Waste Management

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Goal

Increase the number of commercial businesses in the City of Palmdale that recycle.

Challenge

California requires recycling for any business that produced more than four cubic yards of waste per week. Waste Management and the City of Palmdale identified some 60 businesses that fit the bill. Previous outreach and educational efforts hadn’t worked. In two years, not a single business had signed up.

What We Did

We identified the real barriers and motivators. (We’re good at that.) It turns out a lack of awareness wasn’t the problem. Our research found that business had a general aversion to the effort needed to sign up for recycling. They were also apathetic to the recycling process and feared that, while currently free, would eventually cost them. On the other hand, they liked the idea of being recognized by the public and city as a green business. So we set out to lower the barriers and increase the motivators. We implemented an automatic enrollment program and conducted in-person outreach to the businesses to explain the enrollment, provide information and listen to concerns. SGA also assessed any space constraints at the companies to assist Waste Management.

Results

  • In-person outreach to 50 businesses
  • 20 businesses signed up for recycling services
  • Exceeded our goal by 33%