Quality Counts for Recycling: An integrated communications approach

Environmental communications consultancy Nicki Souter Associates (NSA) has developed an integrated, targeted communications approach to tackle the issue of contamination in recycling collections and improve the quality of recyclate collected including for food and garden waste collections. This approach can be used for both domestic and commercial collections, as well as source separated or co-mingled services.

To develop this approach NSA has undertaken consultation with the Organics Recycling Group, various local authorities, SEPA, MRF operators and reprocessors.

Communication Materials
A range of communication materials has been developed to support this approach, including:

  • Leaflets to target specific material streams that have high levels of contamination;
  • Leaflets to tackle contamination in co-mingled collection containers;
  • Contamination stickers, tags and hangers;
  • Postcards;
  • Staff handbook; and
  • Elected Members briefing pack.

The Integrated approach
This includes:
  • Frontline and office staff training sessions to explain why quality is important and the consequences for collecting poor quality recyclate;
  • Contamination policy reinforcement to standardise the approach frontline staff should take to identifying issues with quality and reporting procedures;
  • Handbook to accompany staff training and act as a reference document; and
  • Communication materials that inform residents and businesses about contamination policies and explain what the consequences are for not presenting high quality recyclate. These materials can either be adapted to tackle general contamination, or refined to target specific material streams that have higher levels of contamination.

For more information about the Quality Counts approach please contact Nicki on 01764 662277 or

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