How to run a recycling awareness campaign

Based on the CQLGA “Recycling Heroes” campaign

This guide will enable you set up and run a recycling awareness and education campaign to increase the uptake and quality of recycling.  It uses four basic steps– research, planning, delivery and implementation, review and improve – to take you through an effective and practiced project model.

About the ‘Recycling Heroes’ Program

In 2010, through the CQ Regional Waste and Recyclables Collection and Processing Contract, funding was allocated for education and promotion of recycling for each participating council within central Queensland. With two councils about to introduce kerbside recycling, and others experiencing high contamination rates, councils – with contractor Amcor – agreed to combine these funds to allow a unified campaign to be developed.
The result was CQ Recycling Heroes – a campaign designed to ensure the public was well informed and motivated to begin recycling, while renewing interest, knowledge and motivation in the council areas that already had recycling services.
The campaign design deliberately used the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Public Place Recycling style and facts to create consistent messaging about recycling, asking residents to Sort it, Clean it, Crush it to become CQ Recycling Heroes.

Culminating during recycling week, the campaign saw a range of tactics used to connect with residents, including a series of quirky television and radio commercials that depict everyday people taking up the challenge to become recycling heroes. This was supported by print advertising and development of a website dedicated to recycling for the region. The CQLGA Waste Education Trailer was also refitted, and an extensive roadshow undertaken – visiting schools, community events and shopping centres.  Every household with a recycling bin in CQ was also sent a mail out that included the Little Black Book of Recycling, a magnetic recycling checklist and an entry form which encouraged residents to share their heroic tales of recycling.

Download the ‘Guide to Creating a Recycling Heroes’ Campaign as a PDF

Project partners

This guide was written with the assistance of staff at the Central Queensland Local Government Association before it was wound up in 2014. Funding was provided by The Australian Packaging Covenant to enable writing of the guide.


Download a zip file containing advertising templates to help you run a recycling heroes campaign. Includes print advertisements, radio, jingle and TVCs


Download a zip file containing the files required to for branding a Recycling Heroes campaign


Download a communications action plan example.