The Recycle or Else public awareness campaign—produced by San Diego's Environmental Services Department—received a Bronze Excellence Award from the Solid Waste Association of North America this year. Photo: Environmental Services Department, city of San Diego

The Solid Waste Association of North America awarded the city of San Diego's Environmental Services Department (ESD) the 2005 Bronze Excellence Award in marketing for the department's "Recycle Or Else" education campaign.

The department designed the multifaceted campaign—which includes billboards, direct mailers, TV ads, an interactive Web site, and promotional items— to increase public awareness about the need to reduce the amount of waste entering its Miramar landfill, which has only about seven more years of usable life left to accept trash. The city risks fines of $ 10,000 a day from the state for not diverting at least 50% of its solid waste from the landfill. Currently the city diverts 45% of its refuse through recycling programs. The state has granted the city an extension to Dec. 31 to meet the mandated diversion requirement.

"We are facing some tough realities if we do not recycle more in the city of San Diego," said ESD director Elmer L. Heap Jr. "We hope that the innovative Recycle Or Else program encourages San Diegans to incorporate recycling into everyday life."

For more information about the program, visit