Few can claim 2020 was “their year,” but the City of Sheboygan Department of Public Works (DPW) is an exception. Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, our team at FifthColor helped Sheboygan successfully transition to a cart-based recycling program, increasing recycling tonnage by 13%! That’s a total of 112+ tons and over four pounds of recyclables per household. So, how did we do it?
Lean, Green, Cart-Based Recycling Regime
The city approached us in early 2019. With less than a year to prepare for the rollout of the new recycling program, so we dove right into an immersive brand strategy for the department. Shortly after, we started the custom website design and development process and strategy creation. Our team worked closely with Recycling Partnership to create a combination of printed materials, direct mailers, videos, social media advertising, and blog posts to communicate the details of the new program properly.
With over 50,000 residents to reach in under nine months, our team helped the city establish Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram accounts to help reach their audience and inform residents about the new program. In 2020, the City of Sheboygan DPW’s Facebook saw 2,040 new followers and over 15.4K minutes of viewed video content. Our paid advertising served over 549,123 impressions on Facebook and Instagram.
DPW’s new website was an essential component of the rollout, featuring a “How do I Get Rid of?” search tool to help residents decide what is recyclable. During the automated garbage and recycling rollout in April and May alone, almost 20,000 unique visitors visited the site with an average session duration of 2 minutes, showing that users were engaging with the content across the website.
Two direct mailers were sent to residents, informing them of delivery dates and directing them to the new website. Nearly 80% of website visitors were new, showing that outbound marketing helped reach new residents in the city.
With the delivery of the new carts, residents were also given printed material created by FifthColor, including a recycling guide and collection schedule magnet. The items were paired with additional information online, driving residents to the new website to find out more.
The DPW also worked with us to create a series of informational videos explaining the new cart-based system, informing residents how to use their bins and the dos and don’ts of recycling. The top-performing video on YouTube had nearly 4,000 views.
The Public Works Department was the recipient of a total of three awards in 2020. The awards are recognition for their dedication to the vision of providing a professional Public Works organization that will offer quality infrastructure and services to make Sheboygan a desirable place to work, live, and play.