Regional Recycling Survey and Campaign - Know What To Throw


The North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG), in coordination with the Resource Conservation Council, launched its Regional Recycling Survey and Campaign in August 2018.  The objective of this project is to better understand the quantity and quality of materials in communities’ recycling systems, and to develop a regional public educational campaign focused on increasing recycling participation and decreasing contamination. 

The Recycle Roundtable Subcommittee will oversee the Know What To Throw campaign activities through a regional collaborative effort to improve the quality of recycled materials and decrease contamination while providing a forum for stakeholders to discuss concerns and achievements related to recycling. NCTCOG invites all local government members who are interested in participating to attend meetings or contact NCTCOG to find out how to get involved.
For more information about this project, to get involved, or to be added to our project contact list, contact Hannah Ordonez at

This project is funded through a grant from NCTCOG and the TCEQ.

Past Activity and Workshops

Campaign Launch Follow-Up

Thank you to all who joined us for the Campaign Launch Workshop held on May 20, 2019. The workshop included an overview of the project's key findings and recommendations on strategies for implementing the educational campaign in the North Central Texas region. The deliverables that have been developed by the Recycling Partnership were presented and each aspect of the campaign was reviewed step-by-step so attendees will be able to implement these materials to amplify the messaging around the NCTCOG region. The slides from this workshop can be found below.

The Educational Campaign was officially launched by NCTCOG in June 2019.

  • Time To Recycle is now the hub for NCTCOG's promotional activities. 
  • Reminder emails are being sent to participants every two weeks regarding the campaign activities. The first email was sent on June 3, 2019. 
  • The educational campaign deliverables developed by the Recycling Partnership can be found here:
  • Please consider updating your entity's webpage to include the Quiz. Additionally, please be sure all website information is up to date and all links are functioning. 
  • The RCC has allocated a portion of the campaign's funds towards the printing of outreach materials for cities, counties, special districts, and school districts in the NCTCOG region. 

Educational Campaign Pitch Webinar and Workshop

On May 20, 2019,  NCTCOG held the Campaign Pitch Webinar and Workshop. Information from the workshop can be found below.

Workshop Overview

Topics covered during the workshop included the following.
  • Project Overview,
  • Key Findings and Recommendations,
  • Educational Campaign Implementation Plan,
  • Step-by-Step Walk Through of Campaign Assets, and
  • Project Monitoring and Next Steps

Regional Educational Campaign Pitch Webinar

For the Educational Campaign component of this project, Burns & McDonnell and The Recycling Partnership have been working to create a harmonized collaborative awareness campaign. The region will lead the charge in the first phase (May - August 2019) with paid social, digital, and print ads. Concurrently, local programs can follow the same guidance documents to use the grab-and-go and customizable messaging assets to amplify the messages. 

The presentation of the strategic approach to address contamination regionally and the direction of the messaging and the audio recording of this presentation can be found at the links below.

While the specific steps are not yet spelled out, The Recycling Partnership is requesting that local programs provide comments and strategies on how they can use their channels to support the messaging in the first phase and beyond. Local communities will have access to social media posts, videos, customizable print files for mailers and bill inserts, and artwork for ads and editorial blocks. 

Please send any comments and suggested strategies to Elizabeth Schussler ( by close of business, Monday, April 15, 2019. 


Regional Educational Campaign Deliverables Questionnaire

The Recycling Partnership is in the process of developing the educational campaign materials. Please review the project overview slides and complete the short (5 question) survey by close of business, Friday, April 12, 2019 in order to help The Recycling Partnership gain a better understanding of your preferences and limitations in order to create materials that are well suited and highly adoptable for your community. 

Additionally, please share this survey and associated slides with your communications departments in order to help us identify any problems with the campaign in advance of the May 20, 2019 Campaign Launch Workshop. Multiple individuals from each entity may complete the survey - the more information received, the better! 


Educational Campaign Pretesting Focus Group Workshop

On January 23, 2019, the Educational Campaign Pretesting Focus Group Workshop took place at the NCTCOG offices. 

Workshop Overview:

  • Topics covered during this workshop included:
    • Overview of previous campaigns conducted by the Recycling Partnership,
    • Review of communication tools, 
    • Review current NCTCOG communities outreach, and
    • Discuss NCTCOG-focused communication tools
  • The goal of this workshop is to identify key opportunities to improve recycling in the region and to tailor the "It's All You!" campaign messaging in a way that makes it easy for all programs to personalize outreach to instruct and inspire residents to recycle and to recycle properly. The representative studies are complete and the next step is to apply the learnings to strategic messaging to solve the top challenges. The messaging templates and creative assets will be freely available for NCTCOG members in the spring of 2019. 
  • This discussion will be led by the Recycling Partnership to gain insight on the most effective communication tools that would support regional messaging on recycling. This workshop  will provide community recycling leaders the opportunity to:
    • Help shape the messaging and tactics created to localize the "It's All You, Recycle!" campaign,
    • Provide views on priorities for what education tools and resources are most helpful for local outreach, and
    • Suggest opportunities and measures to achieve recycling improvements for the region.

Please see the available workshop materials.


Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) Acceptable Materials List Workshop

On January 23, 2019, the MRF Acceptable Materials List Workshop took place at the NCTCOG offices. 

Workshop Overview:

  • Topics covered during this workshop included:
    • Project Update,
    • Waste Composition Profile,
    • Capture Rate Analysis,
    • Review of Problem Materials, and
    • Acceptable Materials Discussion
  • The goal of this workshop is to facilitate discussion and reach consensus on which are the most important recyclable materials to focus on for the educational campaign. To help inform the discussion, Burns & McDonnell will present the results from the waste characterization study that was performed in October 2018 in North Central Texas. Burns & McDonnell will also provide perspective on the quantity of recyclable materials going to MRFs and landfills and will discuss the economic and environmental benefits of recycling more material. Additionally, Burns & McDonnell will provide insight from interviews performed with all the MRFs in North Central Texas regarding acceptable recyclable materials and detrimental non-recyclable material. 
  • These discussions will guide the development of an online communication toolkit that will be used to help communities in the North Central Texas regional educate residents about recyclable materials. 

Please see the available workshop materials.


Recycling Survey Re-TRAC Connect Regional Training

On October 3, 2018, the recycling Survey Re-TRAC Connect Regional Training took place at NCTCOG offices. 

A key part of the Regional Recycling Survey and Campaign project includes providing communities in the region with a way to report their recycling quantities via an on-line survey tool.  NCTCOG is working with Re-TRAC Connect to provide its Municipal Management Survey tool to offer an electronic format for all member jurisdictions to submit recycling tonnage data voluntarily.  The greater participation that the region has from communities in submitting data will provide stronger metrics and analysis outputs, and will help inform the development of education and outreach messaging and future programs and projects.

Workshop Overview

Topics covered during the training included the following.
  • Registration (how to access survey tool)
  • Required data inputs
  • Survey walk-through
  • Ongoing use after the campaign is complete

Survey Details


Advisory Group Kick-Off Meeting

On August 29, 2018 the Advisory Group Kick-Off Meeting took place at the NCTCOG offices. During this meeting, the goals and objectives of the project were discussed, along with the project schedule, scope of work and waste characterization study. The meeting's materials are available for review. 

Educational Campaign Videos

Know What to Throw Introductory Video

Recycling Batteries, Bags, and Propane

Keep Hoses, Cords, and Lights Out of Recycling

Keep Food Waste Out of Recycling

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