Honolulu makes “Blue Cart” a recycling symbol — 2004

City & County of Honolulu, Department of Environmental Services (Refuse Division)

The City & County of Honolulu launched its island-wide curbside recycling program in September 2004 intending to distribute a signature “blue” container to more than 150,000 single-family houses. The “blue cart” would symbolize island-wide curbside recycling. Hastings & Pleadwell’s (H&P) mandate was to help communities in Hawaii understand the purpose of the “blue cart”, what to do with their container, and what household items would be recyclable.

H&P had to deal with a limited budget, the impending administration change in the City & County, and the problem of reaching a younger demographic.

H&P produced an animated Public Service Announcement (PSA) that would be televised on Honolulu’s four main television stations. It would inform Hawaii’s communities about the meaning of the “Blue Cart” and what it symbolized—recycling.

The animated design allowed the PSA to have a lower budget and still be appealing to the younger demographic with its family-fun design. The overall design of the PSA was a ‘sandwich’—with the animated portion in the beginning and end while the Mayor’s message was in the middle—the mid-section would be interchangeable with the changes of administration.

Other key public outreach components H&P provided were a few radio spots, presentations at neighborhood board meetings, and an extensive outreach through the City’s Refuse Division website: www.opala.org.

The PSA began airing on Honolulu’s four main television networks, KHON, KITV, KGMB, and KHNL on November 5, 2004 and was on a regular rotation through the month. The PSA still remained a usable communication tool to the City & County of Honolulu because of its interchangeability, its information on recycling, and its family appeal.


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