As 2011 begins, the Environmental Industry Associations (EIA) would like to encourage the readers of Waste Age to consider the way that they look at their work and the industry of which they are a part. For the last couple of years, EIA has striven to educate the public about the vital nature of solid waste management. That effort has recast trash industry employees as “Environmentalists. Every Day.” If you haven’t gotten involved in this effort, you have missed a chance to toot your own (truck) horn and share great news about the work that you do in the communities that you serve.
For example, you should let us know about any philanthropic endeavors that your firm undertakes. Many companies support efforts in their communities, including gifts to local schools and universities, sports organizations, Scout troops and other community groups, the local fire and rescue league, parks, etc. Some may find it unseemly to publicize these activities, supposing that charity should be about the act of giving, not about getting credit. But in reality, there is nothing wrong with letting people know about the public generosity of your company. Your customers will like hearing about such contributions.
Further, you should let us know about honors that your firm and your workers receive. People in our industry regularly are recognized for their good works and civic contributions. Again, some mistakenly think that it is boastful to seek attention for such awards. But the groups bestowing these honors will appreciate any help that you give them in spreading the news.
You should also alert us to investments that your company is making in new equipment and technology. Our industry is improving its fuel efficiency, making recycling easier and more universal, looking for ways to produce energy at landfills and waste-to-energy plants, lowering emissions and addressing other environmental challenges, reducing costs, and improving reliability and service. Each improvement — whether from new equipment or technology, better training or some new procedure — is noteworthy and can be communicated as news.
You should certainly tell the EIA if you are growing your business. In our time of economic woe and unemployment, Americans really enjoy hearing about companies that are growing, adding new staff and expanding their facilities. A successful business not only means new jobs, but also promises vital support to the community’s tax base at a time when just about every community is facing shrinking tax revenues.
You should let us know if you or your staff assist local law enforcement. Was a driver helpful to victims at the time of an auto accident? Did an observation by one of your colleagues yield a tip that helped police stop a burglary or fire or help a citizen in some other form of distress? These types of stories are great ways to remind people that we are part of their everyday lives.
Clearly, there are many ways that you and your company can demonstrate that you really are “Environmentalists. Every Day.” Once you have identified news that you would like to share, EIA has some easy ways to help you do so.
We can help you draft a news release and distribute it to local media in relevant communities.
We can feature the news on our national “Environmentalists. Every Day.” website. The site receives approximately 10,000 visits every month, so it’s a good way to get news about your company to a wide audience.
We can also help your company share news in other ways, such as helping to arrange a speech to a community group or planning a community open house.
So if you haven’t gotten involved, today is the day to start. Your company will benefit from sharing such news with current and potential customers in the communities that you serve. And our industry will definitely benefit if we continue to share such good news.
Let us know if you news that you would like to share. Thom Metzger may be reached at 202-364-3751 or [email protected]
Caija Owens is the program manager for the Waste Equipment and Technology Association. Reach her at (202) 364-3750.