Editor’s Note: Suddenlink won our 2011 System Community Service Award in this summer’s Top Ops issue of CableFAX The Magazine. They will be honored at the Program & Top Ops Awards on Tues Oct 18 at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel & Spa. Register to attend here.
We generally like to stay away from the term “win-win.” But for Suddenlink, on which we bestow this year’s System Community Service Award, we’re making a heartfelt exception.
Still a relatively new name in the Jonesboro, Ark., market after the 2006 split from Comcast, Suddenlink two years ago started a recycling program for used electronics that not only provides a forward-thinking service to its community but has generated lots of “green” goodwill for the company. A scrappy move, indeed.
Suddenlink’s Jonesboro “Green Team” already had initiated an internal recycling program when they realized there wasn’t a place for Jonesboro residents to dispose of their outdated, broken or otherwise unusable electronics. Thus was born Suddenlink eCycling. The concept was pretty straightforward: Purchase a trailer for drop-off, adorn it heavily with Suddenlink signage, make it available at various community events, and park it outside the Suddenlink retail store.
After launching eCycling at an event touting Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin and other local government officials, Suddenlink since has promoted the initiative via community events and cross-channel spots on air. “At first we spent a lot of time getting out in the community and participating in recycling events and schools,” says Jennifer Hietanen, Suddenlink retail sales manager and member of the Jonesboro system group task force. “Now it’s a lot of word of mouth.”
Aside from providing a convenient drop spot for everything from microwaves to radios (Suddenlink employees regularly take the discard to a regional recycling company), the operator hosts environmentally themed events, airs public service announcements on the topic, distributes flyers with environmental tips at its retail store, and includes information on the company Web site.
The icing on the cake? The program has raised Suddenlink’s profile, and likely even has attracted new customers, Hietanen says. “We’re an industry that generates a lot of electronics, but we have people who aren’t our customers coming in all the time to say they appreciate our efforts,” she says. “It’s complementary to Suddenlink that we are doing this for our community and not just for our customers. It’s a whole-community effort.”
Since launching in July 2009, Suddenlink’s eCycling program has collected more than 40 tons of electronic equipment.
eCycling is affiliated with Earth Day, Jonesboro’s Paint the Town Green Week and other local educational and environmental efforts.
Sister Suddenlink systems in Russellville, Ark., has adopted a similar program.
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