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Raising awareness of sorting recycling with Voisins Malins

Summary : Gestion Urbaine de Proximité (Local Urban Management) and several social housing landlords in Courcouronnes have called upon VoisinMalin (Smart Neighbours) to educate residents on how to sort out recycling. VoisinMalin employs local residents as human resources to facilitate the connection with their users. A network of competent neighbours are developing a new interface with the residents, including those marginalised by an economic, linguistic or cultural barriers.

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  • Start date : July 2012
  • Implementation site : Courcouronnes
  • Budget : 19000 €
  • Source and details on funding : Landlords of accommodation concerned; GUP




Editorial committee

  • Date of proofreading :  03/11/2014 00:00
Opinion of the Committee : Unclear results and impact
Solution(s) : Environment Territorial development
Country :  France, Île-de-France
Stature of the programme :  Local
Participant :  Association, ONG
  • Beneficiaries :  Urban population
  • Domain :  Environment, Education, Training

Reports collected as part of the RESOLIS programme « Poverty France »

Copyright: Licence Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ )
To reference a document published by RESOLIS : Charpy Anne , « Raising awareness of sorting recycling with Voisins Malins », **Journal RESOLIS** (2014)

Background to the programme

As part of the Urban Renewal Project of the canal neighbourhood in Courcouronnes, a Local Urban Management agreement was signed in order to ensure the improvements made to the facilities were sustainable and to improve the living environment of the residents. This agreement contains seven main themes including cleanliness. A partnership was initiated between CAECE, Courcouronnes local authority and VoisinMalin in order to educate the residents of social housing in sorting out recycling.

Objectives of the programme

During the first visit: explain to residents why and how to sort their waste; give them educational tools, practices and games; give them an invitation for a festive event organised at the base of their building on the theme of sorting and recycling waste.

During the event: mobilise as many tenants as possible; continue their educational role.

During the second door-to-door visit: assess the impact of the previous action with the help of a questionnaire; provide answers to the difficulties faced by tenants with a view to improving recycling and re-explain the points.

Implemented actions

• After being trained by SIREDOM (Intermunicipal Syndicate for the Reusing and Disposal of Household Waste and Refuse), the production of 2 awareness campaigns for each volunteer landlord by Vioisin Malin: door to door at the homes of tenants every 9 months on average.

• Organisation, within a period not exceeding one month after the start of the campaign, of a protest walk from the building which aims to gather the tenants around events focussing on sorting out recycling.

• 9 months after that, on average, a second evaluation campaign is conducted which aims to determine the gains and obstacles to improving recycling.

Quantitative and qualitative results from the implemented actions

As part of this initiative, Voisins Malins have visited the home of nearly 500 families. Tenants have given them a good reception, have shown interest and were pleased with the information received. Landlords also expressed their satisfaction: "We receive very positive feedback on our experience of Courcouronnes. The building manager was very impressed with the results regarding the implementation of the recycling initiative as the yellow containers have become too small since the visits from Voisin Malin. We are delighted to have finally been able to benefit from the expertise of Voisin Malin! "

Original characteristics

The originality of this program is in achieving the "last kilometre" to the residents through door-to-door visits. To do this, we rely on the trust and dynamism of local residents, the "smart neighbours", by organising them. Also we build a reciprocal link between the inhabitants and institutions, companies, Local Urban Management and, here, social landlords, around very clear topics such as sorting recycling, which is a creator of social and economic value.

Partnership(s) developed in the context of the programme

The action of VoisinMalin is designed to complement those of local actors based on the difficulties they face. When establishing himself in an area, the project manager meets these actors and becomes part of the dynamics of the neighbourhood. In Courcouronnes, these partners are: the social centre (facilitator, responsible for development) and the neighbourhood associations, those who work in connection with the the GUP, the mediators of urban ecology issues from CAECE, organisers from Siredom, social landlords and Réussite Educative especially.


Difficulties and/or obstacles encountered during the programme’s implementation :

At the very beginning of the initiative, the door-to-door started while the recycling bins had not yet been delivered, creating a lack of consistency in terms of the message from Voisins Malins and resulted in the residents becoming demotivated. Therefore the landlords' calendar is an extremely important element in the success of the project. Similarly, good communication between the landlord and his building managers is necessary to ensure that the properties' rubbish bins are permanently accessible.

Solutions used to overcome the difficulties and/or obstacles :

The role of the manager, in constant contact with both Voisins Malins and the partners, provides feedback information in real time. Thus, the team seminars and monthly individual interviews as well as the feedback sheets on the intervention are also valuable tools to ensure the good operation and continuous improvement of the project.

Suggestions for future improvement :

As the visits from Voisins Malins continue, we will come to better understand the residents and their needs and can then better adapt and refine our methods. For example, on this project, we realised that reminders are necessary to maintain the motivation of the residents which could translate into the setting up a regular program of reminders in the years to come. It is therefore our involvement in the neighbourhood in the long term that enables the improvement of our practices.

Summary of factors responsible for the programme’s success :

The factors in the program's success that are used for its development are:

- The team and the management culture already in place, with its know-how, aimed at creating confidence and effectively mobilising resources and the enthusiasm of people in the area.

- The first successful partnerships with public service operators and social housing landlords; building on successful local pilot partnerships to set up these groups with a sustainable partnership aimed at development on a national scale and the definition of conditions; also expanding partnerships with other companies of general interest.

- Knowledge of the area, of the politics of the city, all of their key players - political, economic and associations, including their national networks - and their organised projects or processes, as well as the ability to unite them locally to strengthen the bond with the locals.

Ideas for basic or applied research topics, that could be useful to the programme :

We have always been interested in the social impact dimension and we seek to assess our impact. After conducting an SROI ("social return on investment"), this year we put in place a randomised evaluation on the creation of social ties and the development of the capacity of the inhabitants to show initiative.

To know more

See also "Raising awareness of managing water consumption by Voisins Malins": http://resolis.org/fiche-pratique/sensibilisation-a-la-maitrise-de-la-consommation-d-eau-par-des-voisins-malins/200

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