Teresa Prokopanko Jun 1, 2023 15:13 pm
I'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?