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Local Authority Team of the Year: Croydon Council

Following a significant service change that involved the introduction of weekly food waste collections, kerbside plastics recycling and a fortnightly ‘landfill bin’ collection, a team was formed to engage with non-recyclers and increase recycling.

The food waste engagement team consisted of: team manager Joanna, team leader, Emmanuel, project officer Badshah, project officer Ade, project officer Terry, and project officer Andy.

Emphasis was placed upon building a flexible, multi-talented and multi-lingual team who could communicate with non-English speaking residents, and also those who can be resistant to behavioural change.

Properties that did not put out any recycling were identified. If a property was door knocked and nobody answered the team made repeat visits at differing times of day to gain a response. After three unsuccessful visits, a letter was posted through the letterbox.

The team exceeded objectives and ensured over 83% of identified properties were engaged with.

Engagement with residents who previously recycled nothing then achieved an average set out rate of 35.93% for food waste and a participation rate of 48.35%; while the recycling box had an average set out rate 45.57%, and a participation rate of 57.68%. An overall service participation rate of 69.15% was achieved. Considering this relates to properties least likely to recycle out of approximately 125,000 properties receiving the recycling box service, it underlines an outstanding result.

The judges said: “This is a team assembled from in-house resources who tackled head-on an important and difficult waste stream in a diverse community.”


  • Aylesbury Vale District Council
  • Biffa Municipal
  • Caerphilly County Borough Council
  • Cheshire West and Chester Council
  • Enterprise Managed Services
  • London Borough of Merton
  • London Fire Brigade
  • Oxfordshire County Council

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