Helping waste management tell a trashy love story.

Western Placer Waste Management Authority

Western Placer Waste Management Authority (WPWMA)


Proper waste disposal is complicated. There are seven categories of plastics, some recyclable, others are not; there is a wide range of battery types, many with different disposal requirements; and there are many household hazardous wastes and different universal waste items, each uncommon vocabulary, with different disposal requirements. So, when a regional waste management and recycling group needed its residents to better understand their One Big Bin system for mixed waste and recyclables, they called on 3fold for the solution.

3fold Public Agency Utility Waste Management Marketing Image
Slide Image

“Love the program! Making life so easy for the residents. Strong visuals and outreach.”



Placer County set out to make recycling easier for its residents with their One Big Bin for mixed waste and recyclables. Residents could toss trash in, and trash would get sorted out onsite by Western Placer Waste Management Authority (WPWMA).

However, One Big Bin made recycling so easy that proper disposal techniques became less top-of-mind for users. Frequent waste disposal contamination, along with many questions about when Placer County would begin a recycling program, revealed that Placer County residents were not aware of the purpose for One Big Bin nor how to use it effectively.

WPWMA, and the jurisdictional partners of the Placer County Regional Recycle Group (RRG), realized their all-inclusive waste solution container needed a strong outreach and awareness campaign. They partnered with 3fold to research and implement a multi-faceted marketing plan and effort to bolster previous communications and squarely target those that mattered most to the program’s success.

Our research definitively exposed the disconnect between One Big Bin and recycling. Results were telling:

40 percent of residents didn’t realize their One Big Bin recycled for them.

This data indicated that educating the public that Placer County recycles through the One Big Bin program, as well as education about what HHWs were and how to properly dispose of them, were the primary needs.

3fold Public Agency Utility Waste Management Marketing Image

The Brand

The Brand

The first step was clear: One Big Bin needed a recognizable mark that unified customers who were proud recyclers, communicated the variety of items a user could place in their bin, and conveyed the bin’s ease of use and simplicity. 3fold refreshed the One Big Bing logo and tagline, updated all marketing collateral, launched a variety of digital and social media educational assets and graphics, and rebuilt and redesigned the website.

3fold Public Agency Utility Waste Management Marketing Image
3fold Public Agency Utility Waste Management Marketing Image

The Campaign

With a brand in place, 3fold then built a creative outreach strategy focused on charming and engaging those who our research had established were most likely to be responsible and care about waste. To do this, we needed to create relevant content that fit into their lives with an attention-grabber approach.

3fold created a video-based campaign concept designed to create an emotional connection with viewers. We animated a variety of recyclables and gave them human characteristics and had them tell a story that pulled at a universal truth–breaking up is hard.The “A Trashy Love Story” motion graphic video showed a sweet, 30-second vignette of two aluminum cans “in love,” telling their story of meeting, connecting, then being separated through the backdrop of household hazardous waste recycling gone wrong.

The Results

3fold used the updated brand to build and maintain an exceptional marketing campaign that led to an increase in website views and a large boost in social engagements. We also successfully repositioned the website as the informational hub for One Big Bin waste and disposal and boosted unpaid traffic to this website by four times its current traffic.


Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) Excellence Awards

Category: Awareness Campaign
Project: One Big Bin (WPWMA)
Award: Gold, National

California Association of Public Information Officers (CAPIO) Excellence in Communications Awards

Category: Go Green/Environmental Programs
Project: One Big Bin (WPWMA)
Award: First Place (Award of Excellence), Statewide – California

City-County Communications & Marketing Association (3CMA) Savvy Awards

Category: Go Green Communication Program Efforts
Project: One Big Bin (WPWMA)
Award: Silver, National

Sacramento Public Relations Association (SPRA) CAPPIE Awards

Category: Digital / Website
Project: (WPWMA)
Award: Silver, Local – Sacramento

Services Provided

Marketing Research
Strategic Outreach Planning
Campaign Design and Development
Media Planning and Management
Social Media Strategy
Digital Advertising Management
Motion Graphic Design and Animation
Video Planning and Production
Graphic Design and Collateral Development
Grassroots Outreach and Partnership Support