Rubbish Problems? A Funny Way to Get More People Throw Their Junk in the Bin!

November 14, 2018

There is a theory that people’s behaviour can be changed for the better by turning some tedious activity into a good fun. This is the general idea behind the so­ called “Gamification” theory. The use of game thinking and game mechanics in non-­gaming contexts (which is also the definition of Gamification) is proven to engage people in solving problems. It is widely applied in marketing and customer retention but it can be used in many other fields as well, including for solving environmental issues.

That has been the idea behind “The World’s Deepest Bin.”

The Idea Behind the Project:

Many people fail to throw their rubbish in the bin and instead throw it on the floor or on the ground. In big cities that has become a big problem. So the experiment was created with the idea that if throwing rubbish in the bin was made to be more funny, more people would do it. The special bin the people behind the project invented contains a mechanism that creates a sound resembling something falling into a deep well for a long time and in the end you hear a pop at the bottom. There are also special detectors that track when a piece of rubbish is dropped into the bin so that the sound could be produced on time. Would this make a difference? To answer that question let’s look at the results.

The Results:

Several of the World’s Deepest Bin’s have been placed in different cities throughout the world. One of the experiments showed more than 100% increase in the rubbish thrown in the special bin. Numbers are different but every study case resulted in significant increase in the amount of rubbish being generated in the container and more people involved. So the conclusion is that fun can obviously change people’s behaviour for the better, even when garbage is concerned.

Fun Even When the Experiment Went Wrong:

The same art installation has been placed in an Australian city and it caused a bomb scare. It all happened because the sound coming out was more like an explosion. Responsible citizens alarmed the police and bomb squad was sent to checked the site. “It’s definitely attracted some attention.” ­ the artist behind the work said. And she is right. It’s nice to see that people are really engaged and responsible about national and international problems.

What the professionals think of rubbish gamification:

The idea was presented to several rubbish removal experts and in their opinion it is a great way to change people’s attitude and behaviour. If one of this “The World’s Deepest” makes such a difference, imagine what a hundred can do. In addition, there are a lot other recycle and rubbish gamifications out there. So let’s have fun while being responsible and tackling the global crisis we face today.

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