Recycling – the secret of success in Daventry, UK?

Daventry District Council (DDC) is currently the UK’s leading recycling authority, diverting 43% of all household waste from landfill through doorstep collections of recyclables (paper, steel and aluminium cans, glass bottles and jars, plastic bottles and textiles) and organic wastes (garden and kitchen wastes).

Consultants (and RRF members) Environmental Resources Management (ERM) report that Daventry’s approach to waste collection differs from that applied in many authorities by virtue of the four-bin system; the red box for newspapers, magazines and textiles the blue box for cans, plastics and glass, the brown bin for organic waste and cardboard, and the grey bin for residual wastes. The red and blue boxes are collected every week for recycling, whilst the brown and grey bins are collected on alternating weeks. The scheme became district-wide in September 1999 and has achieved outstanding results, with the District’s overall recycling rate increasing to 43% in 2001/02.

Current participation in the recycling scheme is lower amongst households in Daventry town (perhaps as low as 30% regularly recycle compared to 70% of residents in the more rural parts of the district) and this is reflected in the district’s recycling rate (41% in the urban area compared to more than 50% in the rural communities).

DDC were successful in a partnership bid with University College Northampton (UCN, also RRF members) and ERM in securing ú67,400 of Government Challenge Funding to encourage greater participation by residents of Daventry Town in the Council’s recycling services. The aim of the project is to increase recycling rates within the District (particularly the urban areas) and to develop a ‘tool-kit’ to aid Local Authorities in increasing their own recycling rates, and share best practice.

Earlier research conducted by Waste Watch had shown that recycling rates of 70% were achievable if every household in the district participated in the recycling scheme. This project will identify current participation rates in the poorer performing urban areas and assess why participation and recycling performance is lower in these particular areas. The project will then use a range of methods to increase awareness amongst the local population and encourage their increased participation in the services offered.

Through a targeted communications campaign the Authority expects to improve recycling participation by 25% and the recycling rate by 5% (minimum) in the targeted zones. It is expected that the knock-on impacts of the highly visible campaign, the neighbourhood impacts and the publicity attributed to the campaign will help to raise the recycling rate across the district by 5%.

The project began in earnest in July 2002 when a team of researchers from University College Northampton were sent out with the collection vehicles to assess how many households participate in the recycling scheme during the course of one collection cycle (a 2 week period), where the number of residents putting out their bins each week for collection were recorded. Three estates in Daventry Town were selected as the focal point for the campaign (675 households on the Southbrook Estate, 671 households on the Grange Estate, and 662 households on the Lang Farm Estate). The findings suggest that perhaps only 20% of residents on these estates are participating in the recycling services on offer.

Dan Bailey, Project Manager, believes that “the low participation rates recorded, help to explain the poorer recycling rates historically recorded in the urban parts of the District. These low rates present a great opportunity to assess the impact of a focused education and public relations campaign in improving both understanding and commitment to recycling in the town.”

In addition a doorstep and postal survey of selected households on these estates have been completed to investigate in more detail people’s attitudes a

Ano da Publicação: 2003
Fonte: Warmer Bulletin #04-2003: January 24
Autor: Kit Strange (Warmer Bulletin)
Email do Autor:

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