July 08, 2015

The US Recycling Industry Is Struggling-Here's how Content Marketing Can Help

The U.S. recycling industry should be booming with so much media attention centered on climate change and sustainable living.

Unfortunately, it’s not.

This week, Bloomberg ran an important article that called attention to the fiscal dilemma now facing the vast majority of high-tech American recycling facilities. Almost every one, it turns out, is struggling financially.  And as a result, some organizations in this once thriving market may be forced to ask citizens to actually pay for recycling services.

What’s to blame for the crisis? In short, Bloomberg explains, the industry has neglected to keep up with changing consumer waste patterns over the past two decades—particularly with regard to newspaper, which used to be highly profitable. Since 2000, paper waste has decreased by 22 percent; yet collection and processing efforts from recycling corporations have steadily increased during this time period.

This trend, combined with increased plastic—which is expensive and difficult to process— usage by consumers as well as a general lack of consumer awareness about what can be recycled, is  causing recycling companies to hemorrhage money. When consumers recycle materials that belong in the trash, it not only takes up space on collection trucks but it also needs to be detected and sorted out. This slows down processing and increases costs.

This is where content marketing can help recycling companies increase their profits. Consider the fact that 28 percent of consumers claim they would step up their recycling efforts if more companies educated them about which products can be recycled. Using content marketing, recycling companies can educate consumers through daily blog posts, social media posts, email campaigns and videos.

Here are some ways that content can be used to foster smarter recycling habits:

Seasonal recycling tips: Every season brings its share of recycling questions. For instance, what can you send to the recycling facility after your summer cookout? Can you recycle broken pool accessories? And which items should you steer clear of when packing for your camping trip? All of these questions could make great blog posts, and spark interesting social media conversations.

Recycling challenges: Challenge citizens to keep track of the items they recycle, and offer fun prizes to those who tally the highest number of items. In doing so, you’ll get people excited about participating while also encouraging them to share their progress with others. 

Awareness pieces: Keep consumers engaged by producing a steady stream of industry news articles concerning changing waste laws, environmental updates and more. You could even offer product reviews across multiple industries, from a recycling perspective.  These stories can live on your blog, in newsletters and on social media.

Click here to learn more about how Content Boost can help your company embrace a content marketing initiative. 

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