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Household Reward and Recognition Scheme

Background

The Government recognises that progress with increasing recycling has been in the right direction but wants to go further and faster in terms of driving up recycling rates and reducing the amount of waste for disposal.

The Government believes that it is better to reward householders for doing the right thing with their waste than to penalise them for doing the wrong thing. We are therefore encouraging councils to reward people who recycle or re-use their waste. We believe that reward and recognition can motivate people to take action.

Rewards could include financial rewards, e.g. vouchers, donations to charities, cash or discounts on goods and services. Recognition could, for instance, include personalised feedback about how much a household has recycled, or a letter about how donating an item for reuse has helped the local community.

We want to explore ways to reward or recognise people for adopting positive behaviours towards managing their waste so as part of the Waste Review, Defra launched the Reward and Recognition scheme in June 2011, making up to £2 million available for the three Spending Review years from 2011/12 to 2013/14. A maximum of £500,000 was available for 2011/12 to local authorities and community organisations to introduce or trial new schemes that reward or recognise people or communities for adopting such positive behaviours.

Reward and Recognition scheme 2012/13

Following a successful round of this scheme last year, Defra  made further funding available  for 2012/13 to local authorities and community organisations, to introduce or trial new schemes that reward or recognise people or communities for adopting positive behaviours towards managing their waste. The funding for 2012/13 is up to £1 million, of which about £319,000 has already been allocated to 14 of the schemes we funded during 2011/12.

Who is eligible to apply?

There was no change from last year to the groups which were eligible to make applications, i.e. local authorities and community groups. We did not preclude groups that applied last year, and were unsuccessful, or those who have current Defra funding under the scheme from applying again. The latter could apply for funding for a new scheme, or for an extension to an existing scheme.

The closing date for applications was 11th June 2012 and we received 60 applications for an amount totaling almost £2.25million. We undertook a robust sifting exercise. Applications were assessed by a Funding Panel using published criteria which included project design and delivery, estimated net financial cost of achieving the anticipated benefits, strength of business model for the scheme to be self-financing once government funding ceases, and contribution to evidence base. 

The cross-cutting Funding Panel consisted of representatives from Defra, Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) and iESE with input from DCLG and Defra’s research partner. The Funding Panel agreed that 15 schemes warranted funding, with total support of an additional £539,501 for 2012/13. Schemes were able to make applications for projects relating to waste food, the recycling, re-use and repair of waste materials and waste prevention and reduction. Some of these schemes will, by necessity, be innovative and go beyond the tried and tested, but we firmly believe that this will help local communities to develop solutions that work for them. We want there to be a greater emphasis on ensuring valuable data can be collected and evaluated, as we are very keen to learn lessons from the schemes we are funding so that these can be shared with other organisations.

Research/Evidence base

By making funding available we want to strengthen the evidence base on the environmental and financial costs and benefits of rewarding householders and to make this information available to local authorities and others to help inform their choices locally. We are keen to discover which approaches work well and offer best value for money and which are not so successful, and envisage that schemes would be self sustaining (without central government funding) if they did achieve results that were projected.

We have, therefore, commissioned research into how reward or recognition schemes have worked in various situations, and how people respond to rewards. This will establish which types of rewards are likely to provide best value for money and will help Local Authorities and other organisations target their schemes most effectively.

Other incentive based schemes

Some schemes already operating are rewarding people for doing the right thing. For example, the London Green Points scheme launched in Bexley in October 2011 or the Recyclebank scheme that operates in Windsor & Maidenhead, Halton and Lambeth are examples of how people can be rewarded for doing the right thing.

Reward and Recognition scheme 2012/13

For the 2012/13 scheme year, the Funding Panel agreed that 15 schemes warranted funding, with total support of £539,501.

List of successful applications for the Household Waste Reward and Recognition Fund for Recycling, Reuse, Repair and Reduction and Food Waste 2012/13

Reward and Recognition scheme 2011/12

For the 2011/12 scheme year, the Funding Panel agreed that 16 schemes warranted funding, with total support of just under £500,000.

Page last modified: 22 August 2012

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