Enventure Research was commissioned by Shropshire Council and Veolia to undertake a series of focus groups to gain insight into the barriers to recycling food waste in North Shropshire and to provide evidence-based recommendations on how to encourage residents to recycle their food waste.
Residents living in the North Shropshire Council area are able to recycle a wide range of materials, including food waste. However, the uptake of food waste recycling, which can be collected in kitchen caddies and then disposed of in the green waste wheelie bin, is very low. Shropshire Council and Veolia therefore wished to understand why residents were not recycling food waste and what would encourage them to do so, in order that appropriate action could be taken.
Four focus groups were held with residents in North Shropshire. These were located in Ellesmere, Market Drayton, Wem and Whitchurch. Each focus group lasted approximately 75 minutes. The groups were facilitated by researchers from Enventure Research, who followed a specifically designed discussion guide to allow all relevant topics to be covered. The discussion guide was designed in partnership with Shropshire Council and Veolia and examined a variety of issues around the food waste recycling scheme.
Forty residents in total were recruited to attend the focus groups, with 31 ultimately taking part. Two focus groups were held with a mixed group of participants, one consisted of mostly retired residents and the fourth included single residents and those with young families.
The focus groups were digitally recorded for analysis purposes. These recordings were used to help draw out the main concerns residents had regarding food waste recycling and to organise these into key themes. Anonymised quotations were used in the research report to provide context and bring the findings to life, culminating in a series of recommendations for Shropshire Council and Veolia to help increase the uptake of food waste recycling.