Behaviour Change and Recycling Contamination
Recycling performance is a factor of what materials are targeted for collection, the level of public engagement and understanding, the frequency of residential participation, the quality of their participation, and the effectiveness of the sorting process at the kerb and at the MRF (materials recycling facility). But contamination can undermine any recycling service, making it more expensive to sort the materials, confusing residents about what materials to sort and store at home, and ultimately putting end market outlets at risk. This webinar will discuss common contaminants in recycling collections from a number of residential settings (suburbia, high-rise and rural), reflect on campaigns and programmes that have attempted to limit contamination, and consider what the future might look like under reforms to extended producer responsibility and the expected upturn in brand-led recycling-based communications.
Stephen Bates, Behaviour Change Communications Expert, Resources and Waste Advisory Group
Stephen is a global leader for behaviour change communications in the waste management and environmental sector; a specialism that spans almost 30 years during which he has been responsible for some of the most effective campaigns of their type that have been successful in motivating change related to environmental behaviours and attitudes. It’s estimated that over half of all UK households have been positively influenced in some way by Stephen’s work. Internationally, Stephen works in the environmental, economic and social development sectors, developing behaviour change strategies and communications in post-conflict, low income and emerging economic regions.
In 2003, he co-founded EnviroComms, a behaviour change communications firm established
to serve UK local authorities as they began to roll-out kerbside recycling following the government’s ratification of the EU landfill directive. The company went on to work with over 150 local authorities. In 2019, Stephen launched the Mobius Agency, a collaborative enterprise that utilises a network of world-class consultants all dedicated to positive environmental change.
Outside of work, Stephen is a highly proficient photographer and film-maker. He was
recently produced the music video for the fundraising song ‘We Applaud You’ in aid of the
Covid Emergency Appeal.
Sarah Ottaway, Sustainability and Social Value Lead @SUEZ recycling and recovery UK
Sarah Ottaway became SUEZ recycling and recovery UK’s Sustainability and Social Value Lead in 2019, after 12 years delivering various programmes related to service enhancement, innovation and behaviour change in SUEZ’s public sector operations. In 2018 and 2019, Sarah was included in the Lets Recycle 35 under 35 “young guns” due to her efforts having a notable impact in the resources sector. Sarah is currently responsible for developing the sustainability of SUEZ’s services and leading the continual improvement of its social value impact, while utilising her experiences to support SUEZ’s policy and circular economy activities.
Gemma Scott, Resource London
Gemma manages the Resource London activity to improve recycling performance in London’s purpose built flats. Gemma works closely with London’s waste authorities and other stakeholders including housing providers and planners to support them in looking at the most cost effective interventions for improving performance in existing flats as well as proposed new flatted developments. Gemma has worked for LWARB since 2009 and during her time managed LWARB’s previous Efficiencies Programme, which identified efficiencies for London boroughs in their waste management services. Gemma is a Chartered Waste Manager with over 20 years in the industry working in and with local authority waste teams and the private sector. Previously she worked as the Recycling Manager at the London Borough of Richmond, as Senior Recycling Officer at London Borough of Camden and for Veolia Environmental Services in business development and contract management.
Adam Read, Director of External Affairs, SUEZ Recycling & Recovery
Adam Read is the moderator of this interaction. He is the Director of External Affairs at SUEZ Recycling & Recovery. Adam has specialized in waste management policy development, strategic decision-making, behaviour change, procurement and training for the last 19 years, first as a municipal waste management officer, then as a University based researcher, and for the last 12 years as a consultant working globally on waste services and strategies.
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