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S3E4: Communicating the value of waste

Daisy talks to Dr Adam Read, External Affairs Director for SUEZ Recycling & Recovery UK, about how crucial it is that we talk about waste - and why it is hard to do. Along the way, this discussion touches on Roman waste-management practices, the huge changes in the sector over the past decade, the power of communicating through images, and the need for cross-industry co-operation.

And what does it all mean for you? Adam's main pieces of advice for communicators in unglamorous sectors are relevant for all of us: 

  • Hang in there, don’t give up. Gaining recognition can take years – decades.

  • Demonstrate the value of your sector in really simple, earthy terms. Think about what it is that you do that makes you valuable, even if you’re out of sight, out of mind. If you stopped doing your job, what would they notice?

  • How do you communicate that value? It's about real people, real lives, real opportunities, it's about small change. Engage your stakeholders, whether that is one-to-one or in focus groups, to understand what they really think and care about. That could be quite resource intensive but it pays off.

  • In parallel, you need national campaigns. Cross-sector campaigns can play an important role in changing perceptions and allow space for individual firms to spend more time thinking about local interventions, including…

  • Find champions. What's your ‘in’ in the sectors that you're thinking about? Who's your gatekeeper? Who's your champion? Who's your infiltrator? There are people out there that do get it and do want to do it, and you need to give them the information and support they need to help take the community on the journey.

You can find the all the data and analysis from the BRODIE Public First Sustainability Sentiment tracker HERE or listen to the whole episode here:


Or read the transcript in full here:


S3E4 - Communicating the value of waste


Daisy Powell-Chandler

Welcome to Why Everybody Hates You, an audio support group for reputation professionals. If you have any responsibility for how people talk, think and feel about your organization, then you are in the right place. I'm your host, reputation coach Daisy Powell Chandler.


In this third season of Why Everybody Hates You, I'm bringing you a series focused on the link between reputation and sustainability, covering everything from human rights to climate change, lobbying, to labelling. Public First recently partnered with responsible business advisors, Brodie consulting, to find out what the public thinks about a host of these issues. And you can find a link to the full report in the podcast description. I'll be discussing some of the highlights of that data with a selection of experts and offering you guidance on what it all means for corporate reputation.


In today's episode, I'm speaking to Dr Adam Read, External Affairs Director at SUEZ about communicating on behalf of a sector as unloved and unglamorous as waste collection. And asking him what he's learned over the past 25 years communicating with the public. Waste companies have a big reputation challenge to contend with, from distaste about the subject as a whole to cynicism about how recycling works. I started by asking him, how the sector is coping with that?


Dr Adam Read

Waste Management has always been a bit out of sight, out of mind, the ancient Romans had worked out quite quickly that waste wasn't a good thing. They took it to the edge of the city, and the city just grew, and the waste was always that little bit further. I think that's where landfill came from. It was outside the city, it was away from the people, it took the public health concern away from, my mum, for example. And I think that was quite effective. But it also meant that the public kind of lost touch with that, my decisions, my activities, somebody came and collected in the early hours of the morning, and it disappeared. And I think we're now in a situation where landfill sites are closing, environmental regulations are tightening. And we started to look at alternatives and the alternatives are, maybe energy from waste plant, or an incinerator, as many of the public might call it, they're more visible, they've got chimneys, they're closer to the urban community more often than not, and that just makes everything visible again, and suddenly, it's like, it's rubbish, It's bad, it's vermin, it's rats, and it's near to us. And yet, they forgotten that it was their waste a week ago, that we were collecting, and are now treating, and I think part of the journey that the waste and resource sector, we are a resource sector, has to go on, is repositioning ourselves as being not only about public health, but also about resource management. And we don't exist without consumers and businesses having an ineffective or inefficient system, if there wasn't waste we'd be a logistics company moving resources around, we'd never have to worry about the environmental impact of what we handle. So, at the moment, we're trying to help that education by repositioning what we do, but at the same time, we've still got to manage it in the most cost effective and environmentally acceptable way. Which means you do end up with facilities that people might decide are not desirable to live near or next to but it's still more desirable than waste on the street.


