Coca-Cola teams up with council to pilot community outreach recycling

Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) has joined forces with Milton Keynes Council to develop a project that will utilise the power of peer-to-peer community pledges to improve local recycling rates.

The Recycle for Your Community scheme, being trialled between April and August 2013, involves select local groups and organisations from two areas of the Milton Keynes borough engaging directly with friends, family and neighbours to share information and collect ‘recycling pledges’ from households.

Six separate community groups have been recruited and given specialist training, to understand what happens to materials collected for recycling in their community.

The groups carry out a small survey with each resident to find out what they are and are not recycling, give them help and advice and collect pledges from them to recycle more. They re-contact them at a later date to monitor progress made in relation to the local recycling services available.

Financial incentives of up to £1,500 will be awarded to organisations based on the number and impact of pledges. Bonuses are given to the groups if recycling goes up and non-recyclable refuse goes down.

CCE and Milton Keynes Council worked together to submit a joint application to Defra, securing core funding to carry out the pilot scheme, which aims to test a number of key principles.

These include the power of peer-to-peer relationships and impact of pledging in encouraging recycling behaviour change, and the impact of financial incentives in mobilising local groups and engaging communities in recycling.

Milton Keynes Council’s head of environment & waste Andy Hudson said the scheme was ground-breaking in its approach.

“Local community groups are able to secure funds for their projects by encouraging their friends and neighbours to recycle more. We hope the result will be that residents in these areas have a better understanding of our recycling scheme and will contribute to raising our recycling rate further,” he said.

This scheme builds on CCE’s work with the waste industry, as it looks to encourage greater recycling levels across the UK as part of its CSR agenda and producer responsibility drive.

Maxine Perella

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