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Gold Stars for Gold Standard Recycling

Gold Stars for Gold Standard Recycling

Councils around the world have tried all kinds of training, rewards and penalties and it seems that the pre-school systems work best

New Zealand's Christchurch has resorted to a version preschool reward and penalty systems after recycling rates plummeted during COVID to the point where only 48% of recycling trucks able to be processed in June due to frequent contamination issues.

Christchurch municipal authorities have responded with a new 3 tier system or rewarding and shaming, to educate residents and it's working. The council dispatched a team of spotters to literally inspect the contents of resident's recycle bins and in the first week, they checked 2470 yellow bins. 90 percent of them were contaminated to varying degrees.

  • If your bin was perfect, you got a Gold Star Sticker
  • If your bin had a few 'indiscretions' like soft plastics you got a small note tied to your bin handle - and the bin was not collected
  • If your bin was a mess, you got a warning that you needed to clean it up and if it continued, your bin would be taken away! 

The percentage of recycling trucks able to head to the sorters is now nearing 80%.

In Australia yellow bin contamination rates is reported as being between 4 and 12 percent by weight. 

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