The Recycling Partnership (TRP) recently launched Communities for Recycling, an innovative national initiative to provide consumers with real-time, personalized, and hyper-local recycling information through Facebook’s Messenger experience. This initiative is a collaboration between The Recycling Partnership, Facebook, and leading consumer packaged goods brands like PepsiCo.
We sat down with Cody Marshall, Chief Community Strategy Officer, at The Recycling Partnership, to learn more about the initiative and how retailers can get involved.
1. How did The Recycling Partnership end up collaborating with Facebook on the Communities for Recycling initiative?
About 18 months ago, our CEO Keefe Harrison participated in a hack/design sprint with Facebook, several leading CPG brands and other NGOs to identify the best ways to bring hyper-local solutions to this global issue. Through that session, the concept for this Messenger experience was born. It’s as easy as asking “Can I recycle my water bottle in Atlanta?” and. the Bot will tell you that plastic bottles can be recycled in Atlanta.
2. Where will consumers see this information in Facebook Messenger and will there be a way for consumers to explore items they may not realize they can recycle?
Consumers can engage the Messenger experience through ads about recycling in their city. The experience starts off by asking you where you live and then, if you live in Fort Worth or Atlanta (because these are our pilot cities), the user can take a short quiz that tells you your recycling IQ. You can then ask your recycling question. Users are encouraged to come back to the bot bysending a message whenever they have a question about what to recycle or what to throw away. There is also a national Facebook group where people can learn more about recycling or to ask additional questions to boost their confidence in their recycling and help their friends and neighbors to recycle more and better.
3. How is recycling information updated or kept accurate?
The Recycling Partnership manages a database of community programs throughout the US. This database tracks what is recyclable in those specific programs. As long as the program’s website is up to date, the recycling information will be up to date within our database, which we are integrating with the Messenger experience. In this pilot, we are just focused on two cities, Fort Worth and Atlanta, and thus have partnered closely with them to ensure the information is accurate. The goal is to scale this program with our learnings from the pilots and build out and refine our database and the messenger experience.
4. How can retailers leverage this initiative through Facebook Messenger to understand residential recycling capabilities in their different operational geographies?
Start by sharing the experience and encouraging consumers to test their recycling IQ or explore our frequently asked questions. Beyond this, we would love to partner with retailers. We can envision a lot of fun and impactful opportunities. We would be happy to work with individual retailers to give them an understanding of recycling access in their geographies. There is also a huge opportunity to add functionality to retailers’ apps to give locally correct access to recycling information. Our database could report out information and give retailers an understanding of their recycling markets, or they could integrate with us to provide their consumers individualized answers. Those are just a few ideas. We would welcome more and look forward to future collaborations with retail partners.
5. How can retailers share Communities for Recycling with customers?
It’s as simple as having consumers send Communities for Recycling a message on Facebook. Anyone anywhere can check their recycling IQ with a nine-question quiz or learn more about recycling with our FAQs. We’re always cultivating new and engaging content on social that can be shared.
6. How can retailers learn more or provide feedback? Who should they contact to learn more?