Resident Engagement to Increase Recycling on Estates

The Project

Enventure Research was appointed by Western Riverside Waste Authority (WRWA) to undertake a programme of face-to-face engagement with residents in the London Borough of Lambeth and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

 

WRWA operates a communication programme called ‘Recycle Western Riverside’, which aims to encourage residents to participate in reducing, reusing and recycling waste. The focus of this programme is to improve the quality and quantity of material being presented for collection (and therefore reduce the level of contamination), decrease the generation of waste and increase the amount of recycling.

 

Estates across the authority have produced a lower yield of good quality recyclable material in the last decade. The majority of residents living on estates are required to use communal recycling bins to recycle, which can be abused by residents and non-residents using them for general and building waste. As a result of the poor quality recycling material being produced, an eight week trial was developed by WRWA to improve the quality and quantity of recycling material across several estates in Lambeth and Kensington and Chelsea. Enventure Research was commissioned to undertake this face-to-face trial with residents in both Boroughs.

 
 

Research Methods

A short conversational style script was designed by WRWA and Enventure Research, in conjunction with Lambeth Council and Kensington and Chelsea Council to cover aspects of participation in the recycling service. Topics included the perceived benefits of recycling, items being recycled, problems with recycling and/or the recycling banks, reasons for not recycling, encouragement factors and satisfaction with the recycling service.

 

A team of ten staff was recruited by Enventure Research to undertake the engagement campaign. The team attended a comprehensive training session designed to thoroughly brief them about the recycling services available in Lambeth and Kensington and Chelsea and to provide them with background to the trial. The team were also trained in undertaking resident engagement, recording information, health and safety issues and the conversational script and provided with a uniform and photographic identification badge.

 
The survey was administered face-to-face on the doorstep by the fieldwork team. Residents’ responses were recorded onto handheld tablet computers. Each staff member transferred their collected data each day via Wi-Fi to the Enventure Research office, allowing daily monitoring of progress and for the staff to be provided with up-to-date lists of households where engagement had not yet been achieved.

 
As well as engaging with residents on their doorstep, engagement staff monitored the communal recycling bins where they could intervene whilst residents took their recycling to the bins, as well as stopping residents passing through the estates. Working hours varied throughout the campaign; however interviewing took place on both weekdays and weekends.

 

 

Results

The engagement commenced on Monday 24 October 2016 and finished on Sunday 18 December 2016. Throughout the eight week trial, Enventure Research provided WRWA with weekly progress updates detailing the number of interviews completed, any issues that had arisen in the previous week and any information gathered from the engagement staff. In total, 1,221 residents across Lambeth and Kensington and Chelsea participated in the research. This number included 873 doorstep interviews and 348 communal bin interviews across four estates.

 
Upon fieldwork completion, Enventure Research provided WRWA with a detailed research report which will be used to assess the effectiveness of the trial in encouraging residents to recycle a greater amount of materials correctly.

 

 

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