Recycling outreach tips from Dennis and Dan Go

There is no doubt about it: old habits are hard to break.  When it comes to something as rudimentary as how we deal with trash, getting people to change behaviors is no small task. 

Enter Dennis and Dan.

Daniel Ruiz (aka Dan the Recycling Man) is the recycling manager from Brooklyn Park, MN.  Dennis Guy is the project manager for outreach in waste management with the City of Hamilton, ON.  In both locations, the municipalities have recently moved to single stream recycling.  Efforts are underway to help create awareness within communities about the new services.  Both offered up tips in a recent article in MSW Management.  Common themes included the use of social media, face-to-face contact, and direct mail.

In addition to blogging,  Dan says: “Issuing a recycling guide on an 8 x 11 inch sheet of paper, color-coded to show recyclable materials has proved useful”.   

Dennis explains that targeted, direct mail within Hamilton helps to overcome challenges with conflicting media messages from nearby Toronto.  He also encourages seeking out the avid recyclers that will help spread the word, adding “People are much more likely to listen to neighbors than someone from the city”.

So - the next time chatter falls into a lull over cocktails, at a baby shower, or the local block party – take the opportunity to offer up a few recycling tips.


If you are seeking out a recycling center for an oddball item – be sure to visit

A quick Internet search using keywords “recycling” or “waste management” and the name of your town will often bring you directly to guidelines within your own community.

More thoughts on how to encourage recycling here.

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