Yearly Archives: 2010

Bradford Council commissions Enventure to undertake Markets Research

Bradford Council has commissioned Enventure to undertake key research with users and non-users of the indoor markets in order to support the development of an effective strategy for the future of the markets.

 

The research will measure customer behaviour, satisfaction and attitudes in order to gauge customer perceptions on their shopping experience and determine key improvements required across the markets in general as well as specific improvements.

 

Commenting on the win, Caroline Herring, Research Manager, said “This is going to be a really interesting project and we are looking forward to working closely with the Bradford Markets Team”

 

The research will involve face to face interviews with users and non-users of the markets, at various locations across the city.

‘Don’t Waste Your Say’ public consultation gets underway

The Merseyside waste consultation got underway this week with a Media launch.  The consultation called Don’t Waste You Say, will involve a variety of approaches to ensure a wide range of Merseyside residents are in engaged in the consultation process to ensure the revised waste strategy reflects resident’s views and opinions.

 

The consultation, which will take place during October, November and December, will involve a variety of approaches including:

 

  • A residents’ survey – involving 3,000 residents across Merseyside
  • Roadshows at various locations across Merseyside
  • Focus groups to discuss issues in more depth
  • Online research community allowing residents to interact with each other via discussion boards, online focus groups, quick polls and surveys

 

The first phase of the research kick off with the Residents’ Survey which starts on Tuesday 12 October.

To find out more about the consultation, visit www.dontwasteyoursay.org

West Yorkshire Police appoints Enventure for evaluation research

West Yorkshire Police has appointed Enventure for the third time to evaluate the impact of, and public reaction to the ‘Your Police’ newsletter, which is currently being distributed to households across West Yorkshire.

 

The evaluation will involve carrying out interviews with residents in the five policing areas of Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield.  The fieldwork will involve conducting ten minute interviews with 750 residents, equally spread over the district.  Enventure’s interviewing team will be using CAPI (computer aided personal interview) equipment to carry out the survey.

 

The evaluation research will provide West Yorkshire Police with valuable information to assess the impact of the newsletter and identify preferred ways that residents want to receive future newsletters.

 

Commenting on the recent win, Caroline Herring, Research Manager said “We are very pleased that West Yorkshire Police has appointed Enventure to undertake this evaluation and very much look forward to working with them again”.

 

This evaluation is the third research project Enventure has worked on for West Yorkshire Police.  Other projects carried out for the Police was the West Yorkshire Police Public Confidence Campaign Evaluation and Customer Satisfaction Survey.

Guildford appoints Enventure for its engagement expertise

Guildford Borough Council has appointed Enventure to undertake engagement activity in areas within the borough to increase recycling and reduce contamination.

 

Currently, Guildford Borough Council enjoys a recycling rate of 45% but wants to ensure all residents can participate in the scheme and understand how to use it.  The council appointed Enventure, which is the second piece of work it has awarded Enventure, to undertake engagement activity by approaching 15,000 households.  Engagement staff will knock on doors and talk to residents to ensure they fully understand the scheme, know what can’t be recycled through it and to take orders for recycling boxes.

 

Engagement staff will also recruit enthusiastic residents who would like to volunteer and become a Community Recycler, a scheme that has been operating the last few years and has hundreds of active volunteers supporting and encouraging their local communities to recycle.

 

Matthew Thurman, Research Executive commented “The recent win with Guildford Borough Council shows that local authorities really trust Enventure to do a good job with their public engagement.  We are really looking forward to working with Guildford Borough Council again”.

 

Merseryside chooses Enventure for strategic waste consultation

Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority, on behalf of the Merseyside and Halton Waste Partnership, has recently awarded a strategic, large scale public consultation to Enventure.

 

The three month consultation will help develop the Joint Municipal Waste Management Strategy which sets out how waste will be dealt with in Merseyside for the next 20 years.

 

The work will be undertaken on behalf of the Merseyside & Halton Waste Partnership, consisting of Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority and the five local councils of Merseyside – Knowsley, Liverpool, St Helens, Sefton and Wirral Councils.

 

The consultation will involve a variety of techniques to get residents engaged and involved in the consultation:

 

  • Residents’ survey
  • Focus groups
  • Roadshows
  • Online consultation

 

Commenting on the recent win, Mark Robinson, Managing Director said “We are extremely pleased that we have been chosen to undertake this important piece of consultation work in Merseyside.   We are all very excited about working with the Partnership in Merseyside and to engaging with as many residents as possible to help support this important strategy.”

 

The consultation will start with the residents’ survey which will survey 3,000 residents from across Merseyside.

Enventure’s experience with students secures Bristol contract

Bristol City Council has commissioned Enventure to carry out a campaign of door to door engagement with students living in the Bishopston, Redland and Cotham Neighbourhood in order to promote the proper use of the Council’s waste and recycling services.

By consulting with student residents via a face to face methodology, Enventure hopes to improve recycling participation and the levels of street cleanliness in the area. In addition to doorstep engagement, Enventure will be carrying out visual monitoring of streets before and after the campaign to assess levels of street cleanliness and recycling participation, allowing the engagement’s success to be evaluated.

