Survey shows four out of five people think recycling is important

Four out of five people in Cornwall think recycling household rubbish is very important according to the results of a survey published today by Cornwall Council.

Last December Cornwall Council conducted a survey to better understand what people think about recycling, their attitudes to food waste and what would help people to recycle more.

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The survey saw 4,404 responses from across Cornwall and from a mix of housing types. The survey was complemented by three focus groups which explored key issues more deeply.

Of those who responded:

  • 91% think it is very important that Cornwall’s environment is protected
  • 82% think recycling household rubbish is very important
  • 77% think that household recycling is fairly or very convenient
  • Only 3% of respondents said they did not recycle
  • One in five households throw away ‘quite a lot’ or ‘a reasonable amount’ of food waste
  • 71% said a collection of a wider range of materials would encourage an increase in recycling
  • One in five people (21%) said they would consider being a volunteer recycling champion for the Council.

Being unable to store the recycling between collections was one of the most cited reasons for not recycling.

Cornwall Council Cabinet Member for Environment & Public Protection Sue James said: “Public feedback is important – one of our values is to listen to residents and we really wanted to know what people thought.  The survey results suggest people want to recycle and will do it if it is easy but one size does not fit all. It was clear barriers to recycling included storage, access to collection points and confusion over what can be recycled.

“This survey has provided us with lots of insight – it supports that people will recycle more if it is easy, that people want to know what happens to materials collected and we need to provide more information on what can and can’t be recycled.”

The results of the survey and focus groups have now been published on the Council website at: www.cornwall.gov.uk/recyclingsurvey

Results from the survey will now help shape future education and awareness campaigns, as well as be included in the tender documents when the 2020 waste contract is issued.

Councillor James said the feedback had also helped shaped the Council’s proposed Resources & Waste Strategy, which has been published for consultation to seek residents views on the way the Council proposes to deal with waste.

“How we deal with our materials, waste and resources now and in the future is one of the biggest challenges we face. Over the past few years we have seen some reduction in waste generated and some improvement in the amount of waste that is recycled in Cornwall, but we need to do much more.

“This strategy sets out our plan to work with the community to better manage household materials, waste and resources. It’s important that everyone in Cornwall makes an active contribution to reducing the amount of waste we create, and to reusing and recycling more, which is why we are keen to hear people’s feedback on our approach, especially as we had such as strong response to the last survey.

“Our proposed strategy is titled ‘It’s in our hands’ because the management of waste starts with each of us. Only when we all work together, can we make a real difference for Cornwall and its unique and special environment.”

The strategy consultation will run until 31 March 2018 and can be viewed on the waste and recycling section of our website.

Story posted 16 March 2018