STAMFORD, Conn. (May 4, 2014) — Keep America Beautiful and the Ad Council announced today that the City of Austin is the first city to partner in the groundbreaking “I Want To Be Recycled” multimedia public service advertising (PSA) campaign.

The “I Want To Be Recycled” campaign aims to motivate Americans to recycle every day. Created by San Francisco-based ad agency Pereira & O’Dell, the bilingual multimedia campaign illustrates that recyclable materials can be given another life when someone chooses to recycle.

Americans recycle an average of 1.5 pounds out of the 4.4 pounds of trash they produce daily, which totals more than 250 million tons of trash a year. National recycling rates continue to hover at 34.5 percent, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 

The City of Austin has a goal to keep 50 percent of trash out of landfills by December 2015. City residents can make progress toward this goal by recycling 5 pounds more each month. 

To spur Austin residents into action, the City of Austin and Austin Resource Recovery partnered with Keep America Beautiful and the Ad Council to localize the national campaign by using television, radio, outdoor, online, social and mobile advertising across the city. In addition, the city will distribute the campaign’s educational materials to schools and other civic organizations to increase awareness about the benefits of recycling. 

The City of Austin and Austin Resource Recovery are working closely with Keep Austin Beautiful, the community-based affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, to educate and motivate Austin residents to give their garbage another life by recycling.

“We’re thrilled that Austin is the first city to join this important initiative. This campaign artfully shows that recyclable materials become something new when someone chooses to recycle,” said Jennifer M. Jehn, president and CEO of Keep America Beautiful. “As one of this country’s most environmentally aware cities, we’re confident that Austin will achieve its goal and Austin residents will take the one simple act of recycling to demonstrate one of their most immediate contributions to keeping Austin beautiful.”

Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell said, “During the five years I have been mayor, we have gone from being the 14th largest city in the country to the 11th. With such rapid growth, we need to ensure that Austin continues being one of the most sustainable cities in the nation. We are dedicated to the objective of reducing what goes into our landfills. I hope Austinites will each do their part to help meet this goal.”

On average, City of Austin residential customers recycle 46 pounds monthly. Today, Mayor Leffingwell and Austin Resource Recovery challenged Austinites to increase recycling by 5 pounds each month to help reach the City’s 50 percent goal by 2015. 

“We’re currently keeping about 40 percent of materials out of the landfill. With help from all Austin residents, we can make meaningful progress,” said Bob Gedert, director of Austin Resource Recovery, the City of Austin’s trash and recycling department. “We invite everyone to take part in this initiative and rise to the challenge of Zero Waste.”

The City of Austin is localizing the campaign with the city’s branding, and the English and Spanish language campaign will direct audiences Here, Austinites can find tips and schedules for residential recycling and learn more about the recycling challenge. Users can also follow the national campaign at or onFacebookTwitterYouTube and Tumblr to share their own stories and receive inspirational and educational content about recycling.

“This campaign is about aligning our personal journey and the journey of our waste,” said Rodney Ahart, executive director of Keep Austin Beautiful. “The containers we drink out of, the paper we write on, and even the benches we sit on can be made from recycled materials, if we each take the time to give our garbage another life and recycle.”

National sponsors of the “I Want To Be Recycled” campaign include Alcoa Foundation, American Chemistry Council, Anheuser-Busch, City of Austin, Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Nestlé Waters North America, Niagara Bottling, Unilever and Waste Management.

The “I Want To Be Recycled” campaign was launched by Keep America Beautiful and Ad Council in July 2013 with a series of television, radio, outdoor and digital PSAs. The Ad Council and Keep America Beautiful first partnered more than four decades ago in 1971, creating the iconic Iron Eyes Cody, “The Crying Indian,” PSA. Launching on Earth Day in 1971, the ad emphasized the personal responsibility each American has to help protect the environment.

About Keep America Beautiful
Keep America Beautiful is the nation’s leading nonprofit that brings people together to build and sustain vibrant communities. With our national network of community-based affiliates, we work with millions of volunteers who take action in their communities to transform public spaces into beautiful places. Through our programs and public-private partnerships, we engage individuals to take greater responsibility for improving their community’s environment. For more information,, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, or view us on YouTube.

About Keep Austin Beautiful
Keep Austin Beautiful, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit service organization governed by a volunteer board of directors, was established by the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce in 1985 to preserve Austin’s quality of life. Keep Austin Beautiful provides resources and education to engage citizens in building more beautiful communities. For more information, visit

About Ad Council
The Ad Council is a private, nonprofit organization with a rich history of marshaling volunteer talent from the advertising and media industries to deliver critical messages to the American public. Having produced literally thousands of PSA campaigns addressing the most pressing social issues of the day, the Ad Council has affected, and continues to affect, tremendous positive change by raising awareness, inspiring action and saving lives. To learn more about the Ad Council and its campaigns, visit, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitteror view our PSAs on YouTube.

About Austin Resource Recovery
Austin Resource Recovery provides a wide range of services designed to transform waste into resources while keeping our community clean. Services include curbside collection of recycling, trash, yard trimmings and large brush and bulk items; street sweeping; dead animal collection; household hazardous waste disposal and recycling; and outreach and education. Austin Resource Recovery offers free consulting services to help Austin businesses reduce waste and comply with the City’s recycling ordinances. In December 2011, the Austin City Council approved the Austin Resource Recovery Master Plan, which is the City’s roadmap to Zero Waste. The City of Austin is committed to reducing the amount of waste sent to area landfills by 90 percent by 2040. Learn more