A Weekly Doorstep Recycling Collection; "I Had no Idea we Could!"

Adam D Read. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, v.26, (1999) p.217-249.
Currently the U.K. is faced with the problem of how to handle increasing amounts of solid waste and decreasing landfill area used to dispose of these wastes. In this case, the successful solution to reducing the increasing volume of solid waste involved further promoting an already existing recycling program. A decade ago, the U.K. proposed a plan to increase the recycling of household waste by 50% by the year 2000. Previous approaches used to communicate the recycling program such as, pamphlets and newspaper advertisements, proved to be unsuccessful, however, officials still believed that public communication was the most efficient tool to achieve their recycling goals. To increase public awareness and participation in the existing program, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea introduced a door-to-door communication strategy called, "The Recycling Roadshow." Their hope was to reach every household with the message, "reduce, reuse, recycle." Wearing recycling logo shirts and armed with an assortment of pamphlets, stickers, and badges staff members knocked on every door and talked to the resident's home during the hours of 10am and 5pm. Visits on evenings and weekends were scheduled for those who could not be contacted during the day. Their aim was to inform residents of the already existing doorstep recycling program and to attempt to persuade those not using the program to start.

Overall, since the launch of the "Recycling Roadshow" in 1996, the average weekly tonnage of recyclable material collected has risen from 107 tones to 132 tones. The "Recycling Roadshow" found that 31% of households had not even heard of the doorstep recycling program. Therefore, they concluded that former low participation was due to a lack of awareness of the program because of poor public communication. As a result of the Roadshow, doorstep recycling rates have increased from 9% in 1995, to more than 11% in 1996, and to almost 13% in 1999.
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