Daisy Powell-Chandler

Absolutely. I think changing from thinking about waste to thinking about resources is quite important. We know from our research that concepts such as the circular economy are really not well understood by the public, but helping them to understand that their waste either has to go somewhere or even better be used for something new seems quite important. Could you just run us through some of the main uses that we think of as waste actually gets put to once it gets picked up off our doorsteps?


Dr Adam Read

Well, I think it starts with how we capture it. So can we capture your recycling separate from your rubbish, now most authorities will capture some materials but not all. So are your plastic bottles being put out in a way that I can then take a plastic bottle, put it through the recycling system and it becomes a plastic bottle, perfect closed loop recycling. Surprisingly, a lot of plastic bottles in the UK end up as plastic bottles again. Aluminum cans, one hundred percent recyclable, they will become an aluminum can again, or maybe a crisp packet if you're unlucky. And that list goes on, your food waste which in theory, we shouldn't have food why, should we? But we do because we buy more than we consume or we buy stuff that we then forget is in the fridge and it's out of date, and then we don't want to risk it. So, food waste can easily be composted or digested and turned into a soil enhancer, or a compost for your garden or something that goes into industrial farming outcomes if you'd like. And I think, you have to get that in a clean way, because there's only so much cleansing that we can do to material. When you present your rubbish in your bin at home, if it's all in one bin, there is a limit to what I can do to pull out the recyclables and make them good again, because the crisp packet still got the odd crisp in it. And by the time it's been left in your bin for a week, it's now got some rotting vegetation on it. And it's got wraps around an old cassette tape that somebody got rid of. And by the time it comes to my facilities, you just can't pull it apart in any form that's going to make it viable. So that's when you look at the energy from waste option, that's when you take that low-quality, low-grade material, and you go well, we're going to give it one more chance, we're going to burn it, we're going to generate electricity, we're going to put that into the grid. And that is better than landfilling it because there's less emissions. But also, you're not taking up land void, you're not magicking it away, you're putting it into the air, but you're also recovering other materials. For example, when people put genuine rubbish out, you can still recover the metals, for example, through an energy from waste plant. And most people don't realise that, because the metal gets picked out by the magnets before we burn or it gets melted down and separated after. There's two ways of capturing metal. We don't want to burn things that could be recycled. We don't want to burn plastics, even though we do burn plastics. Because in theory, if they're in the right bin, the recycling bin, they can go to a recycling site, they can be sorted, whether it be by hand, or by automatic sorting equipment with our fantastic laser beam that can tell you one material from another. It's all there. But that plastic bottle, if it's full of milk looks different to a plastic bottle that's not full of milk. If it's a plastic bottle that's got a wrapper on it, it changes the way that it responds to the laser. So a paper wrapper, a plastic wrapper, or no wrapper, ideally, no wrapper. How you present the material will change just how effective I can find an end use for it. But most of the materials in your bin at home, or your bins, have an end use that is valuable. If we can keep that material clean and separate.


Daisy Powell-Chandler

I do have more than one, I promise.


Dr Adam Read

We all do.



Daisy Powell-Chandler

Yeah, I really hope we do these days. But I've looked at the stats. And unfortunately, it appears that not everyone is on the same page on this one. Which tells me that there is still a real communications challenge in here to tell people more about how they can recycle better and explain to them why it's a good idea. How much involvement do you have with that side of things? Or are you quite divorced from that now because you're they're dealing with the stuff rather than the people?


