Brimbank City Council made a culturally-inclusive video on correct recycling behaviour for the Vietnamese community and tested it with a series of interventions to see which had the biggest impact on recycling behaviour.
Project objective: To improve kerbside recycling in the local area through culturally-focused communications
Brimbank City Council runs a recycling program called ‘Be a Brimbank Gem’ to educate Brimbank residents on correct recycling behaviour. It uses a combination of bin inspections, communications, personalised feedback and reward-based recognition.
The council identified a lack of engagement with the local Vietnamese community who make up approximately 13 per cent of the Brimbank community, and over a third of households in the Sunshine North area.
The council wanted to extend its Brimbank Gem program by creating inclusive and culturally-focused communications. The vision was to develop a video to encourage residents to see value instead of waste in things they no longer need, and to understand that being a Brimbank Gem is about more than getting it right on recycling night.
Video provided a platform to share key messages with the community in a contemporary way, using Vietnamese ‘actors’ and a Vietnamese language voiceover to make the video relevant to Brimbank’s Vietnamese community.
The council tested five intervention methods at 750 households, with bin audits before and after to check for improvements in recycling behaviour.
|Pre-inspection of bins||Recycling bins ‘pre-inspected’ to gather baseline data|
|Testing intervention methods||
|Post-inspection of bins||Recycling bins inspected again to assess changes in recycling behaviour|
|Surveying residents||Two weeks after the intervention inspection, the council’s team doorknocked 70 households with an iPad in hand to ask residents whether they recalled receiving the postcard and whether they had watched the video. They were shown the video, which prompted a one-on-one conversation about recycling right with those who answered the door.|
|Post inspection of bins||Recycling bins inspected again to see if changes in recycling behaviour are maintained|
- Revising the direct engagement methods late in the program.
- Participation of a local Vietnamese family.
- Hard to reach a wide number of people in the community by doorknocking at households.
The online videos were viewed around 100 times within the first few weeks of being published. Except for the control group, all the groups showed improved recycling behaviour following the interventions and the results indicated that the video may have had an impact. But the best results were achieved with a combination of interventions that included providing direct, personalised feedback.
The results also indicate a level of social diffusion around the program itself, with improvements occurring even in the control group.
The videos can still be viewed on the council’s website and are used at events, workshops and other community engagements on recycling involving Vietnamese-speaking community members.
Over the past few years the council has discovered thousands of Brimbank Gems – residents who are our recycling champions – through our ‘Be a Brimbank Gem’ program. The Vietnamese language video that we’ve produced with support from Sustainability Victoria has really helped us extend this conversation to our significant Vietnamese-speaking community, adding many more Brimbank Gems to the Brimbank municipality.
– Paul Younis, Chief Executive Officer, Brimbank City Council