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Poplar Harca Estate Services Team wins ‘Outstanding Innovation of the Year’ at UK Housing Awards

The team were awarded for their innovative use of our Underground Refuse System (URS).

The award recognises the Estate Services Team’s brilliant work communicating issues around waste disposal. They have worked hard to engage and empower residents to take pride in their area, transforming our estates into great places to live.

Our URSs
We were the first UK housing association to introduce a large-scale Underground Refuse System, but it can be hard to get residents excited about rubbish! Nobody notices when it’s not there, but the impact of dirty streets, rats and lingering smells is almost immediate, often attracting more customer complaints than any other issue.

By moving our rubbish underground, Poplar HARCA has:

  • Increased customer satisfaction with caretaking by 14% in 3 years
  • Saved £912,160 in hire costs
  • Saved £8,942 in preventative maintenance
  • Transformed 30 cleaners into Estate Ambassadors, championing green initiatives across our 9,000 homes
  • Identified 20 residents who have become Green Champions
  • Increased customer satisfaction with the quality of estates from 69% to 88%
  • Created an holistic approach to estate regeneration by building URS systems into new development projects
  • Pioneered replicable models for both Estate Ambassadors and engaged residents that other housing providers can adopt at low cost
  • Used nudge theory in communicating issues around waste to residents, recognised as the best in the Borough
  • Given residents agency and pride in their area so that waste management becomes largely self-policing