Dr Adam Read

Not at all. I mean, twenty-five years I've been in the industry. And probably the first two, I was a local authority officer responsible for public engagement in Kensington and Chelsea. Trying to get people to recycle when the recycling rate in London was about five percent. Kensington was at ten percent. And we were trying to hit twenty-five percent. I knocked on more doors and spoke to more individuals than I care to remember about why aren't you and what could we do to help you? And did you know that the vehicle comes twice a week? And did you know that the recycling container goes next to the rubbish container in the same vehicle? No, we didn't. And so constant reinforcement of those messages, that's where I started. But if you look at where I am now, for twenty years, fifteen years, probably of those twenty since I left local government, I've been running campaigns for local authorities. So as a consultant, bringing best practice both here and abroad. And the question never changes, how do you make it easier? It’s the convenience issue, how to use the right language? And the question about language hasn't changed at all. It's now how do you make it more visual? Because of course, the languages in use are so varied and changeable from one location to another that there is no simple frequently asked question that will get your result. Some people respond to a tweet, some people want a website, some people want an image, some people want a leaflet, some people want something stuck on their bin. What motivates or is going to support an individual will vary from geography to geography and individual to individual. We constantly have to evolve our messaging, but the messaging is quite simple. These are the materials you want, here's the bin that we want them in. If you can keep them separate and put them in that bin will do the magic. And then the other bin, this is what you want to put in this bin and this is what we don't want you to put in this bin because that's what creates the problem or that's where the lost resource is, we've started to communicate. And I think what's interesting about today, just after I come back from COP is, my mum and my sister are my benchmarks of normal society, let's call them. They're not chartered waste managers; they don't have a PhD in waste management like some of us. They are talking about climate change, and they're talking about even decarbonisation, which I think is a very tricky word, or net zero if you prefer. And they're wanting to know what they can do. And my sector is one of the things that they can be doing. It's one of the areas they can be working on. And in some respects, it can be quite simple compared to those other decisions they might have to make about not flying to go on holiday, or deciding not to eat meat three nights a week. I mean, recycling well is a lot easier.


Daisy Powell-Chandler

What are the main areas of waste? Or the resources that end up in our waste system that can help us to reduce that carbon impact? What's that? What are the big wins in decarbonisation terms?


Dr Adam Read

Good question. There are two primary streams are materials that we want to focus on. One is food waste. COP last week, all the messaging was food waste, if it was a country, it would be the third largest national emitter of carbon emissions in the world. Because the system is at best fifty percent efficient, thirty percent of all of the food doesn't reach the plate, and then you've got consumers who are then wasting another thirty percent on the plates, or in the fridge. When you look at the system, it's not a great system is designed to fail almost. But if we make sensible decisions by using leftovers, not buying one and getting one free, because we never need nine peppers from the from the packet. And recognising that portion control isn't a bad thing, it’s just modern life, we can share that between two of us can't we, suddenly you can reduce the carbon footprint of your house significantly with a very simple kind of step that that you as an individual can decide to embrace quite happily. The other one is plastic. Now, single use plastics, or even plastics designed for recycling the average bottle, whether it be a milk bottle, a water bottle, a plastic tub, or tray, a yoghurt pot they're similar material streams. They use a lot of fossil fuel in their creation, that's the problem with them, unlike food waste, it's the emissions that they give off when they rot or the cost of creating the food in the first place. If you like that then gets wasted with fossil fuels in in plastics, you're using a lot of fossil fuel to create the plastic. If that doesn't go around the system, you've lost that fossil fuel, it's gone up in a chimney, or it's ended up in a landfill site where it's probably not going to really go to good use. What we need to do with plastics is to recycle them initially. And I think you and I can do a little bit better at home, I'm sure. Take the wrapper off, make sure it goes in the recycling bin. When you're out on the weekends, don't leave it by a bin hoping it might get recycled, take it home and put it in the recycling bin where you know it will be recycled. They're all easy steps but longer term, recycling is not the answer. Because we're never going to recycle our way out of climate change, that will only get us so far towards going from three planet living towards one planet living which is the only planet we've got. So realistically, we're going to have to look at reuse, refill, repair. So how many of my family? How many people do you know that have got a refillable water bottle that they take with them when they travel? Or when they're sitting at their office like I've got today? And that may be plastic but I might have used it five hundred times in the last six months and I use it when I'm on the train. It's the same with coffee mugs, they may not always be plastic but they are waxy filmed paper layer on the go coffee cups that are my absolute bugbear because they're not designed for anything other than to be discarded. If you've got a refillable coffee cup that you can take on the train, why wouldn't you? Actually, why wouldn't you buy one? Okay, so it's eight quid, ten quid, whatever it might be. But if you're travelling three or four times a week, and you're going to use it for the next three years, that's cost you nothing. And yet, all of those paper cups you've now not used, and that's before you get the economic incentive of doing it. Some of the brands now going well, you can get a refill for twenty pence cheaper, well that's going to add up if you're doing four coffees a day, three days a week, fifty-two weeks a year. I think you're starting to see some of that come but yeah, I would say food waste, the plastic bottles in particular pots and trays, people are going to say ‘Oh, what about crisp packets?’ Well, we're working on that solution, but it's not a primary concern today, it will be in the future. And then on the go coffee cups would be my third one, particularly as we come out of lockdown, and we start to commute in a more traditional sense, again, I can just see all of those coffee chains smiling to themselves as their brand is everywhere on the streets of Britain.


