ACT Green Waste Service Behaviour Change Study
After a pilot program beginning in 2017, the ACT Green Waste Service became available to all eligible Canberra residents in April 2019. EnviroCom designed and delivered an education and marketing plan to assist in the smooth introduction of the service. A key outcome of the plan was to minimise contamination in the new Green Waste Service. Since the outset of the service, the education plan has been successful at achieving this, with the contamination rate remaining below 0.5%.
Since the introduction of the service, EnviroCom maintained a number of datasets containing information on contamination, interview responses, and demographic data. To be able to maintain low contamination rates, EnviroCom undertook a behaviour change study and analysed this data to identify trends and patterns in behaviour, and the underlying internal (inside the home) and external (outside of the home) influences.
Potential barriers that may prevent individuals from utilising the green waste service effectively were identified as opportunity (factors beyond the individual which provide the means to carry out the behaviour), social norms (being influenced by what others are doing), capability (ability to undertake the behaviour), and emotions (actual or anticipated feelings in response to performing a behaviour).
Utilising the findings from the behaviour change study, EnviroCom’s team of consultants continues to evolve and improve the education and marketing plan, delivering strategic education messages to target audiences with the aim of maintaining, and further reducing, contamination incidences.
Hawkesbury website revamp for easier access of waste information
Waste pages are some of the most commonly viewed sections on Council websites. Consequently, they form an important conduit for distributing both general and Council-specific waste and recycling information to the local community. Hawkesbury City Council identified an opportunity to streamline waste related information to improve accessibility by residents, and invited EnviroCom to undertake a comprehensive review of the waste services pages on Council’s website in order to identify areas for improvement.
The redesign, as directed and overseen by EnviroCom, was guided by a detailed project scope, which considered Council’s preference for a more mobile-friendly format; a desire to reduce the number of website pages; and a desire to avoid text heavy pages where possible.
New website content was developed by EnviroCom’s experienced consultants for the waste-related subpages, with input from and final approval provided by Council. All content was then provided to Council’s IT department who undertook the website refurbishing process ‘back of house’, rearranging subpages and uploading the new content and resources as required. Feedback provided by Council indicated the IT department was very impressed by the highly intuitive and user-friendly arrangement of the information and content.
EnviroCom talks food waste avoidance ahead of high waste season in Liverpool
EnviroCom was engaged by Liverpool City Council to deliver educational pop-up displays (PUDs) in two shopping centres in the Liverpool Local Government Area (LGA) in the lead up to what is traditionally the most wasteful time of the year- Christmas and the holiday season! The aim was to provide information, guidance and education regarding strategies to reduce food waste, with particular emphasis on how quickly the costs can accumulate for local families.
A range of topics were covered during the various interactions, with attention drawn to the NSW EPA’s Food Smart Program. During conversations with residents, particular emphasis was placed on important food waste minimisation strategies such as meal planning and shopping with a list; buying, portioning and preparing the right amounts; correct storage of food/ leftovers in the fridge, freezer or pantry to maximise food shelf life; easy and tasty dishes that can be made with leftovers; and shopping seasonally. Residents were also invited to share their food waste minimisation tips as part of a competition, for their chance to win a $150 Woolworths gift card. Composting was promoted as a preferred method of disposing of many types of food wastes, with residents encouraged to take advantage of Council’s Compost and Worm Farming Rebate Program.
An EnviroCom environmental consultant was present for one week at both Miller Central Shopping Centre and Carnes Hill Marketplace, engaging with approximately 1000 residents across the fortnight. Through direct engagement and the provision of printed resources and materials, many residents demonstrated a keenness to improve their behaviours around meal planning, storage and leftovers management to reduce food waste and save money for the family.
EnviroCom features in Inside Waste
Jo Smith, EnviroCom’s Environmental Consultant, featured in the latest edition of Inside Waste.
Jo Smith is a passionate and committed Environmental Consultant working from EnviroCom’s office in Orange. Jo coordinates multiple Council education contracts in regional NSW and was selected by Inside Waste to feature in an article showcasing Young Professionals within the waste industry.
