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Keyword: tangled up
APEX Award logo

Bureau of Solid Waste Management employees Rashida White and Jeanette Garcia Polasky and intern Jahi Thomas recently were recognized by the Apex Awards for Publication Excellence with an Award of Excellence in the Electronic Media-Video Media category for their work on the Bureau’s recycling public service ad, “Tangled Up!” Now in its 31st year, the Apex Awards recognizes outstanding work among more than 1,200 entries by professional communicators in 12 major categories and 100 subcategories.

This year “Tangled Up!” has also earned bureau staff first place in the PSA category at the National Association of Government Communicators Blue Pen and Gold Screen Awards and a Silver Telly Award in the Social Video, General-Public Service category. The PSA was also part of the Bureau’s marketing campaign that won the Maryland Recycling Network’s Outstanding Government Leadership Award in 2019.

Produced fully by bureau staff, “Tangled Up!” shows why “tanglers” – things like plastic bags and linens – are not accepted for recycling by Baltimore County or most other jurisdictions. Hailed by industry professionals from coast to coast, the PSA has been shared on social media and blogs on four continents by more than 170 government, business, media and nonprofit organizations and waste management professionals!

Watch and share Baltimore County’s award-winning recycling PSA on YouTubeFacebook or Twitter.


Photo of a group accepting the NAGC award

The Bureau of Solid Waste Management’s public service announcement (PSA), “Tangled Up!,” won first place in the PSA category at the 2019 National Association of Government Communicators (NAGC) Blue Pencil & Gold Screen Awards. Bureau employees Rashida White and Jeanette Garcia Polasky and interns Natalie Adachi and Jahi Thomas accepted the award at a reception last month in Arlington, Virginia.

The NAGC Blue Pencil & Gold Screen Awards competition opens at the end of November each year. Professional communicators from around the country volunteer their time and talent to judge entries in more than 30 categories. Finalists were announced in April and winners were recognized at the reception in June.  

Produced in-house, “Tangled Up!” demonstrates why items such as plastic bags and clothing, known in the recycling industry as “tanglers,” are not accepted by Baltimore County and other recycling programs across the country. More than 170 government, business, nonprofit and media organizations and industry professionals on four continents have shared the PSA on social media pages, blogs and websites.

“Tangled Up!” also earned the Bureau’s recycling staff a Silver Telly Award in the Social Video, General-Public Service and Activism category in May. And last month, the Maryland Recycling Network (MRN) honored the Bureau with the MRN Outstanding Government Leadership Award for its marketing campaign to educate people about tanglers, which included the PSA.

Baltimore County’s award-winning recycling PSA can be seen on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.

Photo of a group accepting an award

Baltimore County’s Bureau of Solid Waste Management is on a roll! After already earning two awards this year for its “Tangled Up!” public service announcement (PSA), the Bureau was recognized yet again for its outreach efforts at the 2019 Maryland Recycling Network/Solid Waste Association of North America Mid-Atlantic (MRN/SWANA-MA) Conference on June 11. During an awards ceremony in Linthicum, Maryland, MRN presented its 2019 Outstanding Government Leadership Award to bureau representatives, honoring the Bureau for its recent “tangler”-focused public education campaign.

The presence of tanglers (such as plastic bags and textiles) in the recycling stream is a major problem that affects material recovery facilities around the world, impeding operations, damaging equipment and threatening worker safety. Over the past year, the Bureau targeted its public education efforts on reducing tanglers and other forms of contamination incorrectly placed out for recycling collection. By making these problematic items the primary focus of its annual marketing campaign, the Bureau was able to develop high-quality original content for public education that can be used by organizations across the globe, having a positive impact far beyond Baltimore County itself.

The County’s outreach content, including the award-winning “Tangled Up!” PSA, was developed fully in-house by County employees and made available free of charge to any interested group, such as government recycling offices and recycling and waste industry organizations. In addition to the PSA, the campaign’s outreach methods included direct mailings, digital ads, newsletter articles, social media posts, and the creation of additional educational videos.

Watch and share the “Tangled Up!” PSA on YouTube, Facebook or Twitter.
Aug 2019
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Revised October 25, 2019