Two year project to tackle ‘high rise’ recycling delivers 26% increase

29 January 2020

An initiative run by Resource London in partnership with Peabody and six London Boroughs, to tackle low recycling in flats issued its final report today, underpinned by data from Resource Futures.

The project billed as the most comprehensive of its kind demonstrated that the introduction of a consistent package of measures (the ‘Flats Recycling Package’) helped tenants on 12 Peabody estates to recycle more. Over a nine month intervention period, a 26% increase in the recycling rate was recorded.

As part of the monitoring and evaluation of the impact of the Resource London Peabody Flats initiative, Resource Futures collected and analysed data to quantify the change in waste and recycling performance. This involved conducting tonnage monitoring and waste composition analysis of refuse and recycling from 1,600+ households, involving 962 person-days of fieldwork over the course of the project. Resource Futures teams weighed and recorded nearly 7,000 individual bin weights and carried out waste composition analysis of 54 tonnes of waste and recycling.

We ran this project quite simply because we need to increase recycling rates in flats,” commented Antony Buchan at Resource London. “The results speak for themselves: this package of measures improves recycling behaviour. We are working with councils across London now to implement the recommendations. Achieving waste and recycling targets in London means we all have to do our bit; and our findings show that residents are ready and willing to recycle if the conditions are right.

Summary figures:

  • 1,600+ households
  • 962 person-days of fieldwork
  • 7,000 individual bins weighed
  • 54 tonnes of waste and recycling analysed

This is the culmination of two years’ worth of work and rigorous attention to detail to ensure the data collected and subsequent analysis was robust,” said Coralline Dundon, Senior Consultant at Resource Futures. “Waste composition analysis provides in-depth insight into the materials going into the different containers. This allows for calculation of capture rates and contamination rates, which tend to be more meaningful when evaluating interventions.”

The report outlining the results of the project has been published today, along with a set of case studies from the estates involved. A toolkit to help others implement the report’s recommendations will be available by March 2020.