Surrey Environment Partnership
April 2020 – March 2021
Activity and achievements 2020-21
The annual review contains the programme of countywide initiatives that were coordinated and funded by the Surrey Environment Partnership in 2020-21. Read it below or download a PDF of the report.
- Managing Surrey’s waste
- Responding to coronavirus
- Influencing national strategy
- Building our data and intelligence
- Improving recycling at flats
- Contamination reduction
- Watch Your Waste campaign
- Collection crew safety campaign
- Data driven interventions
- Harnessing the power of pestering
- Encouraging composting at home
- Getting real about nappies
- Surrey Recycles search tool and app
- Recycling guides
- What happened to Surrey’s waste
- Digital channel development
- Reducing fly-tipping
- Reducing single-use plastics
Managing Surrey’s waste: Data driven interventions
While it is important to undertake countywide communication to remind and motivate people to recycle, we also need to specifically target residents who are not participating in recycling services or not using them on a regular basis.
To help inform this work, Eunomia was commissioned to review similar interventions undertaken in other parts of the UK. The plans to use the learnings from this report to progress trials were delayed by the pandemic, but a series of targeted interventions were able to be developed and trialled in the latter part of 2020-21.
In Elmbridge and Woking, the interventions focused on food waste. Six data sets were created using in-cab reports that indicate whether a household has presented a food waste bin. Residents who had not regularly presented a food waste bin in a 12-week period were targeted in November 2020 using a range of different communications formats to test both methods and messages. This included a combination of postcards, letters, bin hangers and bin stickers, while the messages highlighted the environmental benefit of recycling food waste, the cost-saving benefit, or both.
Results showed that:
- Overall, after households received the communications, the in-cab reports showed that over a 12-week period 34.9% more food waste bins were put out for collection.
- The most effective communication method was a sticker attached to rubbish bins with a postcard featuring a motivating message on the cost-saving benefits of using food waste bins hand-delivered through doors. After households received this type of communications, the in-cab reports showed that over a 12-week period 102.9% more food waste bins were put out.
Further trials are now being carried out as part of the 2021-22 programme.
We worked with Epsom and Ewell Borough Council, Spelthorne Borough Council and Waverley Borough Council to increase garden waste subscriptions. We compiled a list of all households likely to have gardens in each borough that were not currently signed up to their service and measured the distance they were from a CRC.
We then split those properties into groups depending on how far they lived from a CRC and pulled out the three groups of properties that were the furthest distance as logic suggested that they were more likely to sign up to the service.
We developed three communication types – a letter, a standard postcard and a leaf-shaped postcard – and sent some of each to households within each group. Communications either focused on the convenience or the environmental benefits of using the service.
Data to assess the outcomes of the interventions showed that the interventions were successful in prompting new sign-ups to garden waste services. Initial calculations indicated a good return on investment with the total number of new subscriptions covering the cost of the intervention plus 148% of additional income. The return on investment will continue to increase with every additional year the residents maintain their subscription.
The new subscriptions will also lead to an increase in garden waste tonnages collected by each council with some potentially diverted from residual waste and some from waste that was previously taken to a CRC.
The new subscriptions will lead to an increase in garden waste tonnages collected by each council.