Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection

Surveys and focus groups provide critical feedback in support of local recycling programs.




The Montgomery County (MD) Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) launched a pilot program in which local, single-family residents were provided with equipment and weekly collection services to recycle household food scraps. To continue the program and make necessary improvements, the County needed to assess participant satisfaction, pain points, and continued interest.


Montage devised a series of audience research efforts to gather valuable insights for DEP. We first developed three online surveys in partnership with subject matter experts to enable pilot participants to efficiently share their thoughts. The surveys each focused on certain aspects of the program, building on one another to gather feedback over time. The surveys were made available in English and Spanish and sent to participants via our dedicated CRM.

Montage also planned and conducted focus groups with a sampling of the program participants. The focus groups expanded upon the questions asked and feedback provided from the surveys.


  • Montage garnered a 40% average response rate on each survey, providing actionable quantitative and qualitative feedback to the Department of Environmental Protection.
  • Each survey yielded a higher response rate than the previous, validating the email tactics used to collect feedback.
  • Our program managers provided DEP with the necessary feedback to improve and expand the food scraps recycling program.

Results that resonate