How is the Georgia recycling campaign “You Gotta Be Kidding” doing?

Reposted from the Southeast Recycling Development Council newsletter.

The You Gotta be Kidding! campaign was launched by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs on June 1, 2009. Its goals were to increase recycling awareness for recycling and boost participation in local recycling programs.

Despite a meltdown of recycling markets and a state-imposed budget freeze shortly after its launch, the campaign continues to be a huge success. The success of the program can only be attributed to the enthusiastic support of local communities and the public relations foundation created by Hill & Knowlton (H&K) as well as the innovative campaign they developed. H&K developed a suite of budget conscious tools and materials that can be used by anyone interested in promoting recycling. In fact, without these tools and the ability to implement the campaign through our statewide partnership with Curbside Value Partnership, KAB affiliates, a team of dedicated local governments, and representatives from the private sector, the $500,000 spent to develop and launch the campaign would have been lost. Instead, the campaign continues to flourish and has touched every corner of the state and beyond. Radio PSAs have been downloaded by several cities outside of Georgia, media coverage has extended beyond the state's borders and many communities outside of Georgia have expressed an interest in using the campaign. In Georgia almost 140 communities have used the campaign as part of their ongoing recycling education awareness.

Not only is recycling awareness up, but so too are recycling rates. In a newly launched recycling program, the City of Savannah is averaging an awesome recycling rate of 50 lbs/household/month. When the City was actively using the campaign, they saw a steady increase of 8% in their already high recycling rates. Other communities have shown a 50% increase in their recycling rates when compared to a similar 6 month period last year. And the communities awarded an Away-From-Home special event recycling trailer have reported almost doubling the number of events collecting recyclables and reported a 48% increase in the amount of materials collected.

For more information about the campaign, go to www.yougottabekidding.org or contact Karen Vickers.

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