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Recycling Outreach and Education Project

Recycling Outreach and Education Project

Client: San Juan County

Case Study: Peak worked with San Juan County citizens and businesses to educate them on the need for clean recycling. We also fielded staff members at the County Transfer Station in two seasons over ten weekends to educate users about how to improve the recyclability of their commingled waste. Over the period of a year, staff members engaged with forty-plus businesses to learn more about their barriers to producing cleaner recycled materials in their waste stream. This contract engaged the services of Shew Design to create strategic communication tools to get the recycling message across to a variety of audiences. Peak used these effective poster and postcard materials in their outreach.

Impact: This effort resulted in cleaner recycled materials and greater awareness of the need to clean recycled materials in order for the county to be able to find a market for their recycled waste stream. On-site education at the San Juan County Transfer Station resulted in reduced aspirational recycling, less confusion about what is and what is not recyclable, and observations by our team to increase compliance on recycling right. A reduction in contaminated waste transported off the island increased the market value of the County’s recycled material.

Testimonial: “Aspirational recycling is a big problem here in the San Juan Islands. We’ve used the survey data Peak collected and also your team member’s informative videos in our “Talking Trash” Community Forum. The videos of your team “pilfering” through our recycling container candidly illustrates the commingled recycling challenges we face. Your team’s outreach efforts are already improving the contamination issues at the transfer station.” Mark Herrenkohl. Former Solid Waste Program Administrator, San Juan County, Washington

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