C2 Alternative Services : Projects

758 Pine Street
Santa Rosa, CA 95404

707.575.6866 - fax

Recycling/ Waste Reduction

Rohnert Park recycles booth

Successful waste reduction and recycling programs require adequate infrastructure, clear communication, and ongoing attention. C2: Alternative Services offers assistance with all of these elements. The publication “Establishing a Waste Reduction Program at Work” which we co-authored for the California Integrated Waste Management Board several years ago, explicates many of our techniques.

We offer intensive hands-on implementation, and we have experience with a wide range of projects including

  • Large institutions such as our initiation of a major recycling program at the San Francisco War Memorial and Performing Arts Center.
  • “take back” or EPR projects
  • Food-service polystyrene bans
  • Multifamily recycling
  • Food waste composting
  • Construction & demolition waste reduction and recycling

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Spanish-Language Environmental Outreach

Cinco de Mayo booth

A growing percentage of the U.S. population speaks Spanish as their primary language. Polls show that while Spanish-speakers may not be knowledgeable about environmental issues and practices such as recycling, they affirm strong support for environmental protection. We consider that successfully reaching this important audience is both essential and a tremendously rewarding opportunity to effect positive change.

C2 Director of Media and Bilingual Outreach Hugo Mata has demonstrated the potential for such change. As a regular guest on Spanish radio call-in programs in Northern California, Hugo represents our clients on topics ranging from water conservation to hazardous waste. He receives many calls from listeners not only asking questions, but reporting on the changes they have made as a result of the information he provides.

Our Spanish language services are both comprehensive and innovative:

  • Media planning and placement:
    We can help you pick the right mix of media and the right messages to reach the right target audiences within your Spanish-speaking community. We offer complete services including graphic layout, sound and video recording.
  • Community-based social marketing
    Bring environmental messages directly to the people through community venues, organizations, and leaders.
  • Live environmental hotline
    We can offer you a dedicated toll-free line answered by trained bilingual staff.  Give us the information in English, we’ll communicate it in Spanish!

Whether you would like a complete new Spanish-language outreach program, or would like some assistance with your existing efforts, we are happy to discuss options and come up with a plan that works for you.

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Used Oil Recycling

Do it yourselfer

The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle)’s Used Oil Recycling Program has included a variety of grants and more recently, payment programs. C2: Alternative Services has worked on projects funded by each of these, back to the first Block Grants in FY1993-94. A few of these grant-funded activities and innovations include:

  • Certified used oil collection centers: recruiting, visits, assistance
  • Agricultural used oil collection programs: establishing and equipping collection centers, publicity & outreach to farmers
  • Marina used oil and bilge pad programs, including extensive one-on-one outreach to boaters.
  • Outreach to residents of multifamily housing
  • Spanish-language public radio intensive campaigns including live remotes, interviews, “mini-dramas”
  • Labeling residential garbage cans with “no toxics” message
  • Storm drain curb markers
  • Promoting curbside recycling programs: door-to-door, direct mail
  • Off-road vehicle outreach, including a statewide program.
  • Native American “oil change clinics”
  • High school and Community College Auto Shop classes
  • Point-of-Purchase store displays
  • “Do-it-Yourself Oil Changer Personality Quiz”
  • Wheel-of-Fortune made from recycled auto parts
  • Slide chart for oil recycling locations
  • English as a Second Language curriculum
  • Intensive outreach campaign directed to motorcycle riders.

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English as a Second Language  

ESL classroom

Recent immigrants are an important and challenging target audience for environmental outreach programs. For example, research conducted by San Francisco State University showed that immigrants in the U.S. less than 15 years are more than five times as likely to improperly dispose of used motor oil as the general population.

C2: Alternative Services has met this challenge by introducing environmental messages to adult English as Second Language (ESL) classes. These classes are excellent venues for reaching adult newcomers:

  • Classes are very diverse, often including speakers of several different languages
  • There is no need to translate information, since the classes are taught in English
  • ESL teachers are a trusted source of information, an important factor for a population that is often wary of authority
  • Adult ESL students are extremely motivated learners
  • ESL teachers are experts in communicating with multicultural populations

Our lesson on recycling used motor oil and filters “The Family Car” has been taught in over 1400 classes directly reaching over 28,000 students. We have powerful evidence that the information has been disseminated into the students’ immigrant communities and is effecting positive behavior change with a substantial increase in motor oil recycled.

We have created additional lessons for local jurisdictions. “The Family Cleanup,” a lesson on litter prevention and recycling, is funded by the Salinas Valley Solid Waste Authority. “Where Can it Go? (Not in the Trash)” is funded by the San Francisco Department of the Environment and educates students about proper disposition of materials that are not allowed in waste or recycling containers including toxic products, electronics, and bulky items.

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