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New research into the impact of recycling incentives in the UK

Published: 19 Feb 2014

Serco, one the UK's leading environmental service providers, has published new research investigating the impact of recycling incentives.  Serco commissioned Eunomia Research & Consultancy to explore the effect of incentives and reward schemes on recycling rates in over 30 boroughs across the UK.

Drawing on evidence from the various different recycling and incentives schemes operated by UK local authorities, the study shows that authorities with recycling incentives schemes recorded an average 8% increase in recycling which was accompanied by a 4% reduction in landfill. 25% of residents said that recycling incentives encourage them to recycle more whilst 75% of them suggest they are already recycling as much as they can.

Serco and Eunomia used the 'Nearest Neighbour' concept to establish disposal and recycling trends which benchmarked the performance of the authorities against that of 27 other authorities without reward schemes.

This is the first time that the performance of recycling incentives has been examined by industry professionals and experts.  As a waste and streetscene services partner, Serco shares a common goal with local authorities and supports them in using incentives and rewards to increase recycling rates.  With extensive experience of working with local authorities, Serco has implemented and managed a variety of recycling incentive schemes with three of its environmental services contracts across the UK, and the company continues to explore the topic of recycling incentives in more detail so that it can best advise local authorities on how to achieve their waste objectives. 

Robin Davies, Business Development Director of Environmental Services at Serco, said: "In a difficult financial climate, Serco is supporting our local authority partners in harnessing the potential of recycling incentives to help increase recycling rates and thereby keep costs down. This new research provides important information in relation to both the costs and impacts of incentive schemes enabling them to make better decisions."