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The Organic Waste Use Consultation - WR0208

Description
Work undertaken by WTA has shown the effectiveness of community-based research programmes in which young people researched recycling habits. Using a research and youth consultation methodology that has been applied successfully to a variety of social issues, including recycling radioactive waste management and bittern conservation, this consortium will investigate the factors affecting participation in kerbside collection by young people and their families. This methodology creates a dialogue between local authorities and socially marginalised or excluded groups through youth and school networks.

The young people will be offered a first-hand, real-life experience through being encouraged to make action plans and give input into policy, thereby engendering understanding, awareness and encouraging action. This collaboration of training with experiential learning through young people developing the programme in partnership with adults means that they get personally involved in developing methods and communicating relevant programme alterations to improve participation in collection schemes.

This approach provides the opportunity to stimulate changes in peoples’ recycling behaviours, including intergenerational education initiated by youth involvement, which provides insights into understanding attitudes, motivations and barriers to participation in domestic waste kerbside collections before focussing on organic waste collection. In so doing, the project will provide:
1) Data from groups such as those living in low recycling rate areas, or so-called socially excluded groups who do not normally participate in such schemes.
2) Data that are reliable and valid, providing indicative and novel insights into the effects of scheme design variables on participation rates in the context of different housing types.
3) Possible behavioural determinants for participants and non-participants at individual and household level.

This research methodology focuses on young peoples’ conceptions, misconceptions, values and understanding concerning organic waste management. The key areas that need to be addressed are:
1) The target groups’ understanding of organic waste management in their community.
2) The issues defined by young people as important to local communities when considering options for organic waste management.
3) The ethical issues around waste disposal now, and how different options can affect future generations.
4) Recommendations for the implementation of organic waste management.
5) The issues surrounding County Council LATS targets and how these will affect collection and disposal schemes at a local level.

This type of consultation will provide an indication of what young people perceive to be the main barriers to organic waste management. It is not an attempt to write more educational materials, but to establish a process that can be used by teachers, youth group and community group leaders to investigate what local people consider to be the important issues, identify ways of ascertaining (and correcting) any misconceptions, and improving practical action.

The success of the project will be achieved by:
1) The young people being offered a real experience of being encouraged to make action plans and give input into policy, thereby encouraging understanding, awareness and action.
2) The interaction of training with experiential learning through young people developing the programme in partnership with adults so that they can develop methods and communicate relevant programme alterations to improve participation in collection schemes.
3) The creation of a programme that is consistent with established policies and issues surrounding children when encouraging their participation in environmental programmes.

The specific objectives are:
1) To provide insight into understanding attitudes, motivations and barriers to participating in organic waste kerbside collections.
2) To investigate the behavioural determinants for participants and non-participants, both at the individual and household level.
3) To ascertain the effects of scheme design variables on participation rates and biowaste collected, in the context of different socio-demographic groups and housing types.

Benefits and Outputs:

The young people will be offered a first-hand, real-life experience through being encouraged to make action plans and give input into policy, thereby engendering understanding, awareness and encouraging action. This collaboration of training with experiential learning through young people developing the programme in partnership with adults means that they get personally involved in developing methods and communicating relevant programme alterations to improve participation in collection schemes.

Through the use of youth and schools networks, teams of young people will help to develop the following:

1) A definition of barriers to involvement in organic waste disposal by young people which can aid the development or initiation of such schemes in areas with low recycling rates.
2) Data that are reliable and valid whilst indicating new insights into the effects of scheme design variables on participation rates in the context of different housing types, which can be used by other local authorities.
3) The opportunity to stimulate changes in peoples’ recycling behaviours, including intergenerational education initiated by youth involvement, which provides insights into understanding attitudes, motivations and barriers to participation in domestic organic waste kerbside collections.
4) Possible behavioural determinants for participants and non-participants, both at the individual and household level.
5) Access to groups that do not normally become actively socially-involved.
6) Development of a methodology that can be transferred to other issues of social / environmental interest.
7) The extension and development of existing schemes such as those education initiatives provided by ENCAMS and Waste Watch, rather than merely developing new education materials.
8) Models of effective practice to involve local communities and socially excluded groups of young people.
Objective
The specific objectives are:

1) To provide insight into understanding attitudes, motivations and barriers to participating in kitchen waste kerbside collections. This will be achieved by working with young people in schools and youth groups to investigate the perceptions of their peers and relatives in the local community and will lead to the presentation of young peoples’ recommendations to overcome barriers to participation, in written form and at the closing conferences in March 2007.

2) To investigate the behavioural determinants for participants and non-participants, both at the individual and household level by mentoring young people through a series of research exercises supported by visits from the project worker. A series of interim reports will be produced which collate the information gathered, with the final report in March 2007 drawing together the conclusions.

3) To ascertain the effects of scheme design variables on participation rates and Biowaste collected, in the context of different socio-demographic groups and housing types by investigating the collection rates in relevant areas. The results will be included in the final report in March 2007.
Project Documents
• Final Report : WR0208 - Final Report of the Organic Waste Use Consultation   (731k)
• Executive Summary : Organic Waste Use Consultation - SID5 Document   (65k)
• Final Report - Annex : Annexes to Final Report (WR0208) - Organic Waste Use Consultation   (1824k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2006

To: 2007

Cost: £37,667
Contractor / Funded Organisations
WTA Education Services Ltd
Keywords
Behaviour change              
Biowaste              
Communities              
Environmental Protection              
Household              
Recycling              
Social Research              
Systems for Resource Recovery              
Understand/enhance pro-environmental behaviour              
Waste              
Waste collection and handling systems              
Waste Management              
Fields of Study
Waste Management