Pinellas County Department of Solid Waste (DSW) manages the county’s landfill, Waste-to-Energy facility, and numerous recycling programs. In 2018, Pinellas County approved a four-year agreement between the DSW and HCP Associates, Inc. for the provision of research services. During this year, HCP engaged with DSW leadership and staff to execute, synthesize, and examine the 2018 residential recycling survey and its results.
The survey leveraged a mixed-medium approach to disseminate the online survey link to citizens. An in-depth, multiple-step distribution plan was formulated. Through this approach, DSW and HCP ensured that the responses originated from a broad sampling. Crucial reporting requirements and new topics of interest were examined. In the end, a representative sampling of 885 Pinellas County residents was analyzed.
The residential survey helps the department benchmark current recycling participation, motivating and demotivating factors, and practices that are contributing to improper recycling. Ultimately, the survey also provided educational information to raise awareness among community members.
Improper consumer actions stemming from misinformation and a lack of knowledge have challenged the recycling industry. This research enables Pinellas County Department of Solid Waste to tailor their outreach in order to maximize recycling participation and minimize improper recycling habits. HCP Associates continues to collaborate with organizations in the Tampa Bay community and lead initiatives in the right direction for the benefit of generations to come.