We believe that positive impact begins in our own backyard. That’s why we are proud to work with the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection (MCDEP) and move our community toward a future of zero waste.
Taking care of the environment is a cause we can get behind all year round. But this spring we’ve really gotten our hands dirty making an impact with MCDEP. We hosted two large-scale events to distribute 800 compost bins to single-family households, supported the development of food scraps recycling programs at multi-family properties, surveyed the commercial sector on their waste reduction efforts and needs, and facilitated a mentorship program for businesses to work together to improve commercial recycling. Today we want to highlight these marketing solutions that are making a difference. Follow along to learn more.
Food Scraps to Soil
Single-family households in Montgomery County dispose of approximately 40,000 tons of food scraps annually. That represents a hefty opportunity for the County to reduce waste. To help make it happen, MCDEP tapped Montage to lead their Food Scraps to Soil campaign. Food Scraps to Soil focused on equipping residents with resources and education to transform leftover food scraps into valuable compost.
With local residents’ needs and perspectives at the helm of our strategy, Montage supported community outreach and education and managed full-scale event logistics to distribute 800 compost bins to County residents. We crafted and conducted personalized communication with residents from end-to-end and prioritized accessibility and convenience when planning two weekend compost bin pickup events, carefully considering every detail to ensure seamless distribution.
All 800 compost bins were reserved within two weeks of registration opening—well ahead of the original schedule. And thanks to our Operations team—who are expert in handling complex, logistically intricate events—the entire process ran safely and efficiently. We were blown away by the community’s dedication as they scooped their compost bins and engaged with our team in spite of rainy weather.
Montage’s multiuse warehouse in Montgomery County provided a convenient and cost-effective solution to distribute leftover bins to residents who could not make it to either pickup event—one of the many benefits we’re able to offer our local clients.
Multi-Family Property Food Scraps Pilot Program
At Montage, we know the solutions that stick are those that meet audiences where they are. That’s exactly what the County needed when piloting a new food scraps recycling program at multi-family properties. The Department of Environmental Protection sought Montage’s help to better understand the unique needs and pain points multi-family residents experience when it comes to recycling—available space, shared practices, and resident access to name a few.
Our team first researched and identified multi-family properties interested in implementing a food scraps recycling program. We then handled the development and distribution of education and training materials to make it convenient for residents to participate.
In our outreach, we met passionate residents, staff, and management who were eager to implement food scraps recycling programs at their properties and rally behind the County’s journey to zero waste. One condo board member even went door-to-door alongside us to advocate for the cause to building staff and neighbors. Our Data team is currently summarizing the findings from resident surveys, as participant feedback is crucial in helping the County determine the success of the program and make improvements for the future.
Survey of Businesses and Employees on Waste Reduction
As a Montgomery County-based business, we care deeply about making sure it remains a great place to live and work. That includes communicating the needs of local businesses to government decision makers. We were able to do exactly that this spring through a survey of local businesses.
While the Department of Environmental Protection provides several waste reduction and recycling resources to County residents, businesses are responsible for maintaining their own onsite recycling programs. But with over 48 percent of the county’s waste coming from the commercial sector in 2020, it is critically important for MCDEP to find ways to support this community and increase participation in waste reduction. Montage leveraged our expertise in creating audience-centered solutions to develop and administer a commercial sector survey. Our goal was to assess the business community’s current levels of understanding of the county’s recycling programs and determine what resources they might need to join the journey to zero waste.
Our team poured intention and care into the detailed survey and directly engaged the business community through email and phone outreach. We communicated with hundreds of businesses and translated the data from 130 completed surveys into digestible summaries.
Montage was able to extend its support for the local businesses even further through the facilitation of the Department of Environmental Protection’s Partners-in-Recycling Program. Our experience conducting community outreach and providing in-person and online training and education programs made us the perfect fit to lead Partners-in-Recycling, which pairs local businesses looking to start or expand a commercial recycling program with those that have a strong track record of success in recycling and waste reduction.
Montage conducted outreach to both sets of businesses and secured an eager group of mentors and mentees who will work together to establish and grow commercial recycling programs. We’re currently setting up the trainings and developing educational materials to support participants and get more businesses involved in recycling programs that positively impact the environment.
Making something better than before is a core value behind the work we do at Montage. We’re proud to live that out by helping the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection move closer toward its goal to achieve zero waste. And we encourage you to reach out if you’re interested in teaming up with us to do work that makes a difference.