20th July 2022
The Rethinking Ethical Consumerism team have been working in partnership with Haringey Council in London to explore the meaning of waste for local councils in England.
We took a neighbourhood-based view to understand more about the tensions that exist between the council’s implementation of waste management and the experiences of residents. We make some recommendations for how these challenges might be overcome.
The research examines the role of the ethical household when rethinking the meaning of waste. The data collection involved 14 in-depth interviews with key stakeholders of Haringey Council as
identified by several senior members within the Waste remit of Haringey council as well as 5 wideranging interviews with residents within identified neighbourhoods in the borough of Haringey. This research was also complemented by analysis of documents both provided for and sourced by the research team.
This research highlights three challenges to tackling simultaneous infrastructure provision and individual waste behaviour practices:
- Inconsistent information and messaging at local and national levels;
- Tensions between perceptions based on stereotypes and reality;
- The need to develop a deeper and more nuanced understanding of the complex relationships between homes of multiple occupancy (HMO) and infrastructure provision so as to improve consistency of communication and thereby increasing trust.
Our findings showed that there were challenges around increasing diversity in voice, particularly in the decision-making process related to the communication of initiatives and policy, and an urgent need to develop sustainable long-term strategies. This will allow Haringey council to connect effectively with national campaigns for the reduction of waste and single-use plastics, and to build meaningful relationships that harness the trust and good will of residents so as to build trust-based long-term initiatives to impact change in the community.