Santa Ana, Calif. (February 10, 2010) – OC Waste & Recycling and the Orange County Board of Supervisors today announced the launch of a new, interactive public awareness campaign to reduce everyday waste from entering Orange County landfills. The campaign message, Waste Free OC. Save Room for Tomorrow, empowers Orange County residents, businesses and organizations to change their behavior to better the environment by reducing their waste, reusing things that would typically end up in a landfill; and by recycling materials that can be repurposed.
The new Web site, www.WasteFreeOC.com, provides information and resources on how to live a waste-free lifestyle. The site provides information in English, Spanish and Vietnamese.
“This campaign is the first of its kind in Orange County,” said Supervisor Janet Nguyen, Chair of the Orange County Board of Supervisors. “The new Web site is easy to use and offers great tips and information for all members of the community, residents and businesses alike. The time is now for us to take action and realize that if we don’t urge people to make behavioral changes; our landfills will be filled to capacity. We cannot afford not to take action.”
Landfill waste is measured as the amount of waste each person produces on a daily basis. According to OC Waste & Recycling, the average Orange County resident in 2008 generated five pounds of waste per day. With more than three million residents county-wide, that number adds up to approximately 15 million pounds of solid waste per day. The campaign’s call to action is realistic and attainable: Reduce waste by ten percent in 2010.
“The 10% in 2010 Challenge means producing less waste to begin with, reusing items as many times as possible and recycling even more,” said OC Waste & Recycling Director, Mike Giancola. “In doing so, we can reduce 1.5 million pounds of waste per day from going into our landfills.” Residents can take the ‘10% in 2010 Challenge’ at WasteFreeOC.com.
“The Orange County Board of Supervisors supported creation of the campaign utilizing funds from the AB 939 Surcharge Fund. AB 939 requires California cities and counties to comply with a 50 percent solid waste diversion rate. The regional campaign will assist all cities and municipal solid waste special districts in meeting their diversion goals,” said Supervisor Janet Nguyen, Chair of the Orange County Board of Supervisors.
Development of the campaign came from research that included a brand audit, baseline survey, interviews with key stakeholders and focus groups. Research concluded that many Orange County residents are more aware of recycling behaviors and less aware of waste reduction and reuse behaviors. In fact, survey respondents were ten times more likely to mention recycling as a way to reduce materials being sent to landfills compared to waste reduction. (The research results are available upon request) Measurement of the campaign’s success is derived from number of visitors to the Web site, number of visitors that take the 10% in 2010 Challenge and overall landfill diversion rates.
Partners of the campaign include the Discovery Science Center and the Apartment Association of Orange County. The Discovery Science Center assembly program teaches waste reduction in Orange County elementary schools, and has reached more than 3,000 students so far, while the Apartment Association of Orange County partnership provides an environment to increase recycling in multi-family dwellings.
About OC Waste & Recycling:
OC Waste & Recycling manages one of the nation’s premiere solid waste disposal systems serving residents and businesses. On behalf of 34 cities and over three million residents, OC Waste & Recycling operates a network of three active landfills and four household hazardous waste collection centers.
Visit www.wastefreeoc.com for more information about proper waste disposal in Orange County. The Web site provides tips and resources about how residents can Save Room for Tomorrow through diversion of waste from landfills. Waste Free OC is a regional outreach program of the County of Orange under the leadership of the Board of Supervisors and OC Waste & Recycling.
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