Commenting on the recent contract award, Matt Thurman, Research Executive said “We’ve previously engaged with students on recycling issues so it will be great to do this again in another area. It can be hard to get students to take responsibility for their waste and recycling when they might be sharing with a number of other students and only be living in a property for a short time, but we think a face to face approach like this can have a big impact on their recycling habits.”

Sticks or Carrots? What works best in encouraging recycling?

The launch in June of the rewards for recycling scheme for all residents in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead has inspired a lot of discussion amongst the Enventure team, not just because of our involvement in the pilot scheme to maximise resident participation and engagement or the fact our new recruit Caroline used to live in leafy Maidenhead, but mainly for the heated debate it has generated in the media surrounding the merits of incentivising recycling activity.

Whilst visiting Windsor to see the new scheme in action, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles went on record stating that the government would back rewarding people for recycling rather than advocating ‘pay as you throw’ schemes and ‘bin taxes’ debated by the previous Labour government. Talking to Radio 4’s The World At One, he suggested that in order for the UK to meet its target of becoming one of the green economies in Europe, greater levels of recycling across the UK were required and incentivising people to recycle was the quickest way to achieve this.

It does not put the costs up. Actually what it does is it increases the recycling rate and puts money into the local economy.” (from BBC website)

 

‘Various recycling schemes that have seen significant reductions in the amount of food waste thrown out suggest that incentives aren’t necessary…’

 

However, we’ve also seen some reports in the media querying the need for such incentives, citing WRAP figures released in 2009 showing that in the last five years across the UK recycling rates have increased from 17% to 34% as well as evidence that a significant number of Local Authorities are already exceeding 40% recycling and composting of household waste. In fact, as reported by MRW (the recycling and waste magazine) Nicola Peake, Managing Director of the May Gurney Environmental Services, believes that such schemes “aren’t actually necessary”. She refers to the success of various food waste recycling schemes that have seen significant reductions in the amount of food waste thrown out without the carrot (groan) of incentives…

When weekly food recycling services are introduced, the level of food waste thrown out drops by up to 25% as residents see how much food they are throwing away and look for new ways to cut waste or to recycle at home.

Bob Wigley the chairman of the government’s Green Investment Bank Commission speaking at a meeting earlier this month put it more even more bluntly when discussing how businesses and households need to improve their environmental performance;

 

‘As the government seeks to make £2bn of cuts, will incentive schemes with their need for investment prove too costly to implement?’

 

I don’t think incentives work – sticks do.”

He went on to advocate imposing financial penalties on businesses and households such as increased levels of stamp duty for buyers who refuse to install energy efficient and renewable energy measures when buying a new home.

Furthermore, with the government seeking to make cuts of £2bn in public spending, there are concerns that such incentives schemes with their need for investment and new administration will prove too costly to implement.

This interest in the merits and impact of incentivisation has got Enventure thinking, from the various direct engagement and research projects we’ve conducted for Local Authorities the length and breadth of the UK and the people we’ve spoken to, can we be sure that the prospect of incentivisation really does change people’s intentions and attitudes towards recycling for the better?

 

‘Our recent research shows that recycling is fast becoming a regular household chore and incentives to recycle more appear to have little impact on recycling activity.’

 

By looking at the evidence from five of our most recent research projects evaluating recycling schemes we conducted in Harrogate, Trafford, Halton, Tewksbury and Amber Valley* it appears that recycling is fast becoming a regular household chore, another thing to tick off on the weekly household to do list along with ‘do the ironing’, ‘mow the lawn’ and ‘walk the dog’. And as such, incentives to recycle more would have little impact on respondents’ recycling activity, in answer to the question ‘would an incentive encourage you to recycle more?’

  • 7% said yes in Harrogate
  • 4% in Trafford agreed
  • 3% of Tewksbury residents agreed
  • 2% in Halton agreed
  • And 2% of those living in Amber Valley said yes incentives to recycle would encourage them to recycle more.

 

In fact, ‘nothing’ is the most common response we see in answer to this question in our surveys. These low figures coupled with the corresponding high rates of residents claimed participation in kerbside recycling schemes; we saw reported participation rates for these specific five schemes of between 91 and 99%, it appears that carrots do not provide food for recycling thought.

Rather than offering carrots or indeed sticks, what we really should be looking at is ensuring Local Authorities equip residents with the practical knowledge and skills to reduce the amount of waste generated and encourage ongoing active engagement in such schemes. As well as putting carrot peelings into our compost bins as part of our recycling efforts, we need to reuse by cultivating those carrot top plants that I’ve been reliably informed are a tasty addition to homemade soups!

For more information on how Enventure can help you measure the impact of recycling schemes and associated incentive schemes as well as identifying how best to optimise participation rates, contact us at info@enventure.co.uk

* All large scale quantitative primary research studies involving Enventure interviewers speaking to respondents on the doorstep, with an average sample size of approximately 4,200 residents interviewed over the five projects referenced in this article.

Article sources – WRAP recycling data 2009, www.bbc.co.uk, www.mrw.co.uk