Kerbside scheme leads to increase in metal recycling

Metalmatters has announced the results of a groundbreaking pilot project designed to increase kerbside metal recycling rates.

The project, conducted in conjunction with two local authorities in the UK, delivered significant results including a 12.9% increase in metals recycled in the biggest trial area of 54,283 households.

Metalmatters, is a partnership between the UK drinks can manufacturers, the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), and the aluminium and steel packaging and recycling industries.

The project was conducted in cooperation with Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council and East Hampshire District Council. Metalmatters delivered a community outreach programme which highlighted popular misconceptions about recycling and educated residents on the benefits of recycling as many items as possible.

There was an overall attitude shift as a result, with almost one in five respondents agreeing that the campaign had encouraged them to recycle more metals. The post project research also showed a 22% increase in those who reported recycling 17 or more items regularly.

Metalmatters has set a new benchmark for projects in this industry by using extensive research and consumer testing to develop and refine messages to create a targeted metals campaign.

Norman Lett, project leader, Metalmatters, said: “The project’s goal was to increase existing household metal recycling rates by at least 10% and create a best practice model. We came to understand that the key to success was education, to encourage people to recycle more things, more often. In our pre-campaign research many people thought recycling was either a waste of time or that, despite their best efforts, the materials then didn’t actually get recycled. Metals are a precious resource as they are infinitely recyclable and it makes a real difference if they go back into the recycling loop. The consumer wanted reassurance of this.”

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