How to Get Your Community Recycling

Bringing your friends and neighbors together to help the environment can be a great way to build a strong community, make new friends, and do something good for the Earth. If you could use a few fresh ideas to give your recycling incentives a kick start, we’ve come up with a few to help get you going.



Make available flyers, pamphlets or web pages that give the benefits of recycling. Point out interesting facts about the number of pounds of trash that goes into landfills each year (230 million tons), and how much of that is potentially recyclable (about 70 percent).

Use Incentives

Share information about businesses such as Recyclebank that provide rewards for green activities like recycling. Or collect cans and other metals separately and take them in to places that offer cash back. Use community gathered rewards to fund community projects like parks improvement, holiday decorations and block parties.

Provide Access

Encourage local businesses and restaurants to put recycle bins next to the trash cans they provide. People will be far more likely to take the time to recycle if it is easy. Imagine how much waste would be saved at a single fast-food restaurant if there were a separate container to put all of the used paper packaging and bags into when you were finished with your meal? Or at the grocery store if you had somewhere to put the receipts and coupons that print out?

Engage The Competitive Spirit

If there’s one thing that makes Americans great, it’s their competitive spirit. A few friendly competitions will get everyone engaged and talking about new ideas to recycle more. Try a “Trash Free Week” where everyone strives to have the biggest recycling pile and the smallest trash pile on collection day. Or organize a can collection at your child’s school where the classrooms compete to see who can collect the most.


Not bringing so many products into the home is the most effective way to reduce the amount of waste that enters the environment. Encourage the community to buy products with less packaging. Purchase reusable water bottles, lunch boxes and utensils. Don’t take freebies and bags that you won’t use, and bring your own mug to the local coffeehouse (many offer a discount if you do!).

No matter which route you take, you can’t go wrong when encouraging others to take care of the environment. The Earth will be cleaner, communities will be stronger, and everyone will feel good knowing that they are doing what they can to be more green.

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