Enventure Research was appointed by St Albans City and District Council to undertake a door-to-door recycling engagement campaign, aimed at increasing residents’ participation in the recycling scheme. The Council had a recycling rate of approximately 50%, however it had been identified that some households had reduced or stopped participating in the scheme. The Council therefore wanted to engage with households in these low participating areas, with the focus of encouraging take up of the scheme, leading to an increase in recycling.
A questionnaire / conversational script was designed by Enventure Research and St Albans City and District Council to collect useful data and form a discussion with the resident covering a range of issues, including usage of the recycling scheme, reasons for not recycling, barrier to recycling participation, promotion of the full range of recycling facilities, satisfaction with the service and possible improvements and encouragement factors to recycle more.
A full-time team of eight Recycling Promoters, overseen by a Project Co-ordinator was recruited from the local and surrounding areas. The engagement team attended a comprehensive training day designed to educate them in the recycling services available to residents, techniques involves with undertaking resident engagement, the conversational script and questionnaire, and health and safety issues.
Results and Benefits to the Client
The engagement team visited 20,000 properties in low participating areas identified by the Council, making successful contact with 7,016 residents – a 35% contact rate. During the doorstep conversation, Recycling Promoters sought to develop an insight into residents’ attitudes and behaviours surrounding recycling, inputting responses into a handheld tablet computer. They aimed to encourage residents to recycle as much as possible, with emphasis on recycling the correct materials, reducing contamination and recycling food waste.
In addition to those spoken to on the doorstep, a further 361 residents participated in an online survey, which was promoted via leaflets posted at addresses where the resident was not at home.
The survey results were presented to the Council in a comprehensive research report which outlined key findings and recommendations. Overall, the response to the doorstepping campaign was very positive, and it was clear that residents were enthusiastic about recycling. St Albans City and District Council is hopeful that recycling participation will increase as a result of the doorstepping activity.