Daisy Powell-Chandler

It strikes me as we talk about this, that a lot of your job is to try and do yourself out of business, which is an interesting business model. How does that go down with your employees?


Dr Adam Read

Well, thankfully, SUEZ has always had a mission, at least for last decade, to live in a society without waste. We want to be the change, we want to help the transition. Now we understand, we completely acknowledge that you don't go from a terribly wasteful society to a zero-waste society in a generation. But what we can do is help the transition. So, when landfills were closing, we created energy from waste parts, because they were the right alternative at the time to landfill. But at the same time, we also increased our recycling capabilities, our capture and our processing. And you're at forty five percent of all the material we handle goes into one and forty five percent goes into the other. We're landfilling under five percent of all the material that we handle, twenty years ago, we would be landfilling eighty plus percent of all the material we handled, so that transition is happening, what you now need to do is go well, how do we move from energy recovery of forty five percent to energy recovery of twenty five percent and recycling of forty five percent heading up to percent? That's the next transition. And we're quite comfortable with that. Because that means we get to handle cleaning materials, we start to focus on valuable material streams, and we start to do less residual black bag handling. That's not a problem. If that's the next twenty-five years. We're fully committed to that. But we're also fully committed to the circular economy. And people will say, ‘Adam, this is where SUEZ is barking mad, because why would a waste management company…’ and that's when I stop them, because no, we're not a waste management company. We haven’t been a waste management company for fifteen years. ‘Adam why would a resource management company want to be into the circular economy?’ And I'm like, because it's the right thing. Our society has to be more refit, refill, repair, reuse, it has to be less consumption has to be more resource efficient. Otherwise, none of us are going to have a job because the place is just going to warm up. It's just not going to be pleasant for generations to come. I think we are committed to playing a role in the transition, but long term, happily being a very different company, when it's all about material flows. That's not a problem for us.


Daisy Powell-Chandler

Yes, it sounds like it's going to eventually be a complete change in your role from being the people who come and pick up the rubbish and chuck it in a hole outside the city back in the Romans to actually being more of a general store that other companies come to for supply. How is that changing the way in which you need to communicate with presumably a whole new set of clients, and a whole new set of government regulations? That must be a complete change of business model?


