Applying human psychology to recycling

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This is the updated slides to the recycling section of the talk I gave at Green Drinks Singapore on 1st Jul 2010

This is the updated slides to the recycling section of the talk I gave at Green Drinks Singapore on 1st Jul 2010

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  • Talk about committee
  • People just don’t care.

Transcript

  • 1. Influencing users to recycle and recycle correctly by applying Human Psychology
    June 2010 Marcus Tay Guan Hock
  • 2. Contents
    Tackling Recycling Contamination
    Recycling bin designs lessons
  • 3. Let’s Imagine
  • 4. IMAGINE:
    You are done with a fruit juice plastic cup:
  • 5. And you see the following recycling bins:
    What would you do?
  • 6. Did you recycle correctly?
    National Environment Agency (NEA) spokesman : throwing waste such as leftover food and drinks into the bins contaminates the recyclable materials and renders them non-recyclable.
    RECYCLING CONTAMINATION
  • 7. Did you recycle correctly?
    NEA URL on Brochure for recyclables: http://app2.nea.gov.sg/data/cmsresource/20100120281853527479.pdf
  • 8. How serious is contamination of recycling bins?
    NEA: About one-fifth of all waste deposited in recycling bins could not be recycled.
    Straits Times 15 Jun 09
  • 9. KK Hospital Recycling bins in June 2009 – Plastic containers only
  • 10. What do you think is the solution?
    Singaporeans just don’t have the culture….
    • Look at Japan, Germany….
    • 11. Users just need to be educated …
    Straits Times Discussion Board Replies to the article:
    “Maybe a public campaign should be launched to educate the public on how to use the recyclable bins.….”
  • 12. EDUCATION!EDUCATION!!EDUCATION!!!
    BUT HOW TO EDUCATE?
  • 13. Singapore national recycling vs. contamination?
  • 14. Recycling well labelled?
    “Recycling bins are clearly labelled with the materials that can be placed in them.” Singapore Environment Coucil replyto the article
  • 15. Not really…
    Another Straits Times Discussion Board Reply:“… I for one, was surprised to read from the papers that cardboards that hold food cannot be recycled,cos now I am guilty of throwing my pizza box into the recycle bin.”
    Need to move beyond just labeling
    paper, plastic into labeling types of
    paper and plastic accepted.
  • 16. NUS Recycling Story.
    Our success and techniques
  • 17. Contamination in NUS (Before Nov 2008)
  • 18. Results in Jan/Feb 09
    Level of contamination dropped drastically. Not perfect
  • 19. Vital Behaviours in tackling recycling contamination
    Educate what can be recycled
    Educate at the point of throwing
    3. Pair Trash bin with recycling bin
  • 20. VB1:Can it be recycled ?
    Common recycling bins in Singapore only label “Paper, plastic, cans”
  • 21. VB1:Can it be recycled ?
    Need to move beyond just labeling
    paper, plastic into labeling types of
    paper and plastic that are accepted.
  • 22. Expect Error from User = Specific about what to throw
    Reference:“Nudge – Improving Decisions about Health, wealth and Happiness”
    VB1:Can it be recycled ?
  • 23. VB2: Educate at point of throwing?
    V.S
    Poster on
    Noticeboards
    Email circular
    Presentations
    during lectures
  • 24. VB2: Educate at point of throwing?
    Instructions right at the point of throwing
  • 25. For prompts to be effective, they need to be presented as close in time and space as possible to the targeted behaviour…
    Reference: McKenzie-Mohr, D., & Smith, W. (1999). Fostering sustainable behavior: An introduction to community-based social marketing (2nd ed.)
    VB2: Educate at point of throwing?
  • 26. Jurong Bird Park doing so as well – May 2010
  • 27. VB 3: Pair Trash bin with recycling bin
    Expect less from good human behaviour
    Give people an option not to throw into the recycling bin if it can not be recycled
  • 28. Other lessons in bin design
    Poka Yoke(Mistake Proofing) is the way to go
  • 29. Different holes for different items
    The use of specialized container lids increased recycling compliance rate by 34% and reduced the amount of contaminants entering the recycling stream by 95%.
  • 30. Colour scheme of Trash bins
    Green Trash Bin vsGreen Bottles Recycling Bins
    These 2 bins should not be placed side by side
  • 31. Solution: Different colour for trash bins
    Colour scheme of Trash bins – Grey Bins
    Gradually replace current green trash bins with bluish grey ones over time
  • 32. Take the human error out of recycling bins display
    • Square recycling bins
    • 33. No need to remind housekeepers to have round recycling bins all facing front
    V.S
  • 34. Black labels to make up for vertical wordings
  • 35. New bins with lots of thoughts put in
    Horizontal words
    Easy reading
    Instructive description:
    “Non recyclables” vs “Others” or “Trash”
    “Empty cans, Clean Paper”
  • 36. New bins with lots of thoughts put in
    Straight sides prevent turning
    Less need to stop training/reminding housekeepers
    Instructive stickers made right on top
  • 37. Posters to align bins for housekeepers
    For bazaar areas where bins are always moved
    Assist housekeeping staff to get order of colours correct.
    Lend formality to the entire system
  • 38. Summary
  • 39. Caveat
    Measures were already halfway through implementation by the time I join.
    Gave it a psychological basis or reason.
    Isolate measures to “measure” effectiveness.
    Applied psychological tendencies for future measures.
  • 40. Summary /Questions
    NEA is pushing for Comingled recycling in future contracts
  • 41. Summary /Questions
    More recycling bins in IKEA /malls, any data to support that the recyclables are collected?
  • 42. Recycling Bins Design Tips Summary
    Expect Error from users/staff
    Be specific about what can be recycled
    Make the housekeepers job easier with prompts/poka yoke
    Timing of education
    Educate at the point of recycling
    Expect less from good human behavior
    Partner trash bins with recycling bins