Enventure Research was appointed to conduct a recycling communications campaign on behalf of Broxbourne Borough Council. The Borough sits in southeast Hertfordshire only fifteen miles from central London, and has a population of approximately 93,600 residing in just over 37,600 properties. The Council offers a fortnightly recycling collection of plastics, cans, glass, paper, green waste, food and cardboard collected from a combination of kerbside boxes and bins, with domestic waste collected weekly in purple sacks.
The Council wished to gauge public opinion about the future of the recycling services and also deliver a targeted message raising resident awareness about the negative impact of cardboard waste on the quality of compost produced from the green and food waste collected. Rather than placing cardboard into the organic waste stream via the green wheeled bin, the Council wished to encourage residents to recycle their cardboard at one of the 24 Neighbourhood Recycling Centres (NRC) situated across the Borough.
The Council also wished to engage with residents in order to encourage further recycling of materials and maximise the capture rate, as research from a waste analysis survey had estimated that over 5,000 tonnes of food waste, almost 900 tonnes of paper and 300 tonnes of glass which could have been recycled were instead placed into the general waste stream.
A team of twelve of Enventure’s experienced recycling promoters, including three team leaders, visited approximately 32,000 properties within the Borough, discussing the change in cardboard recycling with residents and encouraging recycling of all suitable materials.
The team attended a comprehensive training day designed to educate them in the recycling services available to residents, techniques involved with undertaking resident engagement, the conversational script and questionnaire, and health and safety issues. Each member of staff was provided with a training pack designed to help deal with any general waste and recycling enquiries they might receive.
The engagement team issued leaflets and rolls of caddy liners for use in the food waste containers to residents and asked questions which sought residents’ opinions on the future direction of the waste and recycling services in Broxbourne.
Results and Benefits to the Client
The project was managed on the ground by a local project co-ordinator, who ensured that all areas were visited and that targets were met. A conversational style questionnaire was used to direct the flow of discussion with residents. Responses were recorded onto a handheld computer aided personal interviewing (CAPI) device and transferred on a daily basis to the Enventure Research office via Wi-Fi.
The team engaged with 11,224 residents (a 35% contact rate) over a seven-week period. Following fieldwork completion, Enventure Research provided detailed analysis and reporting on the findings, presented in a comprehensive research report. The results will be used by the Council to inform future service developments and measure the success of the engagement campaign.