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Anti-litter campaign features characters
Keep Liberty Beautiful
Copy of Color TOMMY AD
One of the ads featuring Tommy "Flat Tommy" Krenshaw - photo by Photo provided.
This week, a real character is coming on the scene locally and around Georgia. Tommy Krenshaw, or “Flat Tommy” as we affectionately call him, will reach star status this week as he and his reasons for not recycling take center stage in a new statewide education campaign.
Those who know Tommy will not be surprised that he is receiving so much attention. During his act, Tommy proclaims to all that he will find a new planet when this one fills up with the materials that he and others refused to recycle. He has also taken to wearing his non-recycler status on a T-shirt, in case you missed his excuse.
Sound absurd? Well, mission accomplished. Tommy is just one of several unwitting characters that are part of a new recycling awareness campaign created by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs. The campaign shines a humorous spotlight on Tommy’s explanations and other misperceptions about recycling. By highlighting the sometimes-hilarious reasons for not recycling, the campaign responds on behalf of the rest of us who do recycle with, “you gotta be kidding!” The campaign’s Web site is Be sure and check it out.
“Every time someone passes by a recycling bin or chooses to throw a can away, they’re effectively saying, ‘I don’t recycle,’” said Randy Hartmann, director of the Office of Environmental Management. “What we’re saying is that these excuses for not recycling just don’t cut it when you know the facts.”
“All of us who faithfully recycle have heard the same tired excuses for not recycling from neighbors, co-workers, friends and even family members,” said Dave Sapp, Liberty County Solid Waste director. “You know the ones... ‘it’s too much work’ or ‘it doesn’t make a difference.’ Well, we know it does make a difference. We want to encourage as many people as possible to recycle. Often, just taking a look at an issue from a different angle can help people make the change needed.”
Through a media relations and marketing campaign kicking off tomorrow, DCA will invite Georgia residents to the campaign Web site where facts about recycling are posted. This entertaining and effective campaign targets all non-recyclers, but particularly 25- to 34-year-olds. Research reveals people in this age group are the least likely to recycle, but they are potentially the easiest to motivate.
More non-recycling characters will be introduced into the campaign by the state during the coming month. They will all sport “I don’t recycle!” T-shirts.  Our hope is that the buzz created by these characters will encourage non-recyclers to get the facts and try out recycling in their own households.
“The absurd nature of what these campaign characters say contrasts sharply with the many logical reasons to recycle,” adds Hartmann. “Because, unlike what Tommy may say, we can’t just find another planet to live on when we have used up our natural resources. People interacting with the campaign will come away thinking that, in light of these silly alternatives, recycling is a pretty simple proposition.”
The need for the campaign came from a solid waste characterization study that revealed that approximately 40 percent of what Georgians throw away is actually recyclable. These findings were amplified by a recent DCA survey that showed a whopping 45 percent of Georgians do not regularly recycle.
Sapp reminds us, “Recycling is the one simple thing that each of us can do to make a significant difference for the environment.”
“‘I’m dating my ex. Does that count as recycling?’ is certainly not the type of slogan you’d expect to see in a state’s marketing campaign,” Hartmann said, “and that’s the point.”
See more of the campaign at And don’t be surprised if you see a life-size Tommy popping up conspicuously around town. Tommy is willingly to have his picture taken with you and we will upload your photo to the campaign’s Web site, So check Tommy and his friends out tomorrow. See what they have to say about not recycling. Hopefully, you haven’t been thinking some of the same things.

More upcoming KLCB events that need your help:
• June 20: Quarterly Recycle It! Fair. Recycle electronics, cell phones, ink cartridges, fluorescent bulbs, household paint (no rusted cans), household goods, motor oil and antifreeze, car batteries, household batteries and more.

For more information on Keep Liberty County Beautiful programs, contact Swida at 368-4888 or
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