Somerset Waste Partnership, who manages and promotes waste and recycling services for all the local authorities in Somerset, wanted to capture the current attitudes and behaviour of residents towards recycling and waste minimisation. They also wanted to gain customer insight into the current refuse collection service and residents views on the recycling centres and how they could be used in the future.
The client needed to complete the project from start to debrief of the report within a 4 week period. We were able to deliver 625 on street face to face interviews across the 13 different locations and 5 districts of Somerset ahead of schedule. The sample achieved was also representative (by age and gender) of the Somerset population.
The project was an on-going tracking survey and the final report needed to allow comparison with the previous baseline and tracker surveys carried out in 2009 and 2012. We used the same face to face methodology to ensure comparable results. This involved ‘quota sampling’ and facilitated the use of unprompted and prompted questioning. The questionnaire maintained a number of tracking questions looking at food waste recycling retaining the three ‘core’ questions originally developed by WRAP. The questionnaire was also developed to include the ranked importance of possible improvements to recycling and refuse collections.
We have successfully completed the 4th year of this tracking survey – using a sample size of 625 interviews (125 per district) and continue to gain experience and knowledge of resident’s attitudes and behaviour towards recycling and waste. The clarity of our reporting style has helped identify how attitudes towards recycling have become more positive over the years and the extent to which this has impacted upon the number of people recycling.
The ability to ‘add’ questions to the core questionnaire on a wave-by-wave basis has added considerable value to the surveys with topics ranging from improvements to refuse collection to charging for the use of recycling centres for non-residents and limiting the number of visits which can be made.