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Overcoming the Odds: Effective Use of Communication Tools to Inform and Engage Residents
Tom Keith, Division Director, Gwinnett County Solid Waste Division, GA
Jennifer Payne, Division Manager, Gwinnett County Solid Waste Division, GA
This eSession will cover the Communication Plan developed and implemented by Gwinnett County Government to roll out a new solid waste program to over 180,000 households in a short period of time. It will also include a brief discussion of ideas to consider when evaluating the costs and benefits of communication strategies for a large population. The eSession will provide information on ways in which Gwinnett County keeps the community engaged following implementation.
In a period of just nine months, the Gwinnett County Solid Waste and Recovered Materials Division created and implemented a multitude of individual communication tools that successfully informed citizens of unincorporated Gwinnett County about a new solid waste management program. The program was not fully defined until two months into the nine-month implementation timeline. The speakers will highlight the tools that were used in the communication efforts to assist other jurisdictions facing similar challenges.
The Communication Plan, which included a dozen communication tools, was created on March 30, 2010, immediately following the passage of a new Solid Waste and Disposal Services Ordinance by the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners on March 2, 2010. A Settlement Agreement and Service Agreements between Gwinnett County and multiple haulers followed on March 23. A final court ruling on the amended plan and related documents, as well as the award of Exclusive Hauler Contracts was made on May 21, 2010. The uncertainty of any court action on the amended plan, the tight implementation timeline, and the negative public sentiment around solid waste issues presented challenges to Gwinnett County. Strategic, targeted communication tools were more important than ever to the implementation of a solid waste program that was accepted by the community.
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