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Metal recycling pilot scheme increases recycling rate by 13%

A pilot project conducted by metal awareness scheme Metalmatters, which aimed to increase metal recycling across two local authorities by 10%, has been exceeded by 3%.

Results from the trial, which began in August last year, found a 12.9% increase in metals recycled across 54,283 households covered by Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council and East Hampshire District Council. There was also a 22% increase in those recycling 17 or more items regularly.

Metalmatters project leader Norman Lett said: “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 because they are infinitely recyclable and it makes a real difference if they go back into the recycling loop. The consumer wanted reassurance of this.”

In addition to the 10% target, Metalmatters wanted to create a best practice model. It used research and consumer testing to develop and refine messages and communications to create a targeted campaign. It also evaluated communication materials against demographic groups alongside recycling behaviour and competence levels.

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