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The Kerbside Recycling Journey of one family in Hamilton, New Zealand

For my family of four recycling at home consists of three main stages: 1/ sorting and storing in the house, 2/ sorting and storing in kerbside bins, 3/ moving to the kerb.

Photo of Matt Currie
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For my family of four recycling at home consists of three main stages: 1/ sorting and storing in the house, 2/ sorting and storing in kerbside bins, 3/ moving to the kerb.

These stages exist in the context of general household management and daily home life (which is pretty hectic for us with two young kids and a burgeoning business).  Within each of these stages there are a whole bunch of smaller jobs and tasks that I found really interesting to think about.

SORTING and STORING IN THE HOUSE
  • identifying recycling items
  • moving items from initial location to kitchen (the "staging area")
  • preparing items for storage – cleaning, crushing, separating
  • monitoring level of bins
SORTING and STORING in KERBSIDE BINS (outside)
  • Removing items from inside storage bins or moving entire storage bin
  • Sorting items into appropriate bins
  • Further crushing, separating etc if necessary
  • Kepping bin area tidy (trying to anyway ;-)
MOVING BINS to the KERB
  • Assigning task to self or partner
  • Planning time in morning schedule on rubbish day
  • Physically moving bins from yard to kerb
  • Positioning bins at kerbside
  • Moving empty bins back into yard after collection
For me this inspires ideas about how people's recycling journeys might be similar and different, and how can we solve the pain points that exist throughout these journeys.  

What's your recycling journey?  Where does it start?  Where does it finish?  What are the jobs you are trying to achieve as you go through the journey?


 

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Spam
Photo of Meena Kadri

Howdy from Wellington, Matt! Great share to kickstart some discussion on this challenge...

So given you're a family of 4, do you have kids? How old are they? If old enough – I'm interested to know if they interact with any stages of the process? Kids in my area often can't take the bottles bin out (too heavy) but are tasked with bringing it back in when they get home from school. For our upcoming Ideas phase – will be interesting to think about ways to further engage kids in the process in a way which might make tasks seem exciting for them (my old neighbours got their kids to customise their bin by drawing on it with a sharpie. Their bin was the envy of their peers. Wish they still lived here so I could share a photo!)

Spam
Photo of Matt Currie

Hi Meena. Yes we have two kids – 7 & 4. They're involved sporadically in sorting and storing in the kitchen and getting the bins to/from the kerb. I do wonder to what extent they're picking up on their parents' feeling that recycling is quite a time and effort burden? Decorating the bin is a great idea! Looking forward to the Ideas phase.