Recycle Signal, 1991
My basic ideas about the effectiveness of educational recycling drop-off centers evolved from a program that began in 1989 in the family-oriented community of Signal Mountain, Tennessee. I was privileged to coordinate the efforts of an amazing group of multi-talented caring citizens.
Because this town of 8,000 people had twice-weekly garbage collection, success at a drop off was considered unlikely. The secret to Recycle Signal’s success was the attractive drop-off center complemented by an intensive education program; thirty adult volunteers went into every elementary classroom every month, for the first four to five years of the program. The buzz about recycling was word of mouth, continual, interactive, and the information was localized.
Although the original components of the project are no longer in place, twenty years later, citizens continue to bring 75 to 100 tons each month to be recycled. These photos were taken in 1991. The center looks quite different today. To learn about community organizing and education please click on Education.