SEP has a joint communications programme to encourage residents to recycle more. The key areas are clothes and home textiles, food, dry mixed recycling and garden waste. The programme also focuses on reducing fly-tipping across Surrey.
Clothes and home textiles
Clothes and home textiles are important materials as a waste composition analysis in 2016 found that only 15 per cent of the 10,432 tonnes of textiles collected by district/borough councils were separated for reuse or recycling. At community recycling centres (CRC) the capture rate was higher, but still only 48.8 per cent of the 4,135 tonnes collected were separated for reuse or recycling.
2017’s campaign highlighted that Surrey residents can recycle their clothes and home textiles through a local council collection service or a recycling bank. It saw a 13 per cent increase in textiles recycling during the three-month campaign period compared to the three months preceding the campaign.
2018’s campaign encouraged residents to recycle items such as towels, sheets, pairs of shoes and socks.
The 2015 campaign was awarded Campaign of the Year at the LGC Awards 2016, and the Most Effective Marketing and Communications Campaign at the CIWM Sustainability and Resource Awards 2015.
Dry mixed recycling and contamination
In 2016-17, SEP ran back-to-back campaigns on contamination and dry mixed recycling, respectively. The campaigns focused on what could and couldn’t be recycled locally and on the reasons why recycling is important.
A campaign in 2017-18 was split into three phases that covered pots, tubs and trays; paper and card; and plastic bottles from the bathroom. The campaign is currently being evaluated.
Surrey was the first county to introduce a weekly food waste collection in all districts and boroughs, and now runs campaigns to encourage residents to separate all their food waste, every week.
In 2015/16 a project was run reminding residents not to throw food in their general rubbish bin, increasing food waste recycling by over 18 per cent in a year. This was delivered through a combination of approaches including; placing stickers on general waste bins, delivering leaflets and caddy liners. The project was followed by communicating a service improvement allowing resident’s to use plastic bags to line their caddies.
2017’s campaign encouraged residents to recycle food waste by highlighting how much money can be saved by doing so. It resulted in a 3.7 per cent increase in average daily tonnages collected during the post-campaign period compared to the pre-campaign period across Surrey. 2018’s campaign continued the money-saving theme from 2017 by thanking residents for their previous efforts.
Due to the amount of garden waste still being put in rubbish bins, SEP ran its first garden waste communications campaign that included collections and CRCs in 2017 and 2018.
2017’s campaign resulted in a 2.2 per cent increase in the average daily tonnages of garden waste collected between March and June 2017 compared to the same period over the previous three years.
Our 2018 campaign focused on the three ways residents can recycle their garden waste: by composting it at home, by subscribing to a local council collection service or by taking it to a CRC.
There have been two SEP campaigns on fly-tipping. The most recent, in 2017, focused on encouraging residents to report incidences of fly-tipping and to be aware of their own responsibilities on the issue. Since campaigns began, fly-tipping has been shown to be decreasing.
Watch the film from our 2016 campaign on residents’ duty of care around fly-tipping.