Jo says one of the most challenging aspects of her role is influencing community waste generation and disposal behaviours. To counteract the impacts of COVID-19, Jo and the rest of the EnviroCom team have developed innovative solutions to continue to achieve Councils’ waste education targets. Community engagement initiatives such as online webinars, social media campaigns and video resources are delivering positive outcomes for many of EnviroCom’s clients. With the expertise and passion of environmental consultants such as Jo, EnviroCom continues to deliver effective, strategic and innovative waste education programs for clients across the waste sector.
Inside Waste is produced by a team of leading journalists who engage with key individuals to provide the latest news, views and insights in the waste industry.
Click here to read more.
Social Media Provides Effective Waste Education
To effectively engage the community in correct and safe waste management practices during COVID-19, EnviroCom developed a social media package for Moreton Bay Regional Council (MBRC). The package included four social media tiles accompanied by captions, and a frequently asked questions document to assist customer service staff with waste related enquiries. The four social media posts were developed to target specific kerbside waste generation and disposal behaviours such as recycling contamination, resource loss and disposal of hazardous materials as identified in the kerbside waste audit that EnviroCom previously conducted for MBRC. These social media posts were well received with a total of 235 likes, 91 comments and 72 shares.
EnviroCom also developed a short animated video for MBRC to provide recycling tips during National Recycling Week. The video received over 1,500 views, 5 comments, 8 shares and 25 likes on Facebook. The video is now available via the MBRC website and will be used as an ongoing tool to engage the Moreton Bay community in best practice waste behaviours. Check out the video below!
Waste & Resource Recovery Education Strategy 2020-2024
Envirocom was commissioned to develop a comprehensive 4-year Waste and Resource Recovery Education Strategy (WRRE Strategy) on behalf of Campbelltown City Council, NSW.
The WRRE Strategy identifies the priorities and actions to be undertaken over the next four years to educate the Campbelltown community as Council moves towards its broad goals of waste minimisation, improved quality of recyclables and organics streams and improved resource recovery from household kerbside bins. Importantly, the Strategy seeks to engage with the Campbelltown community and acknowledge the important role they have to play in achieving these goals.
To assist Council in realising these goals, the WRRE Strategy is guided by an overarching vision statement underpinned by four key themes and associated objectives.
Community engagement that is based on a knowledge and application of behaviour change and Community Based Social Marketing is a key focus of the WRRE Strategy. EnviroCom considered behaviour change principles in the development of targeted, strategic and prioritised action plans for each of the four themes to enable Campbelltown City Council to realise the WRRE Strategy vision and achieve the key objectives over the next four years, 2020-2024.
Animated social media videos to target waste behaviours
The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated EnviroCom’s adoption of online resources, enabling our clients to continue to deliver meaningful and effective waste education programs to their communities. We have developed animated waste education videos for a large number of Councils to post on their social media platforms, to assist the community in reducing waste and recycling right. The animated videos are tailored to suit the needs of each Council, using graphics, logos and targeted messaging to specifically address the waste issues of the region. These videos provide Councils with an engaging way of informing the community on correct waste management practices.
EnviroCom have developed two styles of animated videos:
- Pop-up (10-15 seconds)
- Explainer (45-60 seconds)
Here are some examples:
We can work with clients to develop videos on a range of topics. If you would like further information on developing video animations for your Council or business, contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org
EnviroCom complete another successful year of the Beach Clean Up Program with Sunshine Coast Council
For the fourth year running, EnviroCom have been engaged by Sunshine Coast Council to assist in the development and delivery of the Sunshine Coast Beach Clean Up Program. The program aims to support and enhance the community’s engagement with monitoring and maintaining the local environment to minimise the impacts of marine debris.
