The London Borough of Ealing

Summer 2014

The challenge

Ealing Council wanted to increase the levels of recycling within the borough by 2020. To work towards this, the Council ran a campaign in 2014 that aimed to increase the awareness and levels of recycling within Ealing.  TCC was commissioned to help provide insight to the Ealing Council on the perception and effectiveness of the campaign. This additionally required a look at the dynamics of recycling behaviour amongst communities in Southall, and insight into the areas which required greater targeting.

How we approached it

Using an outline approach, we conducted two distinct activities. A face-to-face quantitative street survey and a set of community based qualitative discussion groups. For the street survey, we designed a set of questions to baseline knowledge and behaviour around recycling, and test the recycling campaigns metrics. Following the street survey, we designed and conducted a series of focus groups with members of communities in Southall. These focus groups delivered insight into the underlying reasons behind different levels of recycling and positive ways to address this. From these two activities, we produced a narrative insight that created a picture of the dominate factors for and against the target behaviour.

What happened

The survey and focus groups showed that there were two large barriers against recycling in Ealing. These were a) a lack of containers throughout the borough and b) a lack of clarity about what can be recycled. When looking at the effectiveness of the campaign, we also learned the advertisements and leaflets from the campaign hadn’t been seen by a majority of residents.

Since the campaign, Ealing has worked towards raising awareness for recycling and making it easier for its residents to recycle. This has already resulted in an overall increase of recycling throughout the borough.