July/August 2018
E-newsletter highlighting grant deadlines, upcoming workshops and available resources for municipal recycling and solid waste leaders.
How to Reduce Contamination
What has Behavior Got to Do with It?

Individual behaviors can have measurable and significant environmental impacts. Building effective programs that increase the level of environmentally responsible behaviors, such as recycling, can be an important part of creating positive environmental change.

What is, and what isn't ,
Behavior Change?

Behavior is a distinct construct from knowledge, awareness, and concern. While people express concern about environmental issues, they continue to behave in ways that are harmful to the environment.

  • Informational programs, such as those based on simply handing out pamphlets or posting flyers, have a low likelihood of influencing behavior.

Behavior change is complex; there are many motivators and barriers to behavior that vary based on the individual and the particular behavior. Therefore, it is important to use multiple behavior change strategies to target different motives. "Know your audience" - what motivates them to recycle? What discourages them from recycling?

Where do people Recycle?

Home = 91%

Work = 69%

Public place = 72%

It appears that consumers that recycle at home are far more likely to recycle at work and when they are out in public places. Therefore, getting consumers more on board with home recycling may have beneficial consequences across other recycling behaviors.

Source: Keep America Beautiful
Strategy to Increase Participation: Remove Barriers

The Homer Principle:
  • Recycling isn't focus of residents attention
  • They need to hear from you; remind them and make it easy!

Source: Keep America Beautiful
Behavior Fundamentals

MOST consider themselves to be good recyclers

What kind of recycling are you?
•47% - I’m great at recycling
•45% - I’m OKAY at recycling
•7% - I’m terrible at recycling

In fact, of those who say recycling is important, 92% consider themselves great, while those who rate recycling somewhat important see room for improvement.

Residents are looking for direction

When in doubt, what do you do with an item ready to be disposed?
•31% - Throw it in the trash
•24% - Recycling BIN to let someone else sort it
32% - look up what to do with it
•13% - ask someone else
Where do they look for info?

Consumers increasingly rely upon websites for answer to their recycling questions:

•54% respondents rely on their city, county or recycling company's website as the first or second choice source
•52% respondents rely on Internet searches
•36% of Americans say that they either seek out or are provided with recycling information from their local government

And yet... a recent study from The Recycling Partnership found less than 41% of communities studied had recycling information on municipal websites.

Residents are looking for direction

Helping residents "act"
•16% - looking for consistent tools (Show Me)
•68% - they will look up answer if reminded; prompted (Help Me)
•7% - I'm terrible at recycling (Make Me)

Source: Effective Education Strategies for Proper Recycling , Cindy Jolicoeur & Anna DeMers, C+C
Recycling Compliance

Education and outreach are important, but will be more effective when it includes a compliance strategy.

Before moving directly to educational outreach on, and compliance with the existing municipal waste management program, the team might want to pause, take a step back, and weigh whether or not they want to maintain that program as-is, or consider more fundamental changes (such as single vs. dual stream recycling, municipal vs private hauling, and fixed taxes or fees vs Pay-As-You-Throw).

The team should next consider the following questions:
  1. What information do residents need to know in order to comply with the provisions of the municipal recycling ordinance and waste collection program?
  2. What forms of education and incentives could build their motivation to comply?
  3. What resources does the municipality have at hand to devote to implementing this strategy; what resources are needed, and how can any gaps be filled?

Routine inspections by recycling coordinator or other staff person, or as problems are reported to the recycling coordinator by sanitation crews, residents or the police should be part of every compliance strategy.

CT Mixed Recycling Contamination by Weight
Want to put RecycleCT Wizard on your website?

RecycleCT has a contract with ReCollect, which includes the rights allowing municipalities, haulers, collectors, facility operators and others to use the RecycleCT widget on their webpage.

HOW TO EMBED RecycleCT Wizard Web App
The code to embed the web app on your website can be found here: https://recollect.net/example/connecticutDEEP
ReCollect encourages you, your Web, IT and communications teams to review “ Guide to Embedding ReCollect   https://recollect.net/articles/recollect-userguide-embedding.pdf . It has great tips about where to place the web apps on your website to encourage higher usage. 
If the Web, IT or Communications team encounter any issues embedding the web app, check out our recollect’s help page https://recollect.net/help-embedding-web-app or email Laura MacLellan for additional assistance laura.maclellan@recollect.net
The widget cannot be altered in any way. ReCollect has provided a “Powered by Connecticut DEEP" message on the widget and it will link back to the RecycleCT website.
What's IN? What's OUT?
Recent Questions from CT residents
Why can't metal Aerosol cans be recycled?

While we no longer need to be concerned with CFCs, aerosol sprays still have some type of propellant to dispense aerosol mists or liquid particles. Aerosol sprays are in cans and bottles – and while metal cans and even plastic bottles are made from material that is recyclable, the item in the aerosol container and the propellant can make it "OUT" of CT's mixed recycling program.

CT MRFs do not want chemicals or flammable items in the mixed recycling bin. non-food aerosol cans and bottles, including sunscreen, bug spray, and shaving cream are OUT.

“Food grade” cans (whipped cream, cheese whiz, cooking spray) use nitrous oxide and/or carbon dioxide are IN the mixed recycling.
Why are straws not recyclable?

CT's mixed recycling program wants materials that can be sold as commodities to make new products which we can buy, which is generally the definition of recycling. By accepting materials that have no value and cannot be used as a feedstock for other materials makes the product item "OUT" of the program.

Coffee cup lids - regardless of color - are OUT.

Plastic straws are also OUT.
CT Programs in the News

Recycling goes from profitable to costly (Citizen's News, July 9)


Shelton Market gets a new look (CT Post, June 22)

Letters: Double-Bagging in West Harford (Hartford Courant, June 15)

New cost for Enfield curbside bulky waste pickup (Journal Inquirer, June 12)  

Environmental Injustice In Waterbury (Waterbury Observer, June 10)
Now It’s Mill River’s Turn For Cleanup ( New Haven Independent, June 7)

West Hartford Warned About Yard Waste in Garbage (West Hartford Patch, June 1)

     Upcoming Events:

Monday, July 16, 2018 - 2:00-3:30pm - Organics Recycling: Municipal Programs webinar - Jennifer Heaton-Jones, HRRA; John Phillips, City of West Hartford; Alyssa Norwood, SustainableCT and Caren Harder, CT DEEP. Hosted by CT DEEP.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018 - 5:30-7:00pm - Opening Reception. Remixed: A Kaleidoscope of Plastic Works by Marsha Borden. Exhibit runs July 14 - September 7 2018. Exploration of sculptural qualities of single-use plastic bags while examining their place in our culture. Ives Gallery, Ives Public Library, New Haven, CT 

NEW! Monday, September 10, 2018 - 1:30-3:00pm - Sustainable Purchasing & Buying Recycled webinar , Tanya Randell, More Recycling and Christopher Newman, EPA Region 5.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018 - 9:30-11:30am - Solid Waste Advisory Committing meeting . McCarthy Auditorium, CT DEEP, 79 Elm Street, Hartford, CT 06106. Upcoming and past agendas and presentations. 

NEW! Thursday, September 27, 2018 - 9:00-12:00pm -  Recycling Education & Outreach training . Location TBD. More information coming soon. Hosted by CCM.
Have an idea or topic for future municipal recycling conference call/webinar? Let us know what you and your colleagues would like to learn more about. Contact Sherill Baldwin .
CT DEEP | Source Reduction & Recycling Group | 860-424-4193 | www.ct.gov/deep/recycle