Research Published On The Impact Of Recycling Incentives In The UK

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mo443jg0Ffc&w=472]New research investigating the impact of recycling incentives will be published today (18 Feb), showing authorities with incentive schemes recorded an average eight percent increase in recycling.

Serco commissioned Eunomia Research & Consultancy to explore the effect of incentives and reward schemes on recycling rates in over 30 boroughs across the UK.

Drawing on evidence from the various different recycling and incentives schemes operated by UK local authorities, the study shows that authorities with recycling incentives schemes recorded an average eight percent increase in recycling, which was accompanied by a four percent reduction in landfill.

25 percent of residents said that recycling incentives encourage them to recycle more whilst 75 percent of them suggest they are already recycling as much as they can.

Serco and Eunomia used the “nearest neighbor” concept to establish disposal and recycling trends, which benchmarked the performance of the authorities against that of 27 other authorities without reward schemes.

Chirs Murphy, CIWM – “This is about reward and recognition depending on circumstances. Rewarding those that are ‘new’ to recycling to change their hearts and minds, then recognition of the role played by the ‘regulars’”

This is the first time that the performance of recycling incentives has been examined by industry professionals and experts.

Robin Davies, business development director of environmental services at Serco said: “In a difficult financial climate, Serco is supporting our local authority partners in harnessing the potential of recycling incentives to help increase recycling rates and thereby keep costs down. This new research provides important information in relation to both the costs and impacts of incentive schemes enabling them to make better decisions.”

Serco’s waste and environmental services business provides refuse and recycling, street cleansing, vehicle maintenance and landscapes services to UK local authorities.

The company has implemented and managed a variety of recycling incentive schemes with three of its environmental services contracts across the UK, and the company continues to explore the topic of recycling incentives in more detail so that it can best advise local authorities on how achieve their waste objectives.

Speaking at the launch later today, CIWM deputy chief executive, Chris Murphy, says: “This report provides us with evidence of the potential for incentives to be an important promotional tool for sustainable behaviour change.

“For it to work successfully there are some criteria which must be met:

  • the right rewards tailored to meet local circumstances
  • locally branded communications to inform the public what is the intention and to keep them abreast of progress
  • the technology should fit and be fit for purpose
  • data collection is crucial and should be used to inform and if necessary fine tune the process.

“This is about reward and recognition depending on circumstances. Rewarding those that are ‘new’ to recycling to change their hearts and minds, then recognition of the role played by the ‘regulars’.”

CIWM worked in conjunction with Serco to organise a round table event, bringing together key people within the industry, including representatives from Defra and local authorities, to further discuss the issue of recycling incentives.

A summary of what occurred at the round table will be available in the March issue of the CIWM Journal.

For the full report CLICK HERE

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