Austin Resource Recovery Department Seeks Marketing

City of Austin – Austin Resource Recovery Department Seeks Marketing Help

The City of Austin (“City”), seeks qualified Contractors to develop a messaging strategy and implement a public education campaign for Austin Resource Recovery Department (“ARR”) to educate, inform, and encourage residents to donate and sell clothing, housewares, and other reusable items to local nonprofit organizations, thrift stores, and consignment shops. The Contractor will also research and recommend partnerships with existing, local initiatives to promote and support reuse. This messaging strategy must prioritize reuse through local non-profit organizations and thrift stores. In the initial 12-month term of this contract, the Contractor shall develop a message strategy and implement a public education campaign. If the following two, 12-month renewal options are exercised by the City, the Contractor shall refine the message strategy as needed based on the campaign’s success in Year 1. The Contractor shall then continue to implement the reuse public education campaign using the refined message strategy.


In 2011, The Austin City Council unanimously approved adoption of ARR’s Master Plan. The Master Plan is a culmination of two years of research, stakeholder engagement, community input, and serves as a guide for the City to achieve its goal of Zero Waste by reducing the amount of trash sent to landfills by ninety percent by the year 2040. Zero Waste is a shift from traditional waste management, where recyclables are kept out of the trash, to materials management, where trash is what remains once we reduce, reuse, recycle and compost. The Master Plan calls for ARR to encourage the expansion of reuse and resale businesses, creative reuse businesses, reuse centers, reuse non-profits, repair businesses, and remanufacturing businesses. This contract will focus on reuse. Reuse preserves the value and the embodied energy of materials and makes these materials available for use within our local economy and community. According to the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, 75-250 jobs are created for every 10,000 tons reused, compared with 1 job if that same material were landfilled.

This contract is also part of ARR’s response to the Council Resolution #20170202-045 which directs ARR to consider approaches and opportunities for extensive and continuous collaboration with non-profit organizations to increase reuse and resale of household items and textiles. The resolution was adopted by the City Council in response to concerns that a new curbside collection service may negatively impact donations of clothing and housewares to local nonprofit organizations and thrift stores. The curbside collection program is conducted by Great Lakes Recycling Inc. DBA Simple Recycling under a contract with ARR. The Contractor shall focus on the promotion of donating or selling items to local nonprofit organizations, thrift stores, and consignment shops in line with ARR’s Zero Waste initiative concentrating on reuse.

Scope of Work:

Brainstorming Sessions:

The Contractor shall develop an agenda and design group exercises for one (1) or more brainstorm sessions for City review and approval. These sessions shall last a minimum of two (2) hours and have a diverse group of stakeholders.

The Contractor shall facilitate one (1) or more brainstorming sessions with local nonprofit and resale operators to identify ideas for a marketing effort to support the city’s nonprofit and reuse community, including:

  • Goals and metrics for the marketing efforts;
  • Key messages and supporting information;
  • Targeted audiences; and
  • Recommended tactics to deliver messages.

Strategy Document:

The Contractor shall consider feedback from stakeholders and the results from ARR’s market research when preparing a recommended message strategy document to provide to ARR. The Contractor shall include with their proposal, the time frame needed to prepare and provide the message strategy. The message strategy will provide a framework for developing short-form and long-form materials such as social media content, web pages, video scripts and newsletters, and include the Contractor’s recommendations, as well as their plans for a comprehensive public education campaign.

Public Education Marketing Campaign:

The Strategy Document shall outline how the Contractor will implement the public education campaign. The campaign shall:

  • Educate residents about the problem of 3,300 tons of clothing going to the landfill each year;
  • Inform residents about all ways to dispose of unwanted clothing and housewares (including nonprofit organizations, thrift stores, consignment shops, and curbside collection operated by a for-profit company, Simple Recycling) and educate residents on the waste hierarchy and increased environmental benefits for the public;
  • Encourage residents to reuse, donate to local organizations, and/or sell to local resale operations before using the curbside program; and
  • Encourage residents to support local organizations by purchasing reused goods at local charities and local businesses.

Recommended Branding:

In the event the Contractor recommends new branding for the campaign, and if the new branding is approved by the City, the Contractor shall create this new branding to include campaign name, tagline, and graphics encouraging donation to charities using local resale options and shopping at thrift stores.

Recommended Partnerships:

The Contractor shall research and recommend partnerships with existing initiatives related to non-profits and reuse. Partnerships shall include obtaining permission from   any partners to use their branding for this initiative or cross promotion. The Contractor shall work with other organizations to develop coordinated message to support reuse. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  1. I Live Here, I Give Here;
  2. Shop Zero Waste/Locally Austin;
  3. Net Zero Hero (Office of Sustainability); and
  4. Austin Eco-Network Reuse Directory.

Print and Digital Collateral:

The Contractor shall create print and/or digital collateral for tactics recommended in the strategy document. All plans and tactics are subject to City approval. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  1. Videos for web and social media use;
  2. Social media posts;
  3. Brochures and/or posters; and
  4. Print and digital advertisements.

Media and Ad-Buy Strategy:

The Contractor shall create and implement media and ad-buy strategies. The Contractor is responsible for making all arrangements for any paid advertising the campaign involves, including but not limited to:

  1. Radio advertisements;
  2. Print advertisements;
  3. Digital advertisements; and
  4. Sponsored blog posts.

The costs of advertisement(s) shall be included in the Contractor’s proposal price in Section 0600, Rate Sheet. All strategies are subject to City approval.

Earned Media Strategy:

The Contractor shall create and implement earned media strategy (non-paid for, sponsored coverage, or advertisements), including but not limited to:

  1. Writing and distributing press releases;
  2. Blog posts;
  3. Opposite the editorials page (“Op-eds”); and
  4. Newsletter articles.

All strategies are subject to City approval.

Due Date:

July 10th



124 W 8th STREET, RM 308


W2O Group and Zeno Group could be a fit for this assignment.

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