Dr Adam Read

The transition that we're on at the moment is quite stark. In the last couple of years, there's been a lot of government talk about policy reform. How do we get extended producer responsibility, this idea that those that produce packaging, that becomes waste? How do we get them to pay for it? And actually, how do we get them to help design the system better? Well, we recognize that that was coming. And my day job, if you like, alongside government liaison has been stakeholder management. I've spent the last three years of my life working with a couple of my colleagues trying to redesign a system. How does our system work better when the brands are more interested in the recycled content of their products, and their packaging, but they're also more interested in the provenance of the material that goes back around so that they know that they're getting quality material to produce their new bottle, or the new packaging or whatever it might be? Our job is suddenly not the humping lump of twenty years ago working for local government on a contract that was all about how many houses could you get past in a day? Now, it's about how do we ensure that the Coca Colas and the Unilever's of this world, get their materials back at the least cost, highest quality performance? So, our role, we're right in the middle of a fascinating shift from quick and dirty to high quality materials segregation, and that makes us very interesting for brands like those that I've just announced, but lots of others who are now looking at our sector and going ‘we've never understood it, now we need to understand how we get those materials back’ the sector's already evolving in a way that makes it much more interesting for us to talk to because it's not about a bin. And doing magic, it's not alchemy, you actually handle a separate plastic stream or a separate paper stream where we've got five fiber streams, for example, if you want to, if you want a high grade, glossy white paper, that's a whole different kettle of fish to having, newspaper and magazines, for example. Our system is designed to give that quality feedstock to the paper mills, because they want a certain mix of material to deliver on their packaging or paper of tomorrow. So yeah, we're in in bed with them, we've been designing the system with them, we're much closer to them than we've ever been before. And that transition will only ever continue, with the amount of money that's going to come into the system from the brands and the amount of interest that they're going to show about the quality of the material, they will become our paymasters,


Daisy Powell-Chandler

Which presumably will then also change the whole way in which the sector is structured? And are we likely to see that anytime soon that the contracting that currently works through local authorities switches and works the other way? Or is that something that's a bit further off in the future?


Dr Adam Read

It's a good question. And we have debated this a lot, should everything be private sector? because it's the brands that put the materials on the market, and therefore they're paying for it. In the end, I think government and, the stakeholders themselves have gone, that's probably too big a change. And actually, not all of the material that comes from a household is packaging, or is related to a particular brand. At the moment, no, local authorities will still be responsible for letting contracts and probably well into the twenty thirties, they will still be letting contracts, what the contracts will look like will be very different, much more about service performance, much more about quality of the material, because if we don't have the right data, and evidence, then the money from the brands, will be at risk. I think you're going to drive up performance levels. Whereas before, historically, local authorities can make decisions about how important waste management was or wasn't in a geography. You wouldn't always go with the Rolls Royce system, you wouldn't always go with source segregation, you wouldn't always promote quality recycling, you might simply be going for, one bin fits all and we will be around your street on a Tuesday morning, that's probably going to be the thing that dies a death because the quality of the material become key. Because if you can't prove circularity, the systems failed, in which case, the brands are going to get very, very annoyed, because they're paying for a system that doesn't work, in which case that change to ownership models and responsibilities may come much quicker. I think it's in the interest of local government and the service providers, people like SUEZ, to prove that we can live in a high-quality source segregated world and deliver on the expectations of the brands.


Daisy Powell-Chandler

And that brings me around to something which we've touched on a few times here and I know you feel very strongly about which is that we're talking mostly about environmental stuff here. But there's a whole load of social impacts from the work you do, whether that's just families having peace of mind that this is taken care of, or local authorities thinking about the impact of jobs and facilities in their area, or so many other different ways in which you have contact with the economy and with society. How does SUEZ think about that?