Last year, the Beach Clean Up Program assisted more than 2,400 participants in collecting 117,627 pieces of litter across 83 locations on the Sunshine Coast. EnviroCom was involved in coordinating three major regional events including Clean Up Australia Day, Clean Up for the Hatchlings and Schools Beach Clean Up, as well as smaller beach clean up events throughout the year.
Thanks to the dedicated community on the Sunshine Coast, the Beach Clean Up Program is continuing to grow and develop. Through training and engagement, the program provides the community with the skills to create behaviour change, with the key message that every small action contributes to great change.
The data collected from the Beach Clean Up Program is utilised locally, but is also added to the Tangaroa Blue Australian Marine Debris Initiative database. This data is analysed to allow for strategic implementation of source reduction projects, which aim to stop the waste material becoming litter in the first place.
EnviroCom has been engaged to deliver the Beach Clean Up Program for another three years. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with the Sunshine Coast Council and the community to protect the local environment.
Multi-Unit Dwelling Contamination Management Strategy
EnviroCom was commissioned by The Hills Shire Council to develop a Multi-Unit Dwelling Contamination Management Strategy to improve the quality of materials placed into bins by the residents of multi-unit dwellings.
The aim of the MUD Contamination Management Strategy was to identify key tools, tactics and processes that could be utilised by Council and its collection contractor, to provide reinforcement and support for multi-unit dwellings that ‘do the right thing’ and participate proactively in source separation, and also include identification, investigation and intervention in complexes that are not complying.
EnviroCom adopted a multi-phase approach in the development of the MUD Contamination Management Strategy, based on knowledge and application of behaviour change frameworks and the principles of Community Based Social Marketing (CBSM).
Phase 1: Undertake research to establish baseline data and build user profile of knowledge and waste disposal behaviours via door knocking and online resident survey, MUD complex site assessment and bin inspection program.
Phase 2: Identify behaviour change barriers and motivators through development of a critical criteria ranking tool.
Phase 3: Strategic implementation of educational interventions e.g. signage, stickers, workshops, letters, infrastructure changes etc. and creation of an education intervention action plan.
Phase 4: Assessment and evaluation to monitor and assess the impact of the educational interventions on influencing user behaviours and identifying further opportunities for education and engagement.
The MUD Contamination Management Strategy was supported by the development of online questionnaires for key stakeholders (MUDs residents and Strata Managers) and site inspection materials for use by Council’s waste inspector. EnviroCom also developed and designed supporting collateral including bin hangers for use during bin inspections, bin stickers, and targeted waste education postcards for distribution to residents.
Hawkesbury City Council Recycling Bin Inspection Program
EnviroCom have been undertaking bin inspection programs (BIPs) on behalf of Hawkesbury City Council in Sydney since 2017. The BIPs aim to assess current recycling bin use and educate residents in Single-Unit Dwellings (SUDs) within target areas in the Hawkesbury Local Government Area.
In 2019, recycling bins from SUDs in seven inspection areas were each inspected twice within a fortnightly period between February and April. 150 recycling bins were inspected each day and observed contamination in each bin was recorded in accordance with a contamination rating scale. EnviroCom also developed and designed the supporting collateral for the BIP. During the inspections, bins with no visible contamination (or one minor contaminant) received a ‘Thank You’ bin tag. Bins that presented more than one contaminant received a ‘Please Recycle Correctly’ bin tag outlining the contaminant materials identified. Each tag provided direct feedback and education to residents about the contents of their recycling bin and encouraged residents to adopt correct waste disposal practices. In addition, inspected households received a double sided information flyer outlining the program and the focus on education. Further, a ‘No Plastic Bags or Soft Plastics’ sticker was placed on each recycling bin as a long standing reminder to residents to avoid placing these items in their bin.
The combined results of all initial inspections and repeat inspections conducted during the 2017, 2018 and 2019 BIP showed an increase in the number of bins being awarded a Rating Zero during the repeat inspections. This suggests that each Hawkesbury BIP is having a noticeable positive effect on recycling behaviours throughout the LGA through the delivery of specific and targeted education at the household level.