With Earth Day approaching on Wednesday April 22, many individuals may be asking themselves: “Can I do more to help the planet?”
In its fifth year, the City of Kingston’s solid waste division launched the Remarkable Recycler program, which recognizes and rewards residents who know a thing-or-two about recycling.
Participants who sign-up have their recyclables audited for accuracy and if their waste is correctly put in its place, and they’ve set out one bag of garbage or less, the household will get Remarkable Recycler blue and grey boxes. In addition, the residents receive the attached flyer:
The poster encourages Remarkable Recyclers to snap a photo, tag the City of Kingston using the hashtag #RemarkableRecycler, and share it to Facebook or Twitter. Anyone who shares their photo to social media has a chance to win additional prizes.
But does this work? Are people really going to take photos of their blue boxes?
Within a few hours residents were snapping photos of their new Remarkable Recycling boxes, sharing them with their friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter, and starting a conversation about residential waste and recycling. These individuals were proud to share their accomplishments with the world!
This social media campaign was built upon the idea of positive reinforcement – rewarding individuals who already do a great job recycling – with a goal of ensuring this type of positive behaviour occurs in the future. In positive reinforcement, when a favourable outcome occurs after an action (i.e. receiving Remarkable Recycler boxes) the behaviour of recycling will be strengthened. Furthermore, residents who participate on social media have a chance to win an additional prize. Positive reinforcement, on positive reinforcement.
While many municipalities view social media as a complaint driven customer service medium, or a one-way form of push communication, the City of Kingston’s solid waste division has taken a pro-active strategy to increasing engagement on their social media channels. Over the past few days the City has received a number of positive tweets and Facebook posts about the City’s Remarkable Recycler program – over and above the normal day-to-day customer service related conversations.
This is an excellent example of increasing positive resident engagement on a municipal social media site.
Interested in learning more, visit the City of Kingston’s website.