Ballymoney Borough Council provides recycling and waste services to approximately 11,500 properties within the Borough. The Council has an established alternate weekly collection of recycling and residual waste and an additional fortnightly collection of garden waste. Although the recycling rate in Ballymoney was at 35%, it had been identified that recycling rates were beginning to plateau and that awareness of the ability to recycle certain materials in the kerbside recycling scheme was low, highlighting an opportunity to significantly increase the recycling rate. Additionally, waste composition analysis of waste presented for recycling had shown that up to 25% of some recycling collections were contaminated.
The Council therefore wished to conduct a targeted doorstepping campaign with residents across the Borough to increase awareness of what can and cannot be recycled, encouraging increased recycling participation and reduced levels of contamination. Enventure Research was appointed to deliver this campaign.
A team of three Recycling Promoters were recruited from the local and surrounding area and attended a comprehensive training session designed to educate them in the recycling services available in Ballymoney, techniques involved with undertaking resident engagement, the conversational script and questionnaire, and health and safety issues.
During this training session recycling promoters were fully briefed on the recycling services offered by Ballymoney Borough Council and were provided with a training pack, which included information to help deal with any general waste and recycling enquiries they might receive. The pack also provided details of the target areas in which to carry out the doorstepping and associated recycling information.
A short conversational-style script was designed by Enventure Research and Ballymoney Borough Council to collect useful data and form the basis for the conversation with residents. The script covered a range of issues, including usage of the recycling services, materials recycled, promotion of the full range of services, education on contamination, recollection of communications materials promoting the services, barriers to recycling and encouragement factors to recycle more. Residents were also given advice and support relevant to the individual householder’s needs.
Results and Benefits to the Client
Ballymoney Borough Council provided Enventure Research with property listings for approximately 6,000 households, many of which were located in areas of low participation in the recycling scheme. The target was set to visit all 6,000 properties and engage with at least 1,800 residents. Over the course of the campaign, the doorstepping team visited all the listed properties and engaged with 1,809 residents, achieving a contact rate of 30% over a four-week period. Where appropriate, Recycling Promoters also delivered information leaflets to residents.
The findings from the engagement campaign will be used to enlighten the waste and recycling department, inform future policy-making and assist with scheme developments.