FALLS CHURCH, Va. (March 18, 2021) —Today, in honor of Global Recycling Day, The Recycling Partnership has launched Communities for Recycling, an innovative national initiative to provide Americans with real-time, personalized, and hyper-local recycling information through Facebook’s Messenger experience. The initiative is the result of a collaboration between The Recycling Partnership, Facebook, and leading consumer packaged goods brands like PepsiCo.
The Recycling Partnership, a national nonprofit working to transform recycling for good while activating a circular economy in the U.S., finds that despite decades of recycling, there is no centralized guidance to help Americans recycle the right way -- as each U.S. community has its own policies and procedures for waste and recycling. These roughly 9,000 local recycling programs force recyclers to “check locally” on whether or not a specific material is accepted in their neighborhood program -- an increased barrier to participating in efforts to protect our planet, support our economy, and conserve natural resources.
“Americans want to recycle, and they want to recycle the right things. Frequently the public is just confused because recycling varies from place to place,” says Keefe Harrison, a Founder and the CEO of The Recycling Partnership. “That’s what is so exciting about Communities for Recycling – it allows us to localize recycling information in one tool that will soon be available nationwide. It allows the public to know what is recyclable in their town and it connects with companies who are doing more to design their products to be more recyclable.”
Communities for Recycling is a national initiative with the purpose of helping individuals have an impact at the local level when taking on recycling as a global challenge. Through a special program within the personalized Facebook Messenger experience, people in Atlanta and Fort Worth can find out if and how to recycle common items like plastic bottles, cardboard, and metal as well as learn more about the recyclability of less commonly recyclable items like yogurt cups, pizza boxes, and egg cartons by typing questions into the Messenger experience to get real-time recycling guidance in their location.
“Knowing how to recycle everyday items is a complex problem, but also an empowering opportunity to equip people with hyper-local solutions to play a role in shaping the future of sustainability,” said Arielle Gross Samuels, Head of Global Business Strategy and Engagement at Facebook. “We are excited to partner with the esteemed organization The Recycling Partnership and leverage Messenger to provide consumers with practical information around recycling best practices to benefit themselves and their broader communities.”
The digital tool was launched this month to Atlanta and Fort Worth Facebook and Instagram users in both English and Spanish, and The Recycling Partnership intends to expand the experience to additional U.S. communities later this year as it launches a national database that includes accurate recycling information, including accepted materials for thousands of communities nationwide.
“The launch of Communities for Recycling is a foundation for what is likely to become a new national standard for hyper-local recycling education and contamination reduction efforts, helping communities like Atlanta recycle more and recycle better,” says Kanika Greenlee, Environmental Programs Director for the City of Atlanta, Department of Public Works and Executive Director of Keep Atlanta Beautiful.
“Communities like Fort Worth realize that social media is a progressively important communication tool to connect with new audiences for specific programs such as recycling,” said Robert Smouse, Assistant Director Code Compliance, Solid Waste Services. “Fort Worth is proud to be one of the pilot cities chosen to share this personalized, hyper-local recycling information to our residents. Recycling and waste minimization are important issues in our city. In order to reach the largest audience possible, who better to do that with than Facebook.”
In addition to providing real-time localized recycling education, Communities for Recycling will showcase local heroes who give back to their communities through recycling, an effort to capture all three stage gates (access, knowledge, engagement) required to influence positive recycling behaviors, which were outlined in a recent report.
Participating brands will help amplify the recycling education message by featuring information about products that are fully recyclable in the pilot communities.
Access to the Communities for Recycling Messenger experience is available by sending a message to the Communities for Recycling Page. Currently, the full experience is available exclusively for residents of Fort Worth and Atlanta who recycle curbside; however, everyone is encouraged to check their recycling IQ with a nine-question quiz and join the national Facebook Group intended to inspire involvement in recycling in communities nationwide.
Communities for Recycling is a national initiative, led by The Recycling Partnership, to increase recycling, protecting our planet by collecting more recyclables and using fewer natural resources. Follow us for tips, tricks, and hacks.
About The Recycling Partnership
The Recycling Partnership is the action agent transforming the U.S. residential recycling system for good while activating a circular economy for packaging. Our team operates at every level of the recycling value chain and works on the ground with thousands of communities to transform underperforming recycling programs and tackle circular economy challenges. As the leading organization in the country that engages the full recycling supply chain from working with companies to making their packaging more circular and helping them meet their climate and sustainability goals to working with government to develop the policy solutions that will address the systemic needs of the U.S. recycling system, The Recycling Partnership positively impacts recycling at every step in the process. Since 2014, the nonprofit change agent diverted 230 million pounds of new recyclables from landfills, saved 465 million gallons of water, avoided more than 250,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases, and drove significant reductions in targeted contamination rates. Learn more at recyclingpartnership.org