Dr Adam Read

As a business over the last three years, we've been on a transition to become a triple bottom line business. No decisions get made at board level in the UK, that don't have a social and an environmental score against the economic. We wouldn't make a decision that was good for business if it wasn't equally good for the environment and the communities involved. We've had to create new tools to be able to analyse this. I mean, we've got a social profit calculator now that any one of our contracts or any one of our investment decisions can score itself against in terms of, is there a local supply chain? Are you retraining people? Is there a community space that gets used outside of working hours? is there an electric charging point that the community can access at certain times? I mean, the list is almost endless. But when you think about doing reuse, for example, we're increasingly putting reuse facilities into many of our sites that you might visit. So when you go to the tip, or the CA site or the household race recycling centre, I mean the acronyms in our in our sector are great, aren't they? But if you go to the tip of the weekend, many more tips across the UK now will have a section for reuse and repair or something, the place where you drop stuff off and have a little look and everybody gets annoyed because there's a queue trying to get into get rid of a sofa. Well, we reinvented that model completely. And we're now turning reuse into a core function at those sites. So if you pop down to any of my sites in Surrey, or Devon, where we've worked in collaboration with the customer, the local authority, we're not doing this in isolation, they wanted more of that reuse opportunity, because it's given, you're getting cheap products into low income households, you're creating opportunities for students, there's retraining, we've got a programme with a number of young offenders Institute's and an open prison in Surrey, where we're giving those training opportunities, and some of them are now fully employed. They've gone through the training programme, and now on-site running reuse centres. And that programme, and that portfolio of offering that we're growing, that's how you can demonstrate that we're more than just, we're going to take your rubbish, and we're going to do something to it, that's going to ensure that we take an environment box, because no landfill, burn it, recycle it, whatever. That's all well and good. But we're saying you've got to go up the hierarchy. And if you can't prevent it, then reusing it is far better, because it never ends is the waste stream. You don't have to do any physical editing to it, there's no kind of washing, there's no water use, all the environmental benefits the government, but actually, the social benefits of reuse are huge. And it's only recently that we've actually been able to demonstrate this in a very transparent way that that our sector can now hold its hands up and go, ‘we're not just talking a good game, this really does work’. For example, for every tonne of material, genuine material, let's call it that gets recycled. There's a fifty-two-pound benefit of social benefits. In terms of the local employment, local community benefits up, the upsides of having that service, it's thirteen thousand five hundred, I just checked, for reuse


Daisy Powell-Chandler

Thirteen thousand five hundred compared to fifty-two?


Dr Adam Read

For every tonne that goes into reuse, not recycling and recycling still good, isn't it? That's what we do. This is why we're trying to go,’ we need to stop the stuff coming in to the waste stream’. Because if you can reuse it, there's so much more local social benefit. Communities often who aren't able to go and buy the new but would happily buy something that's had, a couple of years use in a nice house around the corner. And if you can keep that material clean, when it comes on site, you can keep it dry. That's the key, that's the art to this, is going that's got some value, we need to A quickly access it, B maybe repair it, and then C how do you sell it on? Or do you make it available through the local charity network? Or do we open our own shop, which we've done on some of our sites, and you can do those shows that are on TV, the repair it shows and, the money for nothing shows? Well, half of them are recorded at my sites. And actually, they're just the tip of the iceberg because they're doing the interesting stuff and the backstory. There are tonnes of material going in and out of sites every day that’s being reused, repatriated, repurposed. And the more that we can share that message, because I'm old enough to remember when secondhand clothes weren't stigmatised. They weren't bad things to consider. When I was a student, I was walking around in all sorts of crazy blazers that obviously had life in the fifties and sixties, I love a bit of crushed velvet back when I was when I was a student.


Daisy Powell-Chandler

Preferably burgundy


Dr Adam Read

Burgundy, purple as well! I was lucky enough and I loved all that and as a student I there's no way I could have kitted myself out if it hadn't been for great secondhand clothing shops in Exeter in particular. But I think we've kind of moved away from that, I think there are there are high street stores, who I won't name, but we all know who they are, who are churning out T-shirts for a fiver. And it's not encouraging us to think long term about quality material, it's fashionable this week, and next month, it'll be something else. And we've kind of got to move away from that. Our reuse shops are part of that transition. We're not trying to replace charity shops because charity shops are very functional for what they do. But not everybody wants to go to a charity shop to deposit, sometimes they want to come to the tip to get rid of their rubbish. And while they're going to drop off an old printer, they're going to drop off a slightly worn TV, they're going to drop off a bag of clothes. Well, we'll help repatriate that in some way. And why wouldn't we? I mean, we don't want to landfill it and we don't want to burn it.


