Coca-Cola Enterprises is to work with Milton Keynes Council in training residents to support recycling.
The Recycle for Your Community scheme will be piloted until August and aims to use pressure from peer groups to improve recycling.
Six community groups from the Netherfield and Coffee Hall areas will engage with friends, family and neighbours to collect ‘recycling pledges’ from households.
Groups will carry out a small survey with each resident to find out what they are and are not recycling, give them help and advice and collect pledges to recycle more.
Residents will later be contacted again and up to £1,500 will be awarded to organisations based on the number and impact of pledges, and whether recycling increases while the volume of non-recyclable refuse falls.
Coca-Cola and the council put a joint application to the Defra to secure funding for the pilot, which will test the influence of community relationships and pledges over behaviour change, the power of financial incentives in motivating communities in recycling, and the impact of improved knowledge of the recycling process.
Andy Hudson, Milton Keynes’ head of environment and waste, said: “Local community groups are able to secure funds for their projects by encouraging their friends and neighbours to recycle more. We hope the result will be that residents in these areas have a better understanding of our recycling scheme and will contribute to raising our recycling rate further.”
Milton Keynes’ recycling rate is 56% and it has a weekly collection of waste and recyclables such as batteries, glass and food and garden waste.
Coca-Cola chose to support the pilot as it has a manufacturing site and cold drinks centre in the area.