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Please note that this is a tentative schedule and items are subject to change.
Lessons from using technology, data, community-based social marketing, and targeted outreach to shift the human behavior and habits for our communities. In each of the case studies presented, field data is utilized to tailor outreach and education to promote source reduction, participation in waste diversion programs and to minimize contamination.
Kendra Bruno is the Waste Prevention Specialist for the City of Napa. She oversees commercial and multi-family programs, as well as the social media presence of the recycling on the City's Facebook page. Kendra has been with the City for a little over three years, coming from the Higher Education world where she was a Sustainability Coordinator/ Interim Director.
The City of Napa is presenting case studies on educational outreach impact through flipping the lid on recycling carts and measuring contamination levels pre and post outreach. There has been different types of outreach conducted - post card and sticker on cart - with another underway prior to the conference.
Ms. Coelho is a Sustainable Materials Management Specialist with SCS Engineers in Pleasanton, California. Lisa has a background in agricultural systems management and environmental sciences with a B.S. from San Jose State University. With over 5 years of experience in the solid waste industry, Lisa is currently assisting municipalities with planning for California’s Short-lived Climate Pollutant Act known as Senate Bill (SB) 1383 by providing waste characterization studies, technical assistance for organics recycling and food recovery program strategies.
Community-based social marketing (CBSM) is an ideal framework for developing a residential food waste prevention campaign that applies to a majority of residents in Santa Clara County, but can be customized to individual lifestyles. The behaviors related to the prevention and recycling of food waste may be more personal than other types of recycling, because the actions that lead to food waste are much more complex and not always visible, (including cost of food, pace of work, commute and family schedules, convenience, health goals, social pressure, family history, etc.). It is important to understand all potential barriers and benefits to a behavior to design an effective behavior change program.
A combination of in-person intercept surveys and literature review were used to identify the most effective and efficient strategies to overcome barriers and increase participation in residential waste prevention behaviors. The intercept interviews focused on four genres of strategies: (1) fruit, (2) vegetables, and (3) leftovers, and (4) organizing the refrigerator. Each of these strategies also aligns with data collected by the National Resource Defense Council. From this foundational research, SCS Engineers, Gigantic Idea Studio, Action Research and Santa Clara County’s staff developed a pilot outreach campaign to implement and evaluate food waste reduction strategies for a scalable countywide campaign.
Attendees will learn about the consumer research informing selected behavioral strategies, recommended communication approaches and customization of collateral, practices for measuring behavior change, and other insights from our residential pilot campaign that support the reduction of household food waste.
Michaela Barnett is a PhD Fellow of the Convergent Behavioral Science Initiative at the University of Virginia and a writing fellow at the Behavioral Scientist. She researches the role of human behavior in waste systems, with a focus on sustainable consumption and recycling. Her writing on sustainability has appeared in both popular and academic publications, including Appetite, Behavioral Scientist, and Alluvian.
Human behavior is perhaps the most difficult component of any waste system to manage. It is complex, variable, hard to predict, and often stems from how people perceive waste systems. What are the perceptions people have about the waste and recycling system? In this talk, I will unpack some of the insights from my research examining the misperceptions consumers have about the recycling system, what they think are effective strategies to reduce waste, and the disconnect between how people think about waste generation and disposal. I’ll also dive into my work studying whether or not recycling staff at higher education institutions (and likely staff at cities and counties) feel that they matter to their organizations – and the impact this has on waste diversion and recycling.
Participants will leave this talk with a better understanding of the role of human perceptions in the waste system, including how lay people perceive the recycling system and how institutions can empower and resource waste diversion staff.
Angela Goebel has been in the resource recovery industry for 11 years after receiving her B.A. in Liberal Arts from Sarah Lawrence College. She worked for Recology as a Customer Service Representative in San Francisco and developed diversion programs for businesses in Silicon Valley as a Waste Zero Specialist. She led communications, education and outreach programs for San Francisco urban gardens Hayes Valley Farm and Bloom Justice. She is currently the Public Education and Outreach Specialist at Monterey Regional Waste Management District.
Educating people to reduce waste may mean improving your communications. New digital communication tools provide avenues to engage residents and collect data, with the aim of reducing contamination. Monterey County’s recycling app and website What Goes Where is the newest digital outlet to reach residents. Data from the app has been used to develop targeted outreach campaigns and measure success. However, the picture is most complete with multiple sources of information: a statistical public opinion survey in coastal Monterey County shows people believe they are better recyclers than the annual local recycling composition studies find. Angela Goebel brings strategic insight and experience on how to leverage digital communications to re-engage residents and empower them so that they can be the champion recyclers they believe they are.