New research from WRAP reveals that plastic materials and food waste collection cause the most recycling confusion to householder. It also looks at emerging barriers and highlights where householders face challenges with recycling.
Research from WRAP supported by Defra, Zero Waste Scotland, and the Welsh and Northern Ireland Governments aim to look at emerging barriers to recycling at home, which if tackled could help householders recycle more effectively.
The insights come from the latest “Barriers to recycling at home”, report, which reaffirms the original four main barriers identified as situational, behavioural, knowledge and attitudinal previously identified by WRAP in 2008.
The report found that clearer communication plays key role to overcoming barriers.
It also recognises that barriers are inter-dependent, often a householders’ behaviour, knowledge and attitude to recycling is defined by the type of property they live in, their personal circumstances and the collection service they receive.
The report highlights very specific challenges that impact on recycling rates, such as householders who are confused by the introduction of new materials for recycling such as plastics and food waste, or lack confidence in their ability to recycle due to changes in collection services combined with uncertainty of what is required of them.
Marcus Gover, WRAP – “Using the findings of the “Barriers to recycling at home” report, we know where to focus our attention when giving support and guidance to partners, ensuring that they are able to offer the right service which allows more residents to recycle highly effectively”
Challenges that councils and waste management companies can help residents overcome by providing clear, simple messages around what can be recycled locally.
The updated report not only examines the barriers that householders are facing, it also considers how effective people are when recycling.
This is reinforced by the annual 3R’s (Recycling, Reuse and Repair) tracking survey, which reveals that 75 percent of UK householders surveyed recycle in some way. 25 percent of those are classed as highly effective recyclers who consistently recycle all materials accepted by their local service without including non-targeted materials in their recycling collection.
The other 50 percent need more guidance on what can be recycled to ensure they are recycling all that they can and not including items that are not currently recycled by their local service.
As revealed at the CIWM Rethinking Reuse Conference held last week in London (see CIWM Journal Online story) WRAP will be introducing a number of initiatives in 2015 to help its partners tackle the barriers and improve recycling rates.
This includes a refresh of Recycle Now with new communication resources and a tool directly for residents with the re-launch of the existing postcode locator on www.recyclenow.com, which enables consumers to access up to date information about their own local recycling scheme.
Marcus Gover, director at WRAP commented: “In the past ten years we’ve seen a significant rise in recycling rates; however we still have a long way to go. Using the findings of the “Barriers to recycling at home” report, we know where to focus our attention when giving support and guidance to partners, ensuring that they are able to offer the right service which allows more residents to recycle highly effectively.”