The West of England Partnership, led by Bath & North East Somerset Council, was awarded funding by DCLG to run an extensive food recycling publicity and incentive campaign. The campaign, ‘Feed Me and Win’, ran over nine months during which residents, selected at random, and participating in the food recycling collection service received a cash award. The campaign included increased advertising and promotion of the food recycling services.
Resource Futures was appointed to undertake the monitoring and evaluation elements of the project to help assess the impact of the ‘Feed Me and Win’ campaign. Undertaken before and after the campaign, this element aimed to quantify the impact of the DCLG funded reward campaign across the West of England Partnership area.
The work included analysis of residual waste and food waste from over 1,000 households and participation monitoring of 7,500 households.
Our team selected a representative sample of properties for each of the four local authorities using a combination of socio-demographic data and local knowledge.
The participation monitoring involved recording food waste participation of 7,500 properties across the four Councils for three consecutive weeks, to determine set out and participation.
The waste composition analysis involved analysis of refuse and food waste from 250 households per authority to determine composition and capture rates.
A comparative report with an assessment of the effectiveness of the campaign, based on the monitoring data, was provided after the campaign.
The results showed that the campaign had varied impacts across the different council areas.
Food waste participation increased overall, and specifically in three of the four authorities within the West of England (participation decreased in one area due to the impact of an unforeseen collection strike). The highest increase was seen in Bristol, where participation increased from 53.9% to 56.0%.
The waste composition analysis across the four council areas showed that food waste within the residual waste reduced overall from 1.73 kg/hh/wk to 1.44 kg/h/wk over the course of the campaign, equivalent to a 2.5% decrease.
The food recycling volumes collected per household were also positive, rising from 1.13 kg/hh/wk to 1.20 kg/hh/wk. It was further observed that food recycling was captured in 39.4% of cases in Phase 1, and 45.3% in the second Phase, showing a 5.9% increase.
Overall, whilst a significant shift in participation was not observed, it seems that the “Feed Me and Win” campaign did have a positive effect on food waste recycling performance in the West of England, with more food waste being captured by the recycling service and less being produced overall.
The project was shortlisted for the MRW National Recycling Awards 2016 in the Best Food Waste Initiative – Public Sector category.