Aims of the project:

  • To increase the participation of the food waste collections as well as to increase the awareness of the level of food waste produced and placed into the general waste. The Aim was to reduce avoidable food waste generated and for residents to use the food waste collection service.

The Slim My Waste – Feed My Face campaign was developed with the aim of diverting food waste from residents’ refuse bins and encouraging them to use the food waste service.

The ward of Hartcliffe was chosen for the trial as data had suggested that food waste capture in the area was low. Hartcliffe is also in the 10% most deprived areas in England. The campaign area covered three refuse rounds.

The campaign roll-out involved stickering and leafleting each of the 2,786 households in the trial area. An “I’m on a no food diet, thanks” sticker was attached to the lid of each bin and a Slim My Waste tape measure was wrapped around the middle. The leaflet contained the Feed My Face stickers and included information about the food waste service, interesting facts, the benefits for Bristol and saving money.

A second leaflet was delivered mid-campaign with refresher messaging and photos of decorated food caddies from the local area that had been submitted by residents.

There was a stall in the local Morrisons supermarket where the team handed out leaflets and stickers, answered questions and provided food waste caddies. Nearly 1,000 new food caddies were given out during the campaign.

In addition, the campaign used social media, educational workshops in the local school, and a tour of project partner GENeco’s anaerobic digestion plant.

Key challenges and how were these overcome:

    • Area of social and economic deprivation
    • Low engagement in food waste
    • Project labour intensive
    • Lots of different elements in delivery

    We found that this innovative approach to issues around food waste captured imaginations and engaged people of all ages.

    The visual nature of the campaign and noticeable presence of BWC staff meant that awareness amongst residents was high.

    The food bin faces allowed an element of fun to be injected into what otherwise might be seen as a mundane or even unpleasant activity.

    Working in the local primary school helped foster ‘pester power’ for local parents and having a physical presence in the local supermarket.

    Identifying pressure points and barriers to recycling food waste was part of the strategy.

    Myth-busting around food waste was tackled as follows:

    ‘It’s unhygienic and creates maggots’ – BWC educated in leaflets and on social media that the brown waste is collected weekly and not fortnightly like the refuse bins.

    ‘Compostable bags are expensive’ – BWC informed residents that any plastic bag or newspaper could be used instead of shop bought liners.

    ‘It all goes to landfill anyway’ – BWC graphically demonstrated how Bristol’s food waste goes to create energy for the city and partners GENeco showed community ambassadors around their plant.

Key success factors:

  • The platform was initially being used by new users primarily to advertise promotions and discounts. We overcame this issue by delivering a programme of workshops to educate new users on the purpose of the platform and to provide businesses with different ideas about how they could use and make the most of the platform.
  • A substantial proportion of transactions are happening ‘off’ the site, making it difficult to track the level of activity on the platform. To address this issue, we worked with businesses to design additional features and functionality to incentive transactions going through the site, such as developing user levels/badges and business profiles to showcase the positive social, environmental and economic impacts that each organisation is having through each success story.

Key learnings:

  • The campaign will be rolling out citywide later this year such was its success in food waste diversion and public response.On reviewing the different elements of the marketing material, it was felt that both leaflets, the food caddy stickers, the tape measure round the refuse bin and the ‘no food diet’ sticker on top of the bin would remain as key elements. Each element had a ‘nudge’ effect and contributed to the success of the campaign. Visual definitely added to the success.In addition to the recreation of the materials there will be a strategy of partnership working with major supermarkets throughout the city to have stands and give out food waste information and caddies.

    Spurred by the creativity and the engagement of the campaign in terms of ‘personalising’ food waste containers, BWC is commissioning a giant ‘Feed My Face’ face sticker to go on top of our larger food waste bins to encourage more engagement at shared facilities within blocks of flats. The idea will be you open the mouth of the food waste container to ‘feed’ it.

Organisation: Bristol Waste Company (BWC)

How long has the project been operational: Since 2017

How long the project took from concept approval to implementation: The project started in October 2017 and had an initial 3-week intensive localised campaign at a household level. Pre and post monitoring was undertaken – some of which is still ongoing in order to be able to demonstrate the success of the project.

Project cost:  The overall campaign spend was £6,762 working out at £2.43 per household. As the campaign is being costed for a citywide rollout the economies of scale mean this will be more like £1 per household.

Funding: This was jointly funded by BWC and GENeco, a gas to grid facility.

Picture courtesy of: Bristol Waste Company

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