Combatting green waste recycling confusion

Sacramento County residents were confused about what recyclables could be placed in the curbside recycling cart. To add to the confusion, the SacGreenTeam’s curbside customers will be required to put organic material into their green waste cart instead of their trash cart.

Per cart checks, customers also continued to “wishcycle” by putting unacceptable items in the recycling cart, thinking that may be sorted for recycling at a processing facility. We needed a strategy to change behaviors.


To cut through the confusion we utilized two types of Social Norm marketing to influence positive behavior change.

  1. “Static norms” – These are the types of actions we believe our community and family and friends are all doing. In practice, it’s best to use static norms to show that a majority of a group are performing the same action.
  2. “Dynamic norms” – A dynamic norm displays a shift in actions: how a behavior is becoming increasingly common. When we are seeing shifts but still not at a place where we can point to a static norm or majority, we utilized encouraging messaging to illuminate those shifts.


people visited RecycleReboot.com during the campaign to learn tips, tricks, and how to incorporate organics recycling into their routines.


Nearly 80 percent of those people were new users, meaning roughly 15 percent of the SacGreenTeam’s customer base sought out additional information and were willing to give organics recycling a try.

Let’s talk about your community and how we can help you reach it.

3fold Communications is a community connection marketing agency specializing in recruitment and activation of diverse customers, regions, and influencers.
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