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Meet DHEC's Famous Recycle Guys!

Born in South Carolina, the Recycle Guys are the stars of an award-winning public awareness campaign that celebrated its 20-year anniversary in 2017.

The Guys began their career in 1992 as the silent logo of DHEC’s Office of Solid Waste Reduction and Recycling, but that changed when they made their television debut in 1997 to the tune of Aretha Franklin’s all-time classic recording “Respect.” Instead of R-E-S-P-E-C-T, the Guys encouraged everyone to R-E-C-Y-C-L-E in the first three of what would become more than 20 public service announcements.

Additional television spots encouraged everyone to recycle used oil, buy recycled products, compost and reduce waste during the holidays. Energy conservation and runoff pollution spots were added to make the Guys part of a more comprehensive campaign.

The Guys have been employed throughout the country in the past 20 years in Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Pennsylvania and Virginia and are currently used in Indiana and North Carolina. The Guys have appeared on activity books, baseball cards, billboards, coffee mugs and glasses, coloring books, radio and television, posters (including one with Vanna White), recycling bins, tote bags, T-shirts, videos and more. Can Guy, the leader of the group, also appeared (in poster form) in the 2013 film “Are You Here” starring Owen Wilson and Zach Galifianakis.

The Guys are still employed in South Carolina in posters, coloring and activity books, television spots and more (see below).

Recycle Guys Poster Gallery

Great for the classroom, cafeteria or anywhere else, the Recycle Guys posters get the word out about recycling. Click on your favorites to print a poster or call DHEC’s Office of Solid Waste Reduction and Recycling at 1-800-768-7348 for copies. Most posters are available upon request in limited quantities.

Recycle Guys Activity and Coloring Books

These publications are a fun way to learn about recycling. Select a title to view and print a copy of each book or contact DHEC’s Office of Solid Waste Reduction and Recycling at 1-800-786-7348 for a limited number of printed copies.

Recycle Guys Public Service Announcements


The Recycle Guys sing, dance and spread the word on recycling.