in the U.S. The company says the contamination rate across their programs is 25 percent. It is more important than ever for the viability of recycling programs to maintain quality recycling streams, yet public confusion is at an all-time high. The message is clear; we need to stop sending customers and residents mixed messaging about recycling.

Noted recycling communications experts will be featured at the Federation of New York Solid Waste Associations’ Conference and Trade Show at The Sagamore on May 19th through the 22nd, 2019. Of particular interest to those looking for tactics to fight contamination will be a breakout session titled “Walk the Talk” including best practices for cart tagging presented by Chris Coady of the Recycling Partnership. An additional breakout session highlighting effective messaging will provide an overview of regional recycling campaigns. The perspective of several municipalities as well as the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s statewide “Recycle Right” effort will share their strategies for harmonizing communication efforts throughout the State.

Beyond these featured sessions focusing on recycling contamination, the Federation’s seminar topics are a wide-ranging mix, covering emerging issues and technologies (many qualifying for P.E. continuing education credits). Over 75 speakers from across the nation will be presenting the latest on materials management, reuse, recycling, composting, energy-from-waste and landfil issues throughout 30 panels over two and a half days.

To view the full technical session agenda visit conference program.

About the Federation
The Federation of New York Solid Waste Associations is the umbrella organization for the NYS Association for Reduction, Reuse & Recycling, the NYS Association for Solid Waste Management, and the Solid Waste Association of North America – NYS Chapter. Its goals are to develop recommendations for appropriate public policy for consideration by state and federal representatives, as well as to provide education, training, and networking opportunities through its annual solid waste and recycling conference. For more information please visit our website at www.nyfederation.org.