onsdag 23. februar 2011

Motivation in the trash

How do you make people recycle more?

This question has been asked by the local waste disposal company SSR. What they have been trying for the last couple of years is this: Reduce the monthly fee, and add a harsher fee per kg waste. Recycling paper and plastic is free.

The total amount of waste was greatly reduced - though not due to the production of waste. Albeit some got really good at recycling, which was the intention of this new policy, people just can't help the fact that they do produce waste. And does fee avoidance make up for the time spent separating plastic from paper from trash?

Indeed, it seemed that a lot of people just found new ways to get rid of trash. Among other things, more bonfires were seen in the villages - possibly burning toxic waste, not just twigs and leaves.

When the company finally threw in the towel, still owing millions for the scaling system now attached to every waste disposal truck, non-recyclable waste to dispose grew by 5 metric tonnes for january alone.

Monkey business

Motivational expermients with monkeys trying to see if human hazard gaming is genetic or cultural, show that monkeys/humans approach danger in different manners, depending on how it is presented. As do humans, causing collapses of financial markets.

Customers were given a choice of loosing some money, with the option of being punished by loosing even more money if they produce more non-recyclable waste. So the game was: how do I avoid the additional fees? Answer: Reduce the amount of waste any way I can.

A better approach would be to pay a full fee to start, and reduce the fee by the amount of recyclables delivered. Then the game would be: How do I reduce my existing fee? By recycling more.

Want to make it more fun? Put in a lottery, where the number of tickets you get depends on the amount of recyclables delivered.

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