Read, M., Gregory, M. and Phillips, P. S. (2008) Driving the waste prevention agenda — an evaluation of weighing kerbside household waste arisings methodology, in Dorset, UK. Journal of Solid Waste Technology and Management.34(3), pp. 161-174. 1088-1697.
Household waste prevention in England has been recognised in national strategy as a key component for future sustainable practice. To support the policy agenda, the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) in England has funded an extensive programme of fundamental research in the area. Previous attempts to assess the impacts of waste prevention initiatives have faced a number of problems. These have generally centred on difficulty in separating the effects of initiatives from external factors and inadequate sample sizes or methodology. The specific research aim reported on here, in this Defra funded project, was to trial and assess methods for monitoring and evaluating approaches detailed in the National Resource and Waste Forum (NRWF)’s Household Waste Prevention Toolkit. The primary objective of this research was to quantify the direct waste tonnage impacts of implementing a targeted household waste campaign in Dorset. The key performance indicator chosen for this assessment was the weight of waste collected at the kerbside from households. The results are informative and will help future teams design campaigns on the basis of rigorous methodology. It was found that there are a wide range of factors that need to be taken into account and that had hitherto been given little prominence, such as careful matching of pilot and control areas. Analysis of the results leads to the conclusion that waste arisings for residual waste has decreased in the pilot area (≈ 10.5%) more than the controls (e.g. ≈ 5.5%). This method for monitoring can be used, in the hands of an expert project team, to communicate to the public the direct benefits of waste prevention