In the face of declining recycling rates Belfast City Council, recognised that there was a growing need for a campaign to encourage greater participation in household recycling across the city. A key challenge to any form of communication was the fragmented nature of the service provision throughout the city. The challenge was clear: increase recycling rates without resorting to a finger-wagging approach.


The impact of individual recycling efforts often remains elusive, making behaviour change promotion a challenging endeavour. To needed to transform recycling into a shared social responsibility, transcending personal boundaries. The objective was to cultivate dependable, self-assured, and knowledgeable individuals when it came to responsible waste disposal.

Ardmore devised a multi-faceted approach for this staged campaign execution, encompassing three key phases: INSPIRE | EDUCATE | ACTIVATE


Before motivating people to recycle more, we needed to grasp why they were not doing so in the first place. In 2023, most were aware of the significance of recycling, yet rates were still declining. A complex web of cognitive dissonance, responsibility fatigue, and uncertainty about proper disposal methods contributed to the problem. People felt powerless and were hesitant to act unless others joined in.


Our initial task was to inspire people to resume recycling. From Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, we understood that when individuals felt part of a collective effort, the act of recycling became inherently motivating. We reframed the issue as a cause for celebration, engendering a sense of unease among the audience—those not recycling were portrayed as outliers.

From this, the concept of “Be Bincredible Belfast” was born. We rebranded recyclers as the “Heroes of Belfast.” Every aspect, from art direction to language, revolved around celebrating those actively contributing and nudging others to join the solution.


Recognising that one message couldn’t resolve all issues, we adopted a phased campaign approach.
We aimed to inspire, educate and activate. Each phase built upon the previous one, delivering a cohesive, all-encompassing campaign that aimed to both educate and empower people to become better recyclers.

From the Hero Film and OOH, to a series of concise educational videos addressing key recycling concerns within Belfast City Council. Meaning while supporting the council’s internal teams, by developing a comprehensive campaign design toolkit specifically tailored for social media executions.

We continue to support Belfast City Council with various educational outreach initiatives. Spanning school workshop packs, community van branding, and doordrop leaflets, promoting a comprehensive and sustainable recycling culture throughout the city.


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