The Solid Waste Agency of Lake County (SWALCO) wants residents to place the priority on recycling first, defining what’s left as trash. Recognizing that a lot of items are recyclable via curbside recycling in the County, SWALCO is launching a new campaign, called, “Recycle First. Trash Last” to encourage residents to shift how they think about recycling.
“By transitioning the mindset of residents from one of pulling recyclables out of the trash to, ideally, pulling trash out of the recycling, recycling can become a proactive everyday habit,” said Walter Willis, executive director of SWALCO. “The ‘Recycle First. Trash Last.’ theme embodies the perspective we want Lake County residents to adopt: to view recyclable materials as the valuable resources they are and help us reclaim more of them by encouraging residents to recycle throughout their entire house.”
The campaign is the result of a partnership between SWALCO and the Curbside Value Partnership (CVP), an invitation-only program designed to increase participation in curbside recycling programs through improved education and measurement. Each year, CVP selects communities with which to partner that have strong existing curbside recycling programs, the means to measure the effectiveness of those programs and a desire to think creatively about educating their residents to improve their recycling.
Throughout Lake County, residents will encounter the new campaign in a variety of ways, including radio and transit advertisements, direct mail, at malls and events, and online via news websites and a new campaign website: www.RecycleFirstTrashLast.org.
“It’s never been easier for consumers to recycle more of the materials they use every day, and we’re thrilled to partner with SWALCO to bring that message to residents,” said Craig Cookson, CVP board member and director, Sustainability and Recycling, Plastics Division, for the American Chemistry Council. “SWALCO is clearly a leader in its efforts to collect more plastics and other materials, and I’m confident that, together, we can make a difference.”
The SWALCO/CVP partnership is a true example of successful public-private collaboration. Taking full advantage of its partnership with CVP, SWALCO has invested its education budget in developing this campaign to benefit the county and the environment, along with the help of some local sponsors, including Waste Management Inc., Groot Industries, Lakeshore Waste Services LLC, Resource Management Companies, Veolia Environmental Services and Lakes Disposal Services Inc. CVP brings national-level recycling and communications expertise to the region at no cost to the county.
“On behalf of CVP, we view recycling as one of the easiest ways Americans can help the environment,” said Steve Thompson, executive director of CVP. “There are approximately 230,000 households in Lake County that can participate in the curbside program. We hope this campaign encourages them to shift their mindset to recycle first. In addition, we’re looking forward to using the ‘Recycle First. Trash Last.’ campaign as a model for other communities who are looking to improve their education efforts and make their curbside programs more cost-effective.”
ABOUT THE CURBSIDE VALUE PARTNERSHIP
The Curbside Value Partnership (CVP) is a 501(c)(3) organization designed to grow participation in curbside recycling programs nationwide. It is the only current national program that engages all recycling stakeholders (including government, private industry, haulers and materials recovery facilities) to identify solutions to improving curbside recycling programs through education and data analysis. CVP’s goal is to launch and study education programs to increase participation in local curbside programs, and make programs more profitable and sustainable. To date, 29 communities and four states have been engaged by CVP in education campaigns. The program is currently funded by members of the Aluminum Association (Alcoa, Tri-Arrow Aluminum and Novelis), Can Manufacturers Institute (Ardagh Group, Ball Corporation, BWAY Corporation, Crown Holdings Inc., Metal Container Corporation, Rexam, Silgan Containers Corporation, Sonoco-Phoenix Inc and the Van Can Company) as well as the American Chemistry Council, Coca Cola Recycling, Grocery Manufacturers Association, International Bottled Water Association and Keep America Beautiful. Other corporate sponsors interested in impacting recycling rates in a meaningful way are always welcome. For more information, visit www.RecycleCurbside.org.
The Solid Waste Agency of Lake County, Ill. (SWALCO) is a municipal joint action agency that is responsible for developing and implementing a regional solid waste management plan for its 41 municipal members including the County of Lake and Naval Station Great Lakes. Formed in 1990, SWALCO represents approximately 85 percent of the county’s population. Its mission is to implement a regional solid waste management plan; facilitate an efficient, reliable and environmentally sound waste disposal system; advise and assist its members regarding solid waste management issues; educate the public regarding implications of solid waste management options; and identify, evaluate and disseminate information regarding techniques to reduce, reuse and recycle the amount of solid waste generated. For more information, visit www.swalco.org.
This press release was submitted by SWALCO.