Engage, communicate and consult with your residents
For years, councils have been telling their residents to recycle as much as possible, and rightly so given that some authorities have achieved recycling rates in excess of 50%.
Recycling performance has increased dramatically in the last 20 years, a very encouraging statistic. But as we all know, recycling is not the best option when thinking about long term waste management strategies.
Preventative methods of waste reduction and reuse are where we need to be aiming if we want to find a truly sustainable way of managing our waste.
One thing that we’ve noticed recently whilst carrying out research and engagement work for local authority clients is that there’s a definite shift in focus when it comes to perceptions of waste management towards reuse and reduction.
Two recent examples of this include our work for Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority and Cheshire West and Chester Council.
Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority, on behalf of the Merseyside and Halton Waste Partnership, commissioned Enventure to undertake a large-scale three month public consultation called Don’t Waste Your Say into how household waste should be managed on Merseyside over the next 30 years. The consultation raised some really interesting issues and the findings are being used to develop the Joint Municipal Waste Management Strategy, where waste prevention will play a big part. Click here to visit the Don’t Waste Your Say consultation website.
Cheshire West and Chester Council, with an excellent recycling rate, wanted to take the next step and encourage residents to reduce waste in the first place. The council launched a new initiative, the 100 Days Reduction Waste Reduction Challenge, aimed at encouraging residents to reduce their waste by just 1kg a month rather than simply just focusing on recycling. The challenge also encouraged community groups to get involved and arrange events such as ‘swap days’ to promote reuse and waste reduction. Click here to visit the 100 Day Waste Reducation Challenge website.
Clearly, encouraging residents to adopt waste prevention and reuse habits is a challenge, but then again, so was introducing them to recycling – something which now, for most, is second nature. This was achieved, in part, by ongoing communication and direct engagement with residents ensuring they fully understood the service. Reduced budgets and resources have of course made this kind of activity tricky, but results speak for themselves.
If you are planning to engage or communicate with your residents, then we can help in a variety of ways, as we have already done so for:
Shropshire Council – targeted an area of low capture, 1,000 residents in Oswestry and speaking to 80%
Enfield Council – support changes in the recycling collection scheme (low and high rise properties)
Guildford Council – engaging with residents in low performing areas
If you would like to chat about any ideas you have or simply want to find out how we could help you, either email firstname.lastname@example.org, telephone 01484 404797, or complete the online contact form and we’ll call you back.