- In October 2015, Niagara Falls, NY introduced its residents to a new recycling mascot, Totes McGoats. The "goat-human" hybrid was the creation of SWEET Program Coordinator Brook D'Angelo.
Niagara Falls has created a new mascot to get kids more involved in recycling. His name? "Totes McGoats." pic.twitter.com/bDxEWgJ0gL— WGRZ (@WGRZ) October 14, 2015
- Since introducing Totes to the public, Niagara Falls increased its recycling rate by 50% and cut the amount of trash it was sending to landfills by nearly 20%, according to WIVB 4.
- The city also rolled out new initiatives including a neighborhood scout program to fine residents for recycling violations and a new limit on how much waste can be thrown out. D'Angelo told WIVB that Totes has been "instrumental" in improving this waste diversion across the city.
Totes McGoats' unique and somewhat bizarre appearance caused him to become an internet sensation last year, with photos and stories about the mascot going viral across industry and mainstream media. And while Totes' "fame" was unintended, it helped residents get engaged in waste management initiatives and encouraged a much-needed focus on recycling — especially in a town that D'Angelo notes was "behind the times," as reported by WIVB.
Such an eye-catching display of awareness is bound to get a reaction from the public, as seen in Manchester with new coffee cup shaped waste bins. The creative bins intend to be an attention-grabbing and effective way for consumers to dispose of coffee cups, and if successful, it will further prove the need for similarly unique solutions to consumer education.
Of course, consumer education on waste diversion can be as simple as easy-to-read recycling labels on bins, like the ones that have been rolled out by Recycle Across America. However, as seen in Niagara Falls, a more interesting approach to consumer engagement may be what's needed to make residents truly care about the issues at hand.