Recycling Saves the City Money Says New Subway Advertising Campaign

NRDC Ads Tout Economic, Environmental Benefits; Reminds New Yorkers That Full Program Resumes on April 1st

New York, NY (January 7, 2004) -- NRDC (the Natural Resources Defense Council) today launched a subway advertising campaign to remind New York City residents that full recycling of metal, glass, plastic and paper resumes April 1, 2004. One goal of the ads is to spur the city to launch its own aggressive campaign.

The colorful, tongue-in-cheek reminders, which highlight the economic as well as environmental benefits of recycling, will run in subway cars throughout the city.

The new ads are memorable not just for their design, but for brevity and sense of humor as well: one ad announces "Recycling is Good for the Environment (But New Yorkers should do it anyway)," while another proclaims, "Recycling Saves New York City Money (We hear it's not bad for the rest of the planet either)."

"These ads let New Yorkers know that they can help the environment and ease the city's budget problems at the same time," said Mark Izeman, a senior attorney at NRDC. "We think the time is right to alert New Yorkers, so they'll know what to do when April 1st rolls around."

To make things easy, NRDC has posted a simple guide to the recycling program on its website. Copies of the ads in PDF format and other background materials are also available.

Facing a fiscal crisis in 2002, the Bloomberg administration suspended plastic and glass recycling -- one half of the city's recycling program (paper and metal were not suspended). At the time Sanitation officials claimed that the cuts would save the city $40 million over the next fiscal year.

"But analyses carried out in part by us showed that the city saved only a fraction of the projected amount," said Virali Gokaldas, an NRDC policy analyst. "In fact, data revealed that restarting recycling would save the city millions of dollars when compared to the cost of exporting recyclable materials as trash."

The campaign will run at least until February. The ads were created by Underground Advertising in San Francisco. Outdoor Vision, an agency specializing in out-of-home and non-traditional media, secured space for the ads at a significantly discounted rate.

If you are interested in learning more about the campaign, or would like to speak with Mark Izeman, a senior attorney with NRDC, please call Liz Hall at 212-683-8100 ext. 230.