In 2010, Pier 8 Group was hired by Niagara Region to promote a series of changes to its waste collection and recycling services. The purpose of these changes was to reduce the amount of waste going to the landfill. Specific service level changes included limiting garbage to one bag per week for each household while affording residents more opportunities to recycle by providing weekly (rather than biweekly) collection service.
Prior to launching our communications campaign, we conducted a telephone poll and focus groups to gauge public opinions on a variety of waste and recycling issues. With this research in hand, we developed a campaign theme – “Rethink Your Waste” – and a comprehensive communications plan to win public support. We also created a set of marketing and educational materials; developed a PR and media relations campaign; and implemented an advertising program using newspapers, radio ads (1 2 3) transit advertising and Facebook ads.
In the first six months following the service changes, garbage sent to Niagara's landfill fell by 14%, while the collection of recycled materials increased by 15%. The campaign won a Silver Award from the Recycling Council of Ontario.