Providing waste and recycling advice across Devon
Resource Futures manages this two-year project for Devon County Council which is designed to make an impact on recycling levels across the region through the provision of a team of three Waste and Recycling Advisors. Working in all nine authorities within Devon, the team carry out participation monitoring annually to assess levels of impact. They then engage with residents in areas determined by the local authority partners, working closely with them on key messages and target areas. Our Advisors ensure residents are equipped with all the containers they need to make full use of the recycling services provided and also promote home composting and food waste reduction where required.
Through this work Devon County Council, in partnership with all other authorities in Devon, is looking to:
- Improve awareness around contamination
- Increase recycling capture rates and composting
- Decrease household residual waste
- Decrease contamination in household recycling
- Increase the number of home composters sold
- Increase sign up to the Mailing Preference Service
The three full time Waste and Recycling Advisors provide face to face engagement, each with a specific remit to cover three of Devon’s nine districts. All our Advisors also assist in county-wide promotional work as required.
Advisors spend between seven and 198 weeks per year in each area – determined by the population. Close liaison with each local authority partner means that the work is tailored to their particular needs during the allocated time frame, for example supporting a new service roll-out or a food waste recycling campaign.
Work in each area commences with a period of participation monitoring. In addition to the participation rates the authorities specify if they want additional information collected such as contamination rates for certain material streams.
The main thrust of the work for the Advisors is visiting households and speaking to residents about their local services and providing them with containers to enable increased use of them. In addition, where appropriate, residents are engaged with waste reduction messages and in some areas, Advisors set up talks, roadshows or events in libraries.
Where an authority specifically requires work in flats and multi occupancy buildings, Advisors speak with residents and, if relevant, assess the infrastructure needs of blocks in order to facilitate more recycling.
This on-going project has already seen positive outcomes. At the end of year one these included:
- Marked drop in contamination of recycling bins in Exeter
- Increase in uptake of food waste recycling in Torbay
- High contact rates on the doorstep (at 46%) in North Devon
- A participation rate of 63% in the food waste service in Torridge, in the first month after roll-out
- Over 4,300 additional recycling containers given out
- Over 5,600 people spoken to on the doorstep