This is rubbish

In February we developed and applied for funding for a new project about improving recycling. You can see the developement at application here. I’ve now got around to blogging about it.

This is rubbish increases recycling in a local area by working face-to-face with residents to give them the information, feedback, and, dare I say, competitive incentive to do so.

The short pitch goes like this:

“Sam wants to recycle, but keeps putting rubbish in the wrong boxes. Sam mostly buys the same things every week, so when Alice came to his house and showed him how to sort one of his bins properly it meant it got it right for years to come. She came back a couple of weeks later to check in, and gave him a big fancy sticker to put on his recycling bin.

Alice also got to visit other houses in the street and say ‘you know, some people on your street doubled the amount of recycling they’re doing recently, would you like some help with your sorting?’. It turns out that ‘what your neighbours do’ is a really powerful way of encouraging behaviour change, and so the rest of the street put much more thought into recycling.

Our project pays people like Alice to do these visits and we believe that this will raise the amount and quality of local recycling in a highly cost-effective way”

We even filmed a handy video!

We love this project, we love that it motivates people who don’t normally engage, we love that it’s highly kid friendly “no daddy, that goes in the blue box”, and we love that the hyper local nature of it means that it cuts through many of the national issues with recycling (different local authorities accept different products in different setups). Most of all we love that it solves a tiny but ridiculously common problem – that tiny doubt that everyone has when they put something in the bin that they’ve chosen the wrong one.

The funding was denied (The request was for a small pilot study) but it will remain in our list of projects that we’re hoping to build something with.

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