Enventure Research was commissioned by the City of York Council to undertake a programme of research concerning the recycling services provided in York. The research programme included three elements: surveying at Household Waste and Recycling Centres (HWRCs), participation monitoring of the kerbside recycling and green waste collections and a doorstepping campaign.
Research Methods and Results
The HWRC surveying phase of the research involved asking visitors a series of questions to ascertain their views and opinions on recycling and the services provided and to record attitudes in relation to potential site changes. A total of 300 surveys were carried out by a team of three at the Towthorpe HWRC at a variety of times over a seven day period. Following these surveys the site underwent improvement works, after which an additional week of surveying took place, allowing comparisons to be made before and after site improvements.
Surveying also took place at the new Hazel Court Site approximately three weeks after its opening to gauge customer satisfaction and opinions of the new site. The results for each site suggested that overall visitors were happy with their experience, with some useful suggestions for potential improvements suggested by participants.
A participation monitoring exercise was also conducted on behalf of the Council which targeted 5,000 households across ten different collection rounds, with the aim of monitoring and evaluating residents’ participation levels in the kerbside collection scheme. Three consecutive collections were monitored for each round by two Monitors, and the campaign ran for six weeks in total. The rounds were chosen by York City Council prior to the campaign commencing. The monitoring team recorded data on mobile hand held devices, working slightly ahead of the collection crews to ensure they canvassed the households as close to the collection time as possible.
The exercise highlighted some key recommendations for the City of York Council to improve their kerbside participation rates, including providing leaflets to residents to explain what can and cannot be recycled, providing collection calendars, and providing information about how to prepare materials for recycling.
The final phase of the research was a doorstep campaign in which a team of 12 locally recruited doorsteppers visited 30,000 households in areas selected by the Council over a six-week period. Where possible, the Recycling Promoters undertook a survey with residents to gather useful information regarding attitudes towards recycling. The team received extensive training on dealing with recycling enquiries, waste minimisation techniques and health and safety issues. They were fully briefed on the questionnaire, recording data and using the PDA equipment to record residents’ responses.
Benefits to the Client
The campaign overall provided the Council with useful information about how householders used the waste and recycling services, providing direction as to future service improvements.
To find out more about this, and other similar projects, please contact us – we would be happy to help!