Assessing Waste And Recycling In Flats: London

Resource Futures has been collecting data on recycling in purpose-built urban flats across London to help inform a major project on recycling barriers and behaviours being undertaken by Resource London, in partnership with the Peabody Housing Association.

Resource London has invested in a three-year flats initiative to gain an understand the barriers and behaviours around recycling and to identify solutions that will increase flats specific recycling rates. Our work involves collecting data on recycling and gathering insights into the wider environmental, social and community context.


This is part of a wider piece of work by Resource London which will use learnings on recycling behaviours in purpose-built flats to deliver practical interventions that make a real difference.

The focus of the research is households in inner London boroughs, particularly those where there are large numbers of flats and lower levels of home ownership.

Resource Futures is undertaking not only a review of the current recycling provision, but also assessing the contextual situation on each estate through carrying out detailed inventories of the physical, social and community context of recycling in each estate complex.


The work takes us to each identified estate on a site by site, borough by borough basis. To facilitate the work, we have designed and built a customised app which allows us to collect methodical data in multiple data formats that can be captured on site through a tablet interface. Collecting data in this way allows us to record answers to set assessment questions, attach photos and record video content as part of each survey. We are also able to include geo-tagging to generate location data including estate buildings, bin stores, walking paths, and key site features.

A database of findings is being produced for each borough, containing full inventories and bespoke site maps alongside recommendations for any immediate site improvements. These databases are presented to each Borough individually and used to inform the selection of the estates for the interventions.


To date we have assisted Resource London and Peabody Housing Association to shortlist 12 estates, including 2 control estates, to test a set of interventions, based on the findings from the inventories.

Later phases will include trying out different approaches on several inner London Peabody estates to see which interventions increase recycling the most.

Project Information

Services involved

Data and Tools

Waste Prevention, Reuse and Recycling

Team involved

Susan Gow
Senior Consultant