Getting people to recycle in a school or office environment is relatively simple because they’re all part of the same group. As a result, they do as their peers and coworkers do.
Therein lies the challenge of promoting recycling in public spaces; passersby lack connection with one another and perhaps the municipality that wants to increase recycling rates. Thus, towns and cities must follow certain recycling tips for parks and recreation areas so that disposal is clear and obvious. Consider these practical ways to accomplish this.
Make Signage Crystal Clear
First, signage around the parks and on bins must be clear to people of all ages. In the areas where no cans are available, consider adding small signs that guide visitors to them.
On the receptacles themselves, toe the line between too little and too much instruction. You want to communicate what a bin is for without making them work to understand it. A few words or a picture should do the trick. Remember—someone taking a walk in a park likely won’t give your trash and recycling bins more than a glance before deciding on how to dispose of their waste.
Place Recycling and Trash Bins Together
Part of the reason clear signage is important is it’s also wise to twin your trash and recycling bins. Place yourself back in a passerby’s shoes—when you need to throw something away, you’re often looking for whatever’s closest. Make sure there’s never an opportunity for someone to drop their trash in a recycling bin or trash their recyclable plastic again by putting them together at every juncture.
Know What Color Bins to Use
Another recycling tip for parks and recreation areas is to pay attention to commercial recycling bins’ color. Using blue and green helps people access their previous associations between these colors and recycling and then reliably choose these bins. Meanwhile, varying trash and recycling receptacle colors limits the mental work people need to do.
Use Restrictive Lids
One more tool for keeping waste streams separate is utilizing restrictive lids on recycling cans. Circular openings on plastic-only bins and narrow points on paper-only ones prevent many disposal mistakes from happening accidentally. Plus, as they become mainstream, these shapes are more and more recognizable and carry their own associations in people’s minds. As a result, they are yet another tool that makes things easier.