Waste Communication Campaigns Update
The Committee were updated with the current and upcoming waste and recycling education campaigns.
The Assistant Director (Operations) and the Waste Projects and Compliance Officer guided Members through the report and highlighted the following key points:
- Anti-Littering Campaigns – an opportunity to educate residents about recycling and waste.
- The Team worked closely with the Communications Team and Kent Resources Partnerships, with representatives across Kent, providing new bespoke signage around the borough.
- In the past the signage regarding waste, littering and recycling was generic. These new signs are more specific for certain areas.
- In Spring/Summer 2021 signage for the rural areas, in conjunction with the Parish Councillors, were installed.
- There are specifically different colours and designs for different areas. Orange is for the open spaces, green for the town centre and urban areas and purple for the rural part of the borough.
- In paragraph 2.4.1 of the report the signage welcomes visitors to the rural area and reminds them to take pride as people live and work here. It reminds them it is their responsibility to take their litter home. These will be trialled in rural locations in collaboration with Parish Council.
- The bespoke signage in paragraph 2.5 of the report will be trialled in three locations in Northfleet.
- The signs are targeted at those leaving or dropping litter.
- The Team will work closely with Parish Councillors to trial these campaigns to see if residents and visitors get the message.
- Letter Drop – in September 2021, targeted letter drops pertaining to street sweeping and waste services information were trailed on the Dickens Estate.
- This was well received as local children were seen sweeping their own area into the street so the scarab could remove the debris.
- This will be repeated over the next few months and rolled out to streets around the Denton area imminently.
- A follow up letter was then delivered giving educational advice, explaining different services and waste collection days, having all the useful information in one place.
- Excess Waste Bin Hanger – during the pandemic a decision was made to remove all excess refuse from properties in Gravesham owing to the increase in waste generated at home during the national lockdowns.
- An excess waste hanger has been designed and is being implemented from February 2022 to leave on the wheelie bin to limit the amount of refuse that can be contained within the 180 litre bin which is put out on a fortnightly basis.
- The bin hanger will remind residents to recycle more, and information about any additional waste that can be taken to the Pepperhill Household Waste Recycling Centre.
- For large households, larger waste or recycling bins can be issued.
- The Team will remove as much recycling as each household leaves out, there is no limit. It is the right thing to do for climate change and is beneficial for the council to collect more recycling than general waste.
- The Assistant Director (Operations) explained that the Team and Planning Officers work closely with Letting Agents, Estate Agents and Landlords to give advice and educate regarding waste and recycling in HMO’s (houses in multiple occupation). There are properties in Parrock Street where the Team worked with each property owner to establish where the bins can go, how many bins are required and the collection day and will continue to work with them.
- A digital refuse and recycling leaflet had been sent to all Letting and Estate Agents.
- The Waste Projects & Compliance Officer and the Environmental Enforcement Manager have recently attended a Landlords Forum to discuss waste and recycling and have been asked to attend again as it was so beneficial.
- Pumpkin Rescue Campaign – this is an annual nationwide campaign supported by Hubbub to communicate to residents that you can eat your pumpkin after you have carved it at Halloween or recycle it in your food waste.
- Kent Resource Partnership Contamination Campaign ran a “Did You Know” recycling contamination campaign throughout November 2021.
- Using the Bartec System, in excess of 630 properties in Gravesham received educational letters offering advice and support when their recycling bins were marked as contaminated by the Waste Crews.
- Pledge2Recycle – an educational project has been running throughout Kent from the summer of 2021 through to spring 2022.
- There are two roller-banner displays in Reception at the Civic Centre explaining what can be put in general waste and what should be recycled. The Waste Projects and Compliance Officer takes these banners to schools when discussing waste with the pupils.
- A leaflet shown in paragraph 7.7 of the report will be distributed to all properties in Gravesham between February and March 2022.
- The Waste Projects and Compliance Officer explained, following a Members question, that if a property had already received a letter about contamination and a second occurrence happened, the Team would drop off an educational leaflet which is more visual and then if a third visit is required then an Officer from the Waste Management Team will visit to discuss any issues.
- If language is a barrier, the Team are looking at embedding QR codes within these letters allowing residents to choose their first language to be able to understand the information.
- If occurrences persist there are potentially enforcement actions that could be undertaken, or their recycling bin could be removed. It is dealt with on a case by case basis.
- Flat Recycling – this is a Kent wide recycling project to support residents in understanding the new food waste recycling service and to educate residents about what should and should not be put into the recycling bins.
- Signage was provided at Admiral Beatty House in October 2021, and it clearly differentiated food waste, recycling, bulky waste and general waste. Before this trial there had been a bin marked “refuse” or “recycling”. There was no information about bulky waste or where it had to go and now there has now been a reduction in bulky waste being left.
- A recycling survey is being developed to get feedback from residents regarding their attitude towards recycling and how they perceive their bin store area.
- School Engagement – Officers attended Northfleet School for Girls and Tymberwood Academy to deliver educational sessions to all year groups about waste and recycling including a waste sorting game.
- Similar presentations will be organised in the near future to community groups, adult groups, coffee groups and the Gravesham Youth Council.
The Chair thanked the Officers for the report and explained that 44% of waste is currently recycled and it is important for all of us to find ways to increase that figure but the Chair was confident that the Council is addressing this issue.
The Committee noted the information contained within the report.