Motivating residents to recycle their food waste - through digital communications


Background story

Greenredeem, Wokingham Borough Council (WBC) and Veolia have worked in partnership since 2012 to motivate their residents to recycle more and recycle right. Through targeted monthly campaigns and weekly activities, Greenredeem provide a digital communications channel to an engaged audience of more the 22k registered households.

In April 2019, WBC introduced a weekly food waste collection service alongside their existing weekly residual and recycling scheme. The Greenredeem communications platform is being heralded as a key driver to increasing the capture rate of food waste in the Borough.

"Greenredeem provide a valuable digital communications tool for us to encourage food waste participation in a fun and engaging way!”

Irum Gulzar (Specialist in Waste Management & Education at WBC)

Marketing & Communications plan

To support the roll out of the new food waste collection service in WBC, Greenredeem created a bespoke communications and marketing plan. From January to July 2019 the campaigns focused on three key areas and included targeted messaging:
  • Pre-launch (environmental benefits)
  • Service launch (key service information and how residents could participate)
  • Results (success and thank you to residents).
The marketing and comms plan also included the following:
  • Monthly targeted campaigns to engaged audiences
  • Weekly emails to encourage, prompt and remind
  • Hints, tips & FAQs – linked to all WBC messaging
  • Fun, interactive activities – videos, blogs and quizzes
  • Promoted through social media channels and local events

Campaign examples

Key findings

WBC operates a weekly residual collection, which can make it tempting for residents to simply put all food waste out for collection with general waste. However food waste collections are averaging 1.6kg.hh/wk, which is much higher than expected. The knock-on effect of the communications and awareness raising campaigns have also resulted in an increase in their black box dry recycling service of 482 tonnes.

Going forwards, Greenredeem will continue to work with WBC to provide communications and support to maintain momentum in the service and increase participation. Based on the current trend, WBC will achieve a 7% increase in their overall recycling rate for 2020.

7% Increase

in their overall recycling rate for 2020

1.6kg hh/wk

average food waste collection


Food waste recycling​


Diversion of residual waste


Extra collected for recycling​

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