Many states practice a hands-off approach to recycling education and outreach. Not out of choice, but because they have to. Solid waste programs inside a given state are so dramatically different that it makes it nearly impossible to implement something from the top down. What might be true in one municipality, often isn't in another. 

With this guide, we're going to prove that statewide recycling is possible. More than that, we'll show you what a state program looks like and how it can empower all levels of government to provide a coordinated approach to recycling education. 



1. The problem
2. The state's role today
3. The future of statewide recycling
4. How does it work?
5. Tools for every level of government 
6. Standardizing the delivery of your service


1) The problem

So, what problem does a state recycling program solve, exactly?

Well, lots.

For one, it integrates every single recycling program in your state into one identifiable, easy-to-use platform. In doing so, you can ensure that residents across the state receive consistent communications. Beyond that, a statewide program offers standardization, which shows residents that you take recycling seriously. 

Among the biggest benefits is that it allows you to mobilize local governments to collectively confront contamination. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gives U.S. solid waste infrastructure a C+ grade. This places it squarely in the “Mediocre, Requires Attention” category. One way states can address this problem is by developing better communications infrastructure.

2) The state's role today

Untitled design (14)Today, municipalities are the authority on local waste and recycling information. Chances are it's going to stay that way. At least, until there are major breakthroughs in how recycling is processed. 

Other regional bodies, like counties, might work alone or collaborate with municipal governments to educate residents about household hazardous waste and electronics recycling. They might even offer special recycling events for residents in their jurisdictions.

State governments, on the other hand, are largely responsible for setting policy and administering licensing and grants. Some may provide educational content to residents, though the extent to which they can do that is very limited, given the different rules and regulations governing each municipality within their jurisdiction. 

This is all about to change.


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3) The future of statewide recycling

Thanks to advances in communications, the future of statewide recycling is now. Today, states can provide recycling leadership and redefine solid waste education and outreach across their jurisdictions. In fact, some states have already initiated their own programs.

Unfortunately, the window of opportunity won't be open forever.

That's because municipalities are already building inhouse solutions or purchasing white-label products to help them deliver local recycling information to their residents. In doing so, they're distancing themselves from the rest of the state. Ultimately, this makes it much harder for county and state governments to reach residents there, resulting in a serious disconnect between states and their residents.

A statewide approach offers an opportunity for governments to come together and provide residents with a consistent services across the state. And it's happening as you read this.


4) How does it work?

network-3357642_1920The network.

Without network technology, an integrated approach to statewide recycling would be impossible. Period. That's because networks make it easy to share and find information. They're extremely convenient, which explains why so many people use them every day. 

Networks aren't geo-specific either, meaning residents can get on them from anywhere in the world. Plus, they're accessible over any device, sometimes even digital assistants, making it easier for residents to find information when they need it. Given how essential accessibility is, it's important that governments at all levels are delivering information that everyone can find, accounting for the elderly and individuals with disabilities. Finally, as people share their network with friends and family, it grows, setting off a chain reaction—or the Network Effect, as it's called. 

A dedicated waste and recycling network is dynamic enough to accommodate each community's unique needs while empowering states with the infrastructure they need to engage with their residents. In simpler terms, it's scalable. 

Today, there's only one network with that kind of functionality: the Recycle Coach Network.


5) Tools for every level of government

Tools for every level of government (2)Over the Recycle Coach Network, states gain access to a wealth of new tools that governments at every level can use to help residents manage their household waste. 

The toolkit includes:

  • Localized collection and events calendars
  • Automated collection reminders
  • The What goes where? tool 
  • Emergency and non-emergency notifications
  • The Report a problem tool

Municipalities can continue to serve local waste and recycling information to their communities, updating residents on program changes or problem issues as they arise. The only difference is that the network guarantees that residents are receiving a seamless experience, no matter where they're located inside the state.

Government bodies also receive custom content to help them get the most out of the software and help them promote their programs. Whether it's tips and tricks on how to prep residents for long weekend collection changes or pitching to news outlets. There's something for everyone.


6) Standardizing the delivery of your service

friends-group-happy-1368494-1Standardization is underrated. Especially when it comes to recycling. As we've already mentioned, no two solid waste programs are the same. This can be confusing.

When residents move or travel to a new community, they have a whole new set of rules and regulations to learn. Most don't. Instead, they assume the rules are the same—to the detriment of their local program. Despite all this, it's possible to implement standardization across an entire state. A country, too. In fact, it's preferable.

For one, standardization maintains a consistent quality of service. This has huge benefits to residents, especially those who live in smaller communities, where funds are limited. A statewide recycling program ensures that everybody, no matter where they live, has access to the same tools. The impact this has on communities, especially smaller ones, is huge.

Secondly, branding. Yes, branding. Believe it or not: branding your statewide program has massive benefits. Like standardizing all your communications, for example. This makes messaging clearer and easier to understand. It also helps you build an emotional connection with your residents. Most importantly, branded programs are attention grabbers. And when you have your residents' attention, you can give them the information they need to make smarter disposal decisions. 



About Us

Recycle Coach helps communities work together to waste less and recycle more. We make localized solid waste information more accessible to residents, creating intuitive digital tools and print solutions that expand your program reach and lower recycling barriers. When recycling is easy, people are happy to do it. And they’re happier with the service you’re delivering, too. Our goal is to be in every city, on every device, empowering programs everywhere to perform better. We’re recycling simplified.

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