Area of Work: Recycling

Client: Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation/Chicago Department of Environment

Years of Involvement: October 2004 – December 2008


To re-energize Chicago’s recycling program and increase involvement among all neighborhoods and sectors of the city.


Creation of an integrated media/advertising/marketing/outreach campaign to create awareness of the importance and methods of recycling in order to increase recycling activities among Chicago households, businesses and institutions.

Activities (select):

  • Creation of an integrated organizational/media strategy
  • Creation of an identity plan based on “Going Blue” (the color of Chicago recycling)
  • Creation of visibility campaign, including bus, radio, print advertising and distribution of corresponding signage for libraries, schools, stores and community organizations
  • Creation of “Turn Green into Blue,” an integrated campaign to motivate Chicagoans to turn their holiday trees in at 22 parks throughout Chicago in exchange for a year’s supply of blue bags, that involved outreach to 300 community groups, all city parks, all city schools, all tree lots, bookstores, and a variety of commercial venues
  • Creation of “Keep the Earth Green by Going Blue,” the first Chicago annual Earth Week involving 22 partner organizations, churches, the police, CAPS, 100 community groups, the Chicago Park District, Whole Foods, Walgreens, the Salvation Army and more
  • Launch of the Blue Cart/Separate Collection pilot program in the 19th, 5th, 8th, 1st, 37th, 46th, and 47th Wards
  • Creation of a variety of informational brochures for home, commercial and restaurant recycling
  • Management of numerous press events in relation to campaigns mentioned above
  • Development of a new website
  • Development of a film on recycling for Channel 23 and the Web
  • Creation of a monthly column for use by community newspapers

Accomplishments (select):

  • Highly successful “Turn Green into Blue” campaign, increased involvement in holiday tree recycling from 2,000 people to more than 12,000 people in first year and continue to add attendance in second year (note: awarded Golden Trumpet award by PCC)
  • Creation of an organizational outreach infrastructure involving more than 100 community groups throughout the city as well as the Chicago Public Schools, the Chicago Park District, environmental organizations, City Colleges of Chicago and the Chicago Public Libraries
  • Re-creation of a user-friendly website for all aspects of recycling
  • Establishment of an ongoing relationship for recycling with all community newspapers throughout the city
  • Effective visibility campaign
  • Establishment of partnerships with 22 different organizations throughout the city to establish Earth Month. Expansion of Earth week to Earth Month
  • Successful outreach events on household hazardous waste and the recycling of eyeglasses, clothing, batteries, paper, composting and more
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