Hitchin is a vibrant market town in Hertfordshire. For the duration of Hitchin Festival 12 bold, colourful bins were situated at high footfall points in and around the town. The bins were created using old, recycled shells and costs were covered by sponsorship from local independent businesses who also had a say in the design or artist which featured on their bin.
The objective was threefold:
1. To draw attention to the bins and encourage their usage during the summer when special events happen and footfall in the town is at its highest.
2. To provide an attention-grabbing platform for PR and social media content on the litter topic.
3. To kick off in earnest the wider 'Clean Up Hitchin' project which will build on the awareness generated by the bins and associated communications.
READ MORE: www.cleanuphitchin.co.uk
The community reaction was superb - delivering something so unexpected, colourful and locally relevant (the sponsorship and designers/ artists were all local) generated a significant amount of press and social media interest. This put the Clean Up Hitchin project firmly on the local map and earnt a place for the issue of litter in the community's consciousness. Through the project excellent relationships were also developed with the local authority resulting in some great improvements to the town's 'binfrastructure'.
1. Engage the local authority and any relevant community groups early and give them public credit for their support. Take time to develop relationships with the right waste contractors - you'll learn lots about what's really happening on the ground and, with the right approach, will gain their support for the practical parts of the project.
2. Independent sponsorship gives the project legs and avoids the potential cynicism which might come from involvement of bigger corporate sponsors. Working out your detailed costs ahead of the project will ensure you can cover them from just the sponsorship!
2. Planning how you will leverage local media and social media is critical, also be prepared to take any ad-hoc opportunities which arise, we took a artificial grass covered bin with a mini skate ramp on top to the local skate jam which earned us brownie points and contacts with another important local group.
3. Getting designs on bins can be tricky - we used weatherproof vinyl onto which our designs were printed. 'Wrapping' the bins was the most difficult part, we left that bit to the professionals.