recycle cansRecycling efforts on an individual level make a positive impact, but by encouraging others to participate in this activity, the impact to reduce waste can be even more significant. Local recycling centers are conveniently located and often open all day and night, but hosting a recycling drop-off day in your community can get residents excited to join in.

Organize a small-scale recycling drop-off

Organizing a recycling drop-off day doesn’t necessarily mean you have to go global with it. You can drum up eco-friendly participants right in your hometown.

Start with your friends, family and neighbors and increase their awareness. For example, offer to host a casual social gathering with appetizers and drinks in exchange for people bringing their recyclables to your curbside. Not everyone utilizes curbside pick-up, and you can take this opportunity to discuss how you set yours up — providing neighbors with handy calendars noting the pick-up schedule is a great gift. Recycling at the curb actually has a higher recovery rate in comparison to drop-offs since it’s more convenient.

Another option is to have everyone meet at a local recycling center. Show them around the center so they can become familiar with the recycling processes. It doesn’t hurt to bring a bag of cookies or treats to show your appreciation for them coming out.

Rally a large-scale recycling drop-off

Recycling centers and other waste management facilities often hold hazardous waste collection and recycling events throughout the year. In Boston, for example, the Waste Reduction Division has hazardous waste drop-off days four times every year. Banning together with your local recycling or waste center is a way you can help spread the word. Volunteer your time by making people more aware of these events. You can email people from your contact list with a friendly reminder or pass out materials that your local recycling center has to offer. To reach more individuals, try to get permission to speak at the local library, school, fair or community event. Organizing trivia games and raffles for eco-friendly prizes will make the drop-off more intriguing. Planning several recycling drop-off days throughout the year reminds people about the importance of recycling, and during the process, you might be able to turn some non-recyclers into recyclers.