Garbage from the apartment
Rijkswaterstaat

Garbage from the apartment

From garbage to raw materials

The garbage in our homes contains a lot of materials, including raw materials. By reusing them we can avoid scarcity of our raw materials. One of the main sources of garbage is households. The Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment launched a set of ambitious targets, one of them being that by 2020, 75% of household garbage should be separated into raw materials. Given the current situation and behaviour, the target will not be met.

Avalex, Cities of Almere, Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam, Utrecht, Schiedam, HVC, Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, NVAD, Rijkswaterstaat, Vereniging Afvalbedrijven and the Vereniging van Nederlandse Gemeenten asked Design Innovation Group to execute a field research.

The purpose of this research was to find out how people living in high-rise apartment buildings were separating their garbage. DIG carried out an in-depth research that inspired them to design nine interventions to influence and change behaviour.

Some of the interesting discoveries DIG made were that people tend to have a favourite raw material, people talk about garbage during family dinners, and when a family has a new-born, they become more conscious about separating garbage into raw materials.

The interventions had to be focused on different raw materials and had to address different behavioural change techniques, as the Dutch population can be divided into four ‘kinds’ of garbage separators. The client is therefore developing multiple pilots that are currently being executed.

DIG worked together with the Behavioral Insight Team (Ministry I&M) and behavior scientists from diverse Dutch universities.