South Mukilteo solid waste franchisee Waste Management was recently awarded “Recyler of the Year” honor from the Washington State Recycling Association for their work in partnership with Snohomish County. This award is for Waste Management’s education and outreach team’s innovative and food waste reduction and contamination work. Much of this recognition is for their “Scrap Happy” food waste campaign from the summer of 2018.
Their work targeted two of the industry’s major challenges: recycling contamination and reducing food waste. To tackle contamination, Waste Management studied the behavioral impacts of placing tags or notices on residents’ carts with tips to improve recycling habits.
The surprising results revealed that simple messaging is more effective than feedback tags with specific instructions about how to improve recycling. These simpler tags resulted in a remarkable 50% reduction in plastic film contamination in recycling. “With a strong partner like Snohomish County, we’re able to find new and innovative opportunities to educate and make an impact,” said Joel Kohlstedt, recycling education manager for Waste Management. “Together, we’re changing behaviors and advancing sustainability throughout the county.” Congratulations to Waste Management!
On September 1, 2019, Waste Management will be the City of Mukilteo’s only solid waste service provider. There will be a series of public outreach meetings to inform residential, property manager and business customers about routes, new cart size offerings, and cart delivery prior to September 1. These outreach meetings will be publicized shortly.