Wayfinding and city signage
Building buzz around recycling programs

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According to the Environmental Protection Agency, strong community recycling programs can contribute to a healthy, united community. Such programs—led with support and guidance from local government agencies—have been known to support local economies, encourage sustainable growth and improve the water and air qualities of the communities that implement them.

In fact, did you know…

The White House Task Force projected that 195 million cubic yards of materials were prevented from entering landfills in past years due to recycling—an amount equivalent to the space of 92 large landfills.

  • Unlike the waste management industry, recycling adds value to materials, contributing to a growing labor force, including materials sorters, dispatchers, truck drivers, brokers, sales representatives, process engineers and chemists. These jobs also generally pay above the average national wage, and many are in inner city urban areas where job creation is vital.
  • The recycling and reuse industry generates billions in federal, state and local tax revenues (estimated at $12.9 billion in 2001).
  • By conservative estimates, recycling was projected to save 605 trillion British Thermal Units (BTUs) in 2005, equal to the energy used in 6 million households annually.
  • About 4 percent of the U.S.’s total energy consumption is used in the production of all plastic products, and some of this energy can be recovered through the recycling of plastics products after their useful life is ended.
  • For each pound of aluminum recovered, Americans save the energy resources to generate about 7.5 kilowatt hours of electricity. This is enough energy to meet the electric needs of a city the size of Pittsburgh for six years.

Local recycling programs are valuable, but it’s no secret they’ve been slashed from the budgets of many communities. Rally support from constituents and communicate the value and cost savings these programs—when executed efficiently—can provide.
Here are a few ideas to get started building buzz:

  • Make it easy to understand—develop communication materials, like direct mail pieces, flyers, web pages and more that break it down for residents. What is the program, how does it work, what are residents expected to do and when, are residents required to participate, is there a cost associated with participation? Make it clear!
  • Canvass neighborhoods to leave behind recycled tote bags filled with information on local recycling programs, the benefit these programs offer to the community and the environment, and who they can contact with for more information.
  • Stationing volunteers in high-traffic areas to distribute flyers and a memorable takeaway item like calendar magnets  or recycling bin-shaped magnets outlining recycle collection days to build awareness.
  • Utilize your city’s website or social media channels to promote the program. Create videos showing residents where their recycling goes, create a blog with tips on recycling and reducing waste, get the recycling crew on Twitter® to send updates from a new perspective. Encourage engagement by giving away T-shirts to residents sharing links and spreading the word. The possibilities are endless!
  • Join forces with local businesses to get them on board with recycling programs and to encourage their employees to do the same. Make it easy by donating recycling bags for their offices.
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Air-Conditioning Appreciation Days (7/3 to 8/15)
Bereaved Parents Month
Bioterrorism/Disaster Education & Awareness Month
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Eggplant and Lettuce Month
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Freedom From Fear of Speaking Month
Hemochromatosis Screening Awareness Month
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International Blondie and Deborah Harry Month
International Group B Strep Awareness Month
International Women with Alopecia Month
International Zine Month
Mango and Melon Month
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National “Doghouse Repairs” Month
National Grilling
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Nectarine and Garlic Month
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Social Wellness Month
Tour de France Month

Women’s Motorcycle Month

International Chicken Wing Week: 1-4
National Unassisted homebirth Week: 1-7
Be Nice to New Jersey Week: 3-9
Freedom Week: 4-10
Nude Recreation Week: 4-10
National Farriers Week: 10-16
Sports Cliché Week: 10-16
National Parenting Gifted Children Week: 12-18
National Ventriloquism Week: 13-16
Rabbit Week: 15-21
Captive Nations Week: 17-23
National Independent Retailers Week: 17-23
Restless Leg Syndrome Education & Awareness Week: 18-25
National Independent Retailers Week: 17-23
National Zoo Keeper Week: 17-23
National Baby Food Week: 20-23
Comic-con International: 23-24
World Lumberjack Championships: 29-31
Single Working Woman’s Week: 7/31-8/6

1: Canada Day
1: International Chicken Wing Day
1: Second Half of The Year Day
1: U.S. Postage Stamp Day
1: Zip Code Day
1-3: Rosewell UFO Days
2: I Forgot Day
2: International Cherry Pit Spitting Day
2: International Day of Cooperatives
3: Compliment Your Mirror Day
3: Stay Out Of The Sun Day
4: Fourth of July or Independence Day
4: Independence From Meat Day
4: Indivisible Day
4: International Drive Your Studebaker Day
4: Earth at Aphelion
5: Bikini Day
6: Take Your Webmaster to Lunch Day
7: Chocolate Day
7: Father-Daughter Take A Walk Together Day
7: Global Forgiveness Day
7: Tell The Truth Day
8: SCUD Day (Savor the Comic, Unplug the Drama)
9: Bald In-Bald Out Day
9: Carver Day
9: Hop A Park Day
9: Martyrdom of The Bab
10: Clerihew Day
10: Don’t Step On A Bee Day
10: Pina Colada Day
10: Teddy Bear’s Picnic Day
11: Bowdler’s Day
11: World Population Day
12: International Town Criers Day
13: Embrace Your Geekness Day
13: Gruntled Workers Day
15: Gummi Worm Day
15: Saint Swithin’s Day
16: Hot Dog Night
17: Cow Appreciation Day
17: Fast of the 17th of Tammuz
17: National Hot Dog Day
17: Toss Away the ‘Could Haves’ and ‘Should Haves’ Day
17: Woodie Wagon Day
18: National Ice Cream Day
17: Wrong Way Corrigan Day
17: Yellow Pig Day
18: Mandela Day
18: National Get Out of the Doghouse Day
18: Global Hug Your Kid Day
19: Flitch Day
20: National Lollipop Day
21: Get to Know Your Customers Day
22: National Penuche Fudge Day
22: Rat-catcher Day
22: Spooners (Spoonerism) Day
23: Gorgeous Grandma Day
23: Hot Enough For Ya Day
24: Cousins Day
24: Mormon Pioneer Day
24: National Drive-Thru Day
24: Tell an Old Joke Day
24: National Day of the Cowboy
25: Carousel Day or Merry-Go-Round Day
25: Parents’ Day
25: Thread The Needle Day
26: One Voice
27: National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day
27: Take Your Houseplant For A Walk Day
27: Walk on Stilts Day
28: Buffalo Soldiers Day
28: National Milk Chocolate Day
28: National Chili Dog Day
29: Lasagna Day
29: Lumberjack Day
29: National Talk in An Elevator Day
29: System Administrator Appreciation Day 
30: Cheesecake Day
30: Father-In-Law Day
30: Paddle for Perthes Disease Awareness Day