Batteries Not Included

When you’re a kid, finding out your brand new toy doesn’t come with batteries is a tough blow.  When you’re a grown-up, finding out your trash and recycling carts don’t accept batteries is cruel irony.

Oh, you didn’t know that you couldn’t recycle or throw away batteries, AKA household hazardous waste? Don’t stress: a lot of residents have made the same mistake. That’s where we come in.

Together with the Fresno County Public Works & Planning Division, we designed to educate residents about batteries and other household hazardous waste (HHW), plus spread the word about what can and can’t be recycled. While all of this info could be found on its existing county website, we knew we’d have even greater success with creating a brand-new site to spread the word about “what goes where.”

Where Do I Go?

Government websites are known for housing a lot of important content, but they’re not always designed with the user in mind. (That’s where we come in again.) Having a user-friendly site is critical: the faster your audience can find what they’re searching for — whether it’s a new sweater or recycling dos and don’ts — the more likely they’ll see your site as a trusted resource. That means more views in the future, and an increase in desired results (such as more online sales or fewer pizza boxes in the recycling cart).

Clean-Up Crew

Before starting work on the new microsite, our team worked closely with Public Works & Planning to determine the key info residents look for when visiting their current county site. We consolidated several pages under different sections on the existing (massive) site and created an easy-to-navigate, five-page site. This streamlined site features facts about household items that need to be saved for special drop-off events, plus nearby stores that will accept these items year-round.

But Why?

Just as curious children ask “why,” it’s important to explain to the public why certain items can’t be thrown in the trash. We know that education eventually leads to activation. By telling people why HHW needs to be saved for a special drop-off, they are motivated to hold on to these items until they can be safely dropped off.

The microsite also includes common questions residents ask about what can and can’t be thrown away. But perhaps the most important element was a search function that sorts out drop-off spots by location and items. From old paint to clunky CRTs, this site allows users to find the nearest location to safely drop off HHW. And that’s the main goal: make it as easy as possible to get rid of HHW and properly dispose of recycling materials.

Speaking of education: the site also includes kid-friendly resources to teach children about the importance of recycling, and to warn them of the dangers of HHW items that may be in their homes. Gotta start ‘em young!

So when you’re ready to sort it out, check out — and channel your inner child. Don’t forget the batteries!

Katrina Riggs, Copywriter