Chemistry wheels out ‘Trash Talk’ in rubbish truck safety campaign for WasteMINZ

WasteMINZ and Chemistry’s new campaign – “Give them space, give them grace” – is all about keeping Kiwis safe around rubbish and recycling trucks.

For runners and cyclists, these trucks can get in the way and slow us down. For our kids, they can be the most exciting part of the day. And for most of us, they’re a necessary inconvenience that can make us 30 seconds later for work.

But whatever relationship we have with rubbish and recycling trucks, the message from WasteMINZ is the same: “Give them space, give them grace.”

To help communicate this message, WasteMINZ has launched a new campaign, Trash Talk, via Chemistry, that features those closest to the rubbish and recycling trucks – pieces of rubbish and recycling themselves.

Voiced by popular New Zealand personalities Tammy Davies, John Leigh and Lauren O’Hara, these quirky characters speak to specific audiences, encouraging them to act safely around the trucks.

From the fast-talking coffee cup being held up by a jogger, to the melancholic balloon worried about our children, to the laid-back pizza box who sympathises with the drivers, these trash talking characters take a serious and functional message and deliver it in a more entertaining and engaging way.

WasteMINZ Health & Safety Sector Group Steering Committee Chair Danny McClure explains how anecdotal evidence and incident reporting by rubbish and recycling collection contractors found significant frustration or perceived inconvenience for road users, cyclists and the general public when bin day comes around.

“This campaign takes a lighthearted approach to educating road and footpath users about the dangers of rubbish and recycling trucks – and how waiting 30 seconds for the truck to pass is safer for you and the truck driver.

“We believe the tongue-in-cheek humour will make this campaign effective and enduring, without discounting the seriousness of potential outcomes when things go wrong through poor choices.

“The WasteMINZ team is very excited and proud to support this campaign. We look forward to seeing what wisdom our trash-talking friends come up with in the years to come.”

WasteMINZ has partnered with multiple organisations and councils to help spread the message across New Zealand. Launching across Meta and in partnership with Stuff, the campaign hopes to raise awareness that we should all give rubbish and recycling trucks some space to keep everyone safe. 

Chemistry’s Business Partner Marija Ewan says, “Most of us don’t really take much notice of rubbish and recycling trucks on the road – we tend to just overtake the truck and carry on. But what if the truck turns out at the same time? Disaster!

“It’s so important to stop for a minute and think about the dangers. The Trash Talk campaign asks us to remember that whenever we see a rubbish or recycling truck, just take a moment to put yourself in the driver’s shoes to keep everyone safe.”

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