Daisy Powell-Chandler

This has been a fabulous sprint through the world of resource management. You have spent so long working in the sector and communicating the value of the sector to stakeholders, right across the rest of the economy. What are the pointers you've picked up about how to communicate about a really sort of under loved service that is necessary and important and actually has huge potential to help us out of a big hole here, but remains a hard sell? What are your tips for other people who work for perhaps unloved industries on how they could do a better job of communicating their worth?


Dr Adam Read

Hey, hang in there, don’t give up. I think it's a really interesting journey we've been on. And I think it's just getting really interesting now with the circularity and decarbonisation agendas. You need to recognise the value of the sector, and you need to be able to demonstrate that in really simple, earthy terms, so everybody knows about their waste management collection, they all know when it happens. So think about that in your own sectors, what is it that you do that makes you valuable, even if they don't see the value, even if you’re out of sight, out of mind. If you stop, everybody knows when the wastes industry stops working, if the NHS stopped working, everybody would know about it. And I think you've just got to recognise that. How do you communicate that value? Well, that's an interesting one, not aggressively. I think it's a gentle, slow burn. It's about real people, real lives, real opportunities, it's about small change. It's about responsibility. My sector, we focused a lot around, what is it we can do together? How can we help you? How do I make it more convenient? How do I give you the right information, sometimes it's easier to ask the public, particularly those that aren't doing what you want, or aren't behaving in a way that you thought was the norm. Engage them in the conversation. I mean, I've run so many focus groups over the years to the non green, and actually, I find the green brigade, quite hard to handle because they're so utopian in their view of the world that I can't keep up with their expectations of me. But they're not the ones I worry about, I worry about the ones that have just switched off, they just waste management, who cares? Recycling, not interested, as long as the bin gets collected, but there's your trigger, there's your point, that's the critical point where you can have a conversation, because they do worry when the bins not available. You got to go and have a conversation with them about what's in the bin or when they're using the bin or how they use the bin. That could be quite resource intensive. But in parallel, you need national campaigns. The waste management, psyche was changed when wrap ten years ago, started to have recycle now. And it was in Ian's café, EastEnders, it was in the rovers return, and Eddie Izzard was on every radio and TV, with his ‘recycling now the possibilities are endless’. It just rings in my ears today. And I think if you can do something like that, that's a sectoral wide, kind of slow burn, then you can then do the more local intervention stuff in a geography or, a specific housing estate or something that you need to sort of bring on board, but champions. I know when we struggled trying to get people to recycle in certain parts of London. And it just became an issue that they weren't reading or looking or interested in, in how we communicate. But once you got a champion from that community or that streets, who got it, they'd bring in fifty households overnight. So again, what's your ‘in’ in the sectors that you're thinking about? Who's your gatekeeper? Who's your champion? Who's your infiltrator? Because actually, there are people out there that do get it and do want to do it, and I'm more than happy to share. And I think that's been a very powerful tool over the years for us in certain communities, the power of the community to influence change, not the power of Adam or SUEZ, we can only give them the right information and support they need to help take the community on the journey.


Daisy Powell-Chandler

That's everything from us. A big thank you to my guest, Dr. Adam Read from SUEZ for a compelling interview that managed to span everything from the Romans to EastEnders via extracting metal from waste. I'd love to hear from you, which lessons particularly stood out. And if you've enjoyed this episode, I hope you'll tell your colleagues, perhaps write us a review on your usual podcasting app. It really does help new listeners to find the show. Thank you for listening to Why Everybody Hates You. And remember, you are not alone.