Do people 'read signs'?
2023-11-20 21:00:45 UTCIn a number of instances in my work lately, I've had pushback from colleagues saying "Unfortunately, most people will not read signage" and similar. While I accept that in some cases they are correct, this claim both annoys me in how it stymies my efforts and how it is making an assumption that I cannot verify.
The specific application that has most recently come to mind is cigarette butts being placed in planters instead of the cigarette butt dispenser. We would like the butts to go in the correct location, but it is plain and black and a few steps further away. I suggested signage to direct people to the dispenser and was blocked with "but they won't read". However I suspect that HALF the problem is people are unaware of its presence! Signage won't solve the issue of it being less convenient to access.
Can anybody direct me to experience or research suggesting whether people do, indeed, simply ignore any and all signage?
Re: Terracycle - Infrastructure barriers
2023-07-31 14:30:01 UTCTerracycle covers several types of waste that literally nobody else is addressing. However, they also cover some types of waste that others ARE addressing, so it depends on what streams you're looking at. Ink cartridges for example, can be recycled via the Staples takeback. Same thing with writing implements - also Staples. Corks can go through ReCORK (pay for shipping only, unless there's a local dropoff partner). Lightbulbs and e-waste can often go to places like Best Buy or whatever hardware store is local to you. You'll have to do more local research on that as these programs vary drastically even within a given area sometimes.
A lot of implementing a new recycling program starts with understanding your existing waste stream:
Who is producing the waste?
How are they managing it now?
Who manages the existing waste? (both internal - is it lab students? custodians? are the custodians in-house or contracted? Who puts the waste in the bins, and who takes the bins to a larger collection site, and who picks up those larger/final bins for disposal?)
Implementing a recycling program will hopefully come out of a waste audit and an understanding of the waste system. The next step is to understand what sort of space and impact the new program will have. You'll need to ensure clear communication with all affected by the recycling program, whether it's a waste producer, or somebody who has been dumping bins (e.g. custodians). You don't want people misunderstanding and accidentally landfilling your recycling contents, for example!
Finally, I would try to follow up with a waste audit after the program has been in place for a while. Is there a lot of contamination? Are you achieving your initial goals? Is there any intangible information that would be helpful to capture?
Always as you collect data on this process, have in mind what you want to do with the data. You can't make change without good data, but you can't justify the data collection without knowing what you hope to do with the data.
Re: Data gathered from Waste Hauler Data to measure waste diversion program effectiveness
2023-06-01 15:28:03 UTCWinnipeg tracks its diversion data consistently, and while I haven't seen this applied to a study of whether a campaign is working, it has measured accurately what the impact of adding yard waste as a composted stream has been. Search "Comprehensive Integrated Waste Management Strategy Plan" from Winnipeg for some good info, and this link may help too: https://legacy.winnipeg.ca/sustainability/WasteManagementAndDiversion.stm
Re: Illegal Tire Dumping
2023-06-01 15:23:53 UTCI've heard anecdotally that putting up security cameras and actively pursuing fines can help a little bit, if the dumping is happening in a predictable location.
Does your area have a tire recycling program? Is it free to drop the tires off for garbage or recycling, or are there tipping fees? Is it a long way to the proper disposal location? Those are all things that come to mind to me in terms of dumping mitigation - it has to be easy and preferably free to appropriately dispose of a recyclable resource like tires, or people will try to avoid cost and inconvenience.
Re: Litter Control - Ways that Keep Chesterfield Beautiful (KCB) can reach further into to the community to include various sectors, such as: Truckers / Business Partnerships / Events
2023-06-01 15:21:09 UTCI have a thought about surveying at events - I think you COULD get some good barriers/benefits data here but you'd need to go to general community events, not environmental-themed ones. Do you have community fairs/seasonal amusement parks? What about events like "movies in the park" or street parties, community-led block parties or community centre fairs? Celebrations for big sports wins, or just sports events in general? I think all those sorts of events could be successful moderately-random sample survey locations.
The challenge with litter is determining the source. How much of it is coming from people walking along and simply dropping garbage as they go (or driving and dropping...) and how much of it is escaped waste from garbage bins, or even from residential bags/the collection process? Cigarette butts are pretty obviously littered waste, but not all free waste is necessarily litter. One of our challenges where I live is homeless and street-involved folks end up generating free waste when they rummage bins, as well as when they create outdoor encampments - there generally isn't a way for them to dispose of waste appropriately where they're camped. Depending on the sources of your litter, that will significantly impact your interventions. I love the really specific issue of trucker bombs you've identified - that gives you a population to reach out to, and a clear issue to tackle, that should also be easy to measure. A pre-survey of how many trucker bombs are found on the sides of the roads, along with a targeted commitment campaign, and a post-survey, could go a long way to reducing that particular source.
Nudges to Prevent Waste Dumping in Urban Park
2023-06-01 15:13:50 UTCI'm a sustainability coordinator at a large urban park and we're having problems with people leaving behind large quantities of waste when they have picnics. Some sites are bookable, but others are not and are open for all to use, which poses an additional challenge. This is messy, leads to litter (bags break/spill, garbage gets everywhere, and attracts animals), and extra work for our grounds team. We don't have sufficient bin capacity to handle the multiple bags people leave behind, which is part of the problem - but ideally folks shouldn't be leaving several garbage bags of waste for our teams to manage in the first place, regardless of whether it's in a can or on the ground. Does anybody have creative ideas of behaviour nudges here? Clearly we have a norming issue, but our grounds team can't clean fast enough to prevent the social norm of leaving waste behind.
My thoughts at this point are very rudimentary...maybe signage at the key pain points with a vivid image of an animal in distress from litter, and messaging thanking people for ensuring their garbage is in a bin or packed out with them. Garbage bins with openings big enough for some of the popular waste may help too (read: pizza boxes...). I'm in the brainstorming phase. Has anybody successfully tackled this sort of issue in an outdoor public space?
Re: CBSM and Food Waste Management in Cities
2021-03-23 15:22:43 UTCThe "Love Food, Hate Waste" campaign in the UK and parts of Canada has been shown to be highly effective at reducing food waste at the city scale! Here's a link to get you started. https://lovefoodhatewaste.ca/ You could probably simply contact them and implement the already-designed program if food waste reduction at the source is the angle you want to go.
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