Waste Collection Service – South Oxfordshire District Council


Best Green Direct Mail Award


South Oxfordshire District Council

Background & Objective

South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils commissioned Ferrier Pearce to help deliver a communications campaign designed to increase the quantity of domestic waste recycled in both regions.


To help segregate recyclable waste, homeowners were provided with new bins. These supported the rescheduled fortnightly collection of recyclable and non-recyclable rubbish, plus the new weekly collection of food waste.


The communications strategy and accompanying information material was designed to introduce the benefits of the new service, the new collection calendar and emphasise the importance of segregating waste.


Both Councils are focused on reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill by increasing the percentage of recycled rubbish. To support their objective, they contracted a new joint collection service provider with a robust history of effective recycling waste collection.


Key to the success of the new service was to have homeowners segregate waste before its collection. To help this process, each home was provided with new waste bins specially designed for food waste, recyclable and non recyclable rubbish and garden waste.


However, the Councils realised that to ensure the new bins and collection service were adopted effectively, and the amount of recycled material increased, home owners would have to embrace both the new collection service and the reasons for the changed arrangements.



Working together the Councils and Ferrier Pearce developed a phased communication strategy supported by a suite of branded marketing materials. The style of the graphics was designed around the Recycle Now iconography, supported by familiar and friendly language that encouraged rather than instructed homeowners how to use the new waste collection and recycling service.


The key deliverable was the direct mail information pack, which was delivered by hand to resident’s homes by the waste collection contractor to save on the delivery activity carbon footprint.


All the material specified for the campaign was chosen on the basis of its environmental sensitivity.


Suppliers were selected for their proximity to the client to reduce road miles and, in turn, the carbon footprint. All paper-based marketing materials were printed on 100% recycled stock using vegetable based inks.


All the literature was designed to be compatible for web use and downloadable from the Council’s website and the direct mailing was delivered by hand.



The campaign was aimed at all homeowners living in South Oxfordshire.

The total number of households was 56,000 and the estimated residential population was 260,000.



Since the new service launched in South Oxfordshire on 8 June 2009, the Authority’s recycling and composting rate has almost doubled. In 2007/08 it was recycling just 38% of all waste collected, which then ranked it 124 out of 394 councils on the Government‘s official league table. South Oxfordshire District Council is now recycling an impressive 70% of all waste by diverting over 800 tonnes from landfill.


This ranks the District Council, in the Government’s recycling league table, as currently the top UK local government performer.



Direct mailing element of the project cost approximately £16,000 In addition, the Councils’ waste contractor, Verdant, delivered the packs by hand free of charge.

Introductory leaflet £6,500.00

Instruction document and calendars £6,265.00

Reminder leaflet  £3,265.00