The consequences of sewer flooding are horrendous. Floods, mess and bad smells, with homes, businesses, communities and the environment directly impacted. We spend over £7m every year clearing 15,000 blockages because too many people treat the sewer system as a rubbish bin with FOG and unflushable items. Finger wagging marketing campaigns don't help, even if people can be engaged in such a mucky subject. So we successfully pioneered a new innovative behavioural change campaign - and the results demonstrate huge success! Our pilot area - Peterborough City centre - has a great population mix, by age-group, ethnic diversity and business type, including restaurants and fast food outlets. We set about tackling the problem. First, detailed research with 'actionable' outcomes. We engaged schools, residents, business leaders, faith groups, wider community organisations and managers of food outlets. We identified the cause of blockages by item and product - and the worst offenders too. We then evaluated the attitudes and behavioural trends of 'polluters', and what could motivate them to behave differently. Our campaign targeted those most likely to behave in the wrong way and mobilised positive community attitudes to encourage positive behavioural change. Through street theatre, door-to-door calls, community engagement, school activities, exhibitions and training for food managers, blockages reduced by two-thirds; a 40% increase (to 92%) of people saying communities must help reduce blockages; and an increase from 39% to 66% of households aware of the consequences of sewer flooding.
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