Web Game Tests Recycling IQ

With a little help from a new interactive website, Seattle-area residents can learn all there is to know about the city's recycling laws. The Recycling IQ Game, developed through a partnership between the Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) and Portland, Ore.-based web developer PopArt LLC, lets users learn what's recyclable.

Players, typically adults between 18 and 64 years old, can choose beginner or advanced levels. Beginner-level players are offered recycling tips from Evelyn the Envelope, one of the city's recycling mascots. Advanced-level players test their speed and ability to sort common household items into garbage, mixed recycling or glass recycling bins.

“The Recycling IQ Game helps give us a feel for what residents understand about what is recyclable,” says Brett Stav, SPU senior public relations specialist. “If players tend to answer some items incorrectly more often than others, we can do more educational outreach about those items.”

Through promotions with local television and radio stations, as well as recycling mascot appearances at local events, a bi-annual newsletter shipped to apartment and condominium complexes, and links through several city websites, SPU has reached more than 290,000 residents since the program began last year.

Specifically, since going live on August 5, the site [www.cityofseattle.net/util/RecyclingIQ] has had more than 2,800 visits, 28,000 hits and 7,500 page views, according to Stav.

Through the campaign, the city hopes to boost its recycling rate from its current 36 percent to 60 percent by 2008.