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

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  • Talk about committee
  • People just don’t care.
  • Applying human psychology to recycling

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