Local Authority Communications Case Study: Barrow Borough Council

29th November 2016

Barrow Borough Council approached WRAP in 2008 for communications support. Their new waste recycling collection scheme was to include a new red bag to collect cardboard and plastics. 

Key points
Recycling increased by 2,479 tonnes
73% of residents felt the information provided was “excellent” or “good”
Total cost of the communication activity was £78,000



One of WRAP’s Local Communications Advisers worked with Barrow Council‟s waste prevention team to identify the local issues which would affect the roll out of the new service. Key evidence and experiences from other local authorities was then considered and the Council made a decision about the communication activities they would use. The communications plan included:

  • WRAP training for Council helpline staff and recycling crew to enable them to deal effectively with inquiries from local residents.
  • Printed material including a pre-roll out “teaser” leaflet outlining the new service, an information leaflet distributed at the time of the new service roll out, a collection calendar and contamination cards.
  • A recycling ranger who was appointed on a fixed term contract to engage with local communities to explain the new service, its benefits and how it works.
  • Advertising to raise awareness of the new service - advertisements on local buses, radio advertisements and advertorials in local newspapers.
  • Livery on collection vehicles and community posters to highlight the new service.

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