New citywide Public Awareness Recycling Campaign aims to further increase recycling rates in Buffalo

What’s in a number? Today, Mayor Byron W. Brown and a number of community members were surrounded by images of the number 34 at Niagara Square, including 34 green recycling totes, 34 biodegradable helium balloons, and brightly colored t-shirts and posters highlighting the number 34.  It was all part of Mayor Brown’s big and bold kick-off to 34 and More, the city’s first ever advertising campaign aimed at encouraging city residents and visitors to recycle. The $50,000 campaign, funded by a Recycling Education Grant given to the city as part of its contract with Republic Services, is part of a comprehensive recycling marketing plan put together by Block Club, Inc. It’s designed to help the City of Buffalo increase its recycling rate beyond the national recycling rate of 34%.

“I thank city residents for embracing our efforts to recycle in Buffalo but now I ask them to recycle even more as part of the 34 and More initiative,” said Mayor Brown, reminding residents about his ambitious goal of 34% recycling by 2016.  “34 and More is a lively and energetic citywide campaign designed to ensure that Buffalo continues to go greener every day.  We thank Block Club for their continued creativity and efforts to help us.”

“This is going to be an intensive campaign targeting neighborhoods and high traffic areas throughout Buffalo,” said Susan Attridge, Director of Recycling in the City of Buffalo.  “We will saturate the City with information on how residents can participate in the City’s comprehensive recycling programs.”

Mayor Brown introduced a new recycling program in Buffalo in 2012. Since then, residential recycling rates have increased by over 81%, helping Buffalo achieve its highest recycling rate ever – nearly 23%.   To further bolster rates, Mayor Brown issued a request for proposals in 2014, challenging the marketing community to create a public awareness recycling campaign.  The city received eight excellent and competitive proposals through its request for proposal process. A selection committee, comprised of public and private citizens, was named to review the proposals and submit a recommendation to Mayor Brown.  Mayor Brown went along with the recommendation and selected Block Club Inc., to put together the marketing campaign.

“We are proud to team up with Mayor Brown on this recycling initiative and to have a hand in the City of Buffalo’s exciting progress,” said David Horesh of Block Club.

As part of phase-one of this new campaign, the City of Buffalo will conduct an extensive public awareness campaign, placing colorful posters with simple messages on billboards, in publications and on sidewalks. Through a series of simple illustrations and basic 7-to-9 word messaging, the 34 and More campaign informs the public of small decisions they can make every day to support recycling in Buffalo, along with the city’s wide range of recycling programs.  The series of messages are engaging and informative.  Featured slogans include:

  • It couldn’t be easier
  • Yes, you can recycle your pizza box
  • Recycle number 1 through 7
  • Throw out your takeout
  • Think twice about plastic bags

Phase-two includes a simple campaign-focused social media campaign and website that answers the question “Can I recycle this?”

The 34 and More campaign will appear throughout the city with a focus on placements where city residents spend most of their time. At the launch of 34 and More, Mayor Brown also stressed the following five points:

  1. Homes: Every household in Buffalo should have a recycling tote. If a city resident is in need of a tote, totes can be requested by calling 311.
  2. Businesses: The businesses of Buffalo generate a tremendous amount of waste every year and recycling at the workplace can have a huge impact on our recycling rates. For more information, call 311.
  3. Schools: Our schools focus on education every day.  Next month, 34 and More posters will be delivered to every school in Buffalo as part of the city’s continued partnership with BPS for recycling education services and outreach.
  4. Partnerships: Beginning next month, 34 and More posters will also be delivered to local associations, block clubs and community groups to increase their communities’ recycling rates.
  5. City Buildings: Every City-owned building has a recycling program in place. The City will distribute more recycling totes throughout city buildings and educate all employees about the importance of recycling.

Today’s announcement complements Mayor Brown’s comprehensive recycling program, which includes:

  1. Single Stream curbside recycling – weekly curbside recycling.
  2. Yard waste collection and drops off – yard waste is collected from residents for composting.
  3. Tire recycling – residents can recycle their tires at 4 special collection drops offs per year.
  4. Electronic waste recycling – E-waste is accepted from residents for recycling at no cost at 1120 Seneca Street.
  5. Hazardous Waste collection events – city sponsored safe and environmentally responsible disposal for household hazardous waste.
  1. Universal waste recycling – safe and responsible drop off for mercury containing devises, fluorescent bulbs and rechargeable batteries.


  • Textile recycling – The Western New York Coalition for Donated Goods, a collaboration of nonprofit organizations started by Mayor Brown, with a mission to educate the community about the environmental and economic benefits of recycling unwanted clothing and other donated goods, while providing easy access to donation opportunities.