Improving recycling in apartments is challenging. There are significant barriers to overcome including convenience, ease of access and structural issues.The Bags and Caddies campaign looked to increase the use of communal recycling facilities by giving residents FREE bags and caddies. The bags and caddies were provided to help residents store recyclable items and carry them down to the bins.
The campaign faced many challenges including: overcoming reservations about introducing food waste in apartments; distributing bags and caddies to residents; and gaining access to the buildings to enable door knocking to be undertaken.
To overcome these problems, the Project Team worked closely with housing providers, management agents and caretakers. Residents were also asked about issues with recycling. Feedback helped to produce suitable and effective communications materials including permanent signage and leaflets.
The campaign has seen positive results for improving recycling in apartments. Over a quarter of residents are now recycling more, with phase 2 campaigns showing greater increases of up to 47%. Campaign recall was high with at least three quarters remembering some form of communication.
To view pdfs of campaign materials and case studies please click on the links below:
Please click on the following links to view individual case studies by area:
The Bags and Caddies campaign worked closely with residents and management agents in 9 city centre apartment blocks in Manchester to improve recycling of paper and card, commingled (cans, glass, jars and plastic bottles) and food waste.
The campaign helped residents to recycle more by providing reusable recycling bags and food waste caddies and liners to help them carry their recycling to the communal facilities.
The recycling bags and food caddies were distributed with an information pack. The pack consisted of an A4 letter and an A5 leaflet illustrating to residents how to use the recycling bag and food caddies, and why they are being asked to do it. The information also showed where the communal recycling facilities were located. Contact details were provided to the resident in case they would like more information on recycling or how to report a lost, damaged or stolen food caddy or recycling bag and how to order further liners.
Leaflets were kept clear and simple to overcome any barriers for residents who did not speak English as a first language. All sites received posters to promote recycling and let residents know where there communal bins were located. Further posters were displayed to remind people not to put plastic bags in the recycling bins. Following focus groups held at several locations and feedback from on-site caretakers, permanent signs were installed in bin stores to encourage people to recycle correctly.
After the distribution of re-usable bags, caddies, liners and information packs, return visits were carried out by project officers to reaffirm residents’ understanding of their usage. Following the campaign awareness of the shared paper and card bin increased by 25%, mixed recycling by 19% and food waste by 37%.
As part of this campaign we engaged with residents in Atlas Mill, Hargreaves House, Rogerstead, Fernstead, Blackshaw House, Jubilee House and Paderborn Court.
We spoke to the residents about the problems they were facing around recycling and developed bespoke campaign materials. Each apartment block trialled food waste collections as well as the usual recycling waste streams.
Residents were keen to discuss their waste issues and were pleased that the council and housing providers were looking to improve the facilities. Bags, caddies and campaign literature was delivered to all the sites taking part.
Engagement with all the blocks of flats was positive, in some cases Bolton Council in conjunction with Bolton at Home, are now looking to make further improvements to the recycling facilities available.