Top 7 Tips to Tap into Digital Tools and Tackle Your Holiday Waste Messaging   

As we gather around the Christmas tree or yule log this holiday season, we’re creating more than love and laughter; we’re also generating about 25% more waste between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.

As we make memories, we’ll also end up with some 25 million tons of trash. While we feed our friends and family, we’ll also throw out 25% of the food we buy.

But it doesn’t have to be this way! Some 80% of our holiday waste can actually be reused, repurposed, or recycled. And we can help.

Here are 7 tips to help you figure out how to utilize your digital communication tools to combat excessive waste so you can go back to enjoying the season.

  1. Deck out your website or app
    Keep the information people need updated and centralized on your website and/or app. Be sure to include this information in multiple languages so you may reach as many people as possible. Tip: If you regularly post information about your programs on your website, be sure to include the web address on all promotional materials to drive traffic back to your site.
  2. Analytics, baby
    From the number of visitors who frequent your website to the most-searched materials, tap into analytics to help inform your focus and messaging efforts.

    You can also utilize tools such as our Waste Sorting Game to test people’s recycling knowledge and learn what people are commonly getting wrong. Armed with that information, you may roll out targeted communications instead of guesswork to improve your outcomes.
  3. Spread the word
    Keep your holiday recycling programs top of mind by regularly reminding people about their collection days — especially if your schedule will change to observe the holidays.

    One easy way to quickly keep folks in the loop is to set up automated reminders or campaigns through our Collection Calendar tool. This function allows you to place a message at the front and center of your website to relay important information to people or direct them to other pages and digital tools.  
  4. Keep in touch
    As you roll out additional or special collection days in light of holidays, be sure to also communicate changes such as weather delays, collection interruptions, Christmas tree collection days, and more. If you have an organics collection program, remind folks of its convenience so they may properly dispose of their food waste after their feasts. 

    You can do all of this through the Collection Calendar tool. There, you may insert important pick-up dates, information for drop-off locations, collection drives, special collections such as Christmas tree pick-ups, and more.
  5. Put a wrap on top trash offenders
    Sometimes it’s difficult to know exactly what can and cannot be recycled, which often leads to wishcycling. Cut back on contamination by communicating common holiday-related offenders such as lights, tinsel, and other holiday tanglers that can wrap around recycling center machinery, trip up equipment, and potentially harm employees.
  6. Sprinkle some holiday magic — and information about where to put it after the holiday
    After the rush of feasting and opening gifts, we’re left with several items that either cannot be recycled or may require a little extra care to do so. Make sure people know where to place food packaging, products that contain foil and plastics, soiled paper, bows, glitzy or glittery paper, bubble wrap, gift bags, and more.

    One of the ways you can help people become better recyclers is through our Waste Wizard tool. Year-round, this tool can guide people to dispose of their items in the correct bin. This feature comes in especially handy around the holidays when we’re left with festive bits and baubles. People may simply search for the item in question, and quickly learn whether or not the item can be recycled. If the item can’t be recycled, but it isn’t necessarily ready to become trash, you can load messaging into the Waste Wizard to advise people to possibly reuse the item next year, donate it, take it to a drop-off site, and more.
  7. Remind people about zero-waste options
    We have a host of options to afford us some holiday fun without all of the holiday waste. Remind folks to use items such as reusable plates and napkins versus reaching for the disposables. Deck the halls with artificial garland and trees that may be used year after year. If anyone has opted for real trees and greenery, remind them that they may be composted rather than taken to the landfill.

    Help folks cut back on gift-related waste. Some gifts, for instance, do not have to be wrapped at all. If they do, remind people that they may wrap them with recyclable materials found around the house, such as newspapers, magazines, old maps, or deconstructed brown paper bags.

    In addition, we can also save on energy by shutting off holiday lights in the overnight hours, or whenever they’re out. 

Learn more. Want to hear more about how you can make your Holiday Waste Program a success? Check out our on-demand webinar!

At ReCollect, we’re a tight-knit team of passionate, purpose-driven people with 40 years combined experience in waste, recycling, and technology. We’ve been building digital recycling education and outreach tools for government agencies, waste haulers, educational institutions and business organizations since 2009. If you have any questions about how you can leverage technology to help you develop, create and implement holiday and other waste programs, let’s talk — we’re all in this together!