The City of Savannah joined a statewide campaign that uses humor and the absurd to promote the benefits of recycling.
City officials kicked off the campaign at a news conference on Wednesday, June 10, at the transfer center operated by Savannah’s recycling partner, Pratt Industries, located at 101 Kahn Industrial Court,
Since the historic launch of the City’s singlestream curbside recycling program in January, Savannah has collected over 5 million pounds of recyclables from Savannah’s households.
The program has reduced the amount of material sent to our landfill by 14.2 percent, diverting 4,201 metric tons of carbon emissions from the air, according to a formula developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The new recycling awareness campaign centers around a series of unwitting characters who proudly proclaim the reasons they refuse to recycle.
The characters even wear T-shirts that read, “I Don’t Recycle.” Non-recycler Tommy Krenshaw, for instance, proudly proclaims to all who will listen that we will find a new planet when this one fills up with the materials he and others like him refuse to recycle.
By highlighting the absurdities behind not recycling, the campaign responds on behalf of the rest of us with “you gotta be kidding!” (the campaign Web site, too, is www.YouGottabeKidding.o rg.)
The campaign was created by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA).
It launched in full force in Savannah on with a series of print ads, billboard messages and radio spots.
“Every time someone bypasses a recycling bin or chooses to throw a can away, they are effectively saying, ‘I don’t recycle!’” said Randy Hartmann, the Director of the Office of Environmental Management of DCA. “They’re wearing their apathy on their sleeve. What we’re saying is that these excuses won’t work anymore.”
“Most residents of Savannah are proud to recycle,” said City of Savannah Sanitation Bureau Chief Stephanie Cutter. “However, some think it doesn’t make a difference. Well, we know it does make a difference and if everyone does their fair share here in Savannah the entire state of Georgia will benefit.”
Through the media relations and marketing campaign, DCA will drive Georgia residents to the campaign Web site where the real facts about recycling will be presented in a way that resonates and drives real action.
The campaign will target all non-recyclers, but with a special focus on the 25- to 34-year-old group, as research revealed they are the least likely to recycle, but also tend to be the easiest to motivate.