Materials

Warwick registers 28 per cent metals boost after MetalMatters campaign

The amount of metal packaging being recycled by Warwick District Council’s kerbside collection service rose by 28 per cent in the six months after the council signed up to the MetalMatters communication campaign.

Warwick registers 28 per cent metals boost after MetalMatters campaign
The campaign, funded by metal packaging industry, including manufacturers, fillers and reprocessors, was launched in the district in October 2015 and saw all 53,000 households targeted with a two-phase leaflet drop, as well as advertising on recycling vehicles, at council buildings and at a local cinema.

According to Alupro, the Aluminium Packaging Recycling Organisation, which runs MetalMatters, the campaign cost the industry and Warwick’s collection contractor SUEZ recycling and recovery UK 29 pence per household to carry out. It adds that this cost was recouped within six months from the increase in metals capture and landfill tax savings.

The communications aim to inform residents about the recycling of metal packaging and what happens to it once it has been collected. A study carried out this summer by the Resource Association found that 44 per cent of English residents say they would be more likely to recycle if they knew what happened to the materials they put out for recycling, with 57 per cent of those aged 18-34 saying more end destinations information would prompt greater recycling. 

Recycling Development Officer at Warwick District Council, Becky Davies said: “We’ve been in the same position as a lot of local authorities, where we no longer have a budget for recycling promotions and no longer have a dedicated recycling team. This means our recycling levels have been static for a number of years.

“The MetalMatters campaign has been a big success and has helped to increase the amount of metal recycling captured by 28 per cent [an additional 2.2 kilogrammes of metal per household] and all dry recyclables by three per cent.”

SUEZ looking to take on more campaigns across UK

To date, MetalMatters campaigns have been delivered in over 75 local authorities across the UK, reaching over four million households, and Steve Holgate, Director of Municipal Services at SUEZ, says that following the positive results of the campaign in Warwick, the waste management company will investigate the possibility of running the campaign across all of its UK contracts.

He said: “We invested to improve the metal capture and recycling rate and we’ve not only seen an increase in the aluminium and steel packaging but we’ve seen an increase in all recyclable materials across the board.”

Last month, packaging compliance scheme Valpak announced that it had become a funding partner to the MetalMatters programme. Policy Director Adrian Hawkes said that having monitored the campaigns since the programme began in 2010, it wanted to recognise the ‘key role’ that high-quality communications directly targeting households would have on recycling in the UK. 

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