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Recy'Cream Trucks [Updated June 18]

There is nothing like the distant strains of the ice cream truck melody to mobilize and excite children (and sometimes adults). This concept uses a fun and low-cost incentive device to encourage at home recycling by the whole family: yummy treats distributed by a mobile recycling center, the Recy’Cream Truck.

Photo of Nancy Kelly
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Explain your idea in one sentence

Fun and exciting neighborhood Recy'Cream Trucks create incentive for children and adults to recycle at home.
A mobile recycling center, the Recy’Cream truck, will receive home recycling materials and trade them for fun and healthy snacks such as all-fruit popsicles, lowfat frozen yogurt treats and fresh juices. The mobility of the truck will allow for easy implementation as pre-existing municipal recycling facilities can be used to deposit the recycled materials.

In addition, the trucks lend themselves to private/public partnerships: the trucks and snacks can be branded by the corporate partner, maintaining low costs for municipalities while creating goodwill for the private enterprises involved. This concept will work in developing countries as well as developed areas and will generate funds for local communities from the sale of the recycled materials.

I recently spoke to a colleague who lives in a New York City owned and operated building that does not recycle. The reason she was given by the building manager: ‘There’s no place to put it’. The residents of the building, who may want to recycle at home, are being thwarted, and others, more indifferent, are being deprived of the opportunity to develop habits that help the environment and make them feel good about their contributions. Children are unable to build a recycling habit that could last a lifetime. Recy’Cream Trucks could change that.

For several years, I lived in Upper Manhattan. Garbage filled and spilled out of the street containers, covering the streets on windy days. The city regularly had to use a bulldozer to excavate an empty lot that filled up with garbage more quickly than you could imagine. The environment was degraded by the glut of garbage, much of which could have been recycled and repurposed. For the residents, especially children, living in the neighborhood, the lack of attention, and solutions to the problem and the degraded environment reinforces despair, anger and low self-esteem, as well as hurting the earth. In Brazil, programs that trade recycling for locally grown vegetables have been a huge success. Areas once ‘choked’ with garbage have been cleaned up, and all the recyclable materials traded for healthy food. In Upper Manhattan, Recy’Cream Trucks could have a similar effect.

As a student, I lived for a year in a small rural town in Tunisia. When it came time to empty the garbage, we walked to a hillside at the back of the house and emptied it. There were informal dumps everywhere you looked, along fences, in ditches, at the edges of fields. What should have been a beautiful countryside of olive and orange tree orchards was marred by the lack of much-needed recycling programs. Recy’Cream Trucks which do not require large home bins, elaborate pick-up schemes or municipal infrastructure other than a drop-off point could transform a polluted countryside back to a beautiful one.

Recy’Cream Trucks are recycled themselves. Built from delivery trucks that have aged out of the fleet but have not reached the end of their lifespan, the trucks have been retrofitted to hold and sort recyclable materials. One section of the truck also contains a freezer and refrigerator for healthy snacks that will be given away in return for recyclables. The trucks have been converted to run on recycled vegetable oil, which they are able to collect in a sealed container, collecting their own fuel and avoiding emitting harmful fumes when idling for pick-ups.

On an established day and time of the week, Recy’Cream Trucks make their rounds, alerting residents of their presence with the strains of pleasant melodies. Children and adults stream out of their homes carrying the week’s recycling in anticipation of the fun and exciting exchange ahead. The trucks are painted with bright, visually enticing graphics that illustrate the ‘journey of recycling’ so that children and parents can see and discuss how the materials they use and recycle are then transformed into something else useful (that may also be recyclable). As attendants collect the recycling, they weigh the materials and share the amount that has been diverted from landfills, as well as the amount of CO2 emissions being avoided. Everyone who has turned in recyclables will be given a token with which they can redeem a treat. Children from the same household can each turn in a different type of material, i.e. plastic, paper, cans, so that everyone can get a treat token. At times, when a truck is participating in a neighborhood block party or street fair, kids can participate in compacting recyclables, weighing them, etc.


Below are some ideas for how the graphics on the truck might be an opportunity for teaching children about recyling in visually enticing way, a la the board game Candyland, as well as for the 'kid-powered compactor' which could provide a thrill similar to squashing grapes with your bare feet to make wine.

One concern is that the truck would not have a large enough capacity to collect all the available recyclables. I'm looking for some low-tech, low-cost design ideas for the truck that would allow for maximum capacity.

Awesome animation of Recy'Cream truck over at Kenneth's From This to This idea - really cool visual cross-pollination! https://openideo.com/challenge/recycle-challenge/refinement/from-this-to-this-an-app-that-reveals-possibilities



Paul Reader proposed a link between RecyCream, Priyanka's concept and Stephen's Recycling Champ here ( https://openideo.com/challenge/recycle-challenge/refinement/recycling-champ#c-d05a4137255b3dc094ec8b114453eeb9 ).





Describe how your idea would help form new habits and improve recycling at home

The Recy'Cream Trucks provide a simple, low-cost reward for effective recycling. Treats can be distributed for meeting specific recycling quotas, in either type of materials or total quantity. This will inspire families, especially kids, to recycle a wide variety of materials and to separate out recyclables from non-recyclable waste.

How might you design an early, lightweight experiment to further develop your idea?

A low-cost, temporary pilot program could be run in a specific neighborhood or zone of a city where recycling infrastructure already exists but participation is low. On a weekly basis over 6 months, a single Recy'Cream Truck could make the rounds of the zone. Participation would be measured by quantity of recycled materials collected and number of participants. This would create quantitative data to measure the effectiveness of the program. A survey could also be distributed in the area to measure qualitative outcomes.

What aspects of your idea could benefit from the input of our OpenIDEO community?

This is a broad sketch that would benefit from input from the community on refinements in all areas, especially implementation.

Lots of great ideas coming in from team and community members in the comments section!

Evaluation results

10 evaluations so far

1. How well do you think this idea will create new habits for the people involved?

Really well. I can see it creating lasting behavioural changes - 50%

The idea is pretty good but I’m not sure it will make new habits - 40%

Not sure the idea would really help people establish long-lasting habits - 10%

2. Can the idea be scaled to work in different countries and with different people?

Yes – it’s clear how the idea could be adopted by people from far and wide - 20%

Seems like it could work but needs some fleshing out - 60%

I don’t think it could be easily used in different locations - 20%

3. Can the idea be used regardless of the local recycling schemes?

Yes – it doesn’t seem to rely on a particular collection scheme - 70%

Possibly – although it might work better under some schemes rather than others - 30%

I think it might only work under particular circumstances - 0%

4. How easy would it be to pilot a version of the idea to test it out?

Really easy – ways to test this idea further are already springing to mind - 20%

Piloting this idea would be possible but it could take a lot of time and resources - 70%

A pilot doesn’t seem easy at this point - 10%

5. Overall, how do you feel about this concept?

It rocked my world - 40%

I liked it but preferred others - 50%

It didn’t get me too excited - 10%

62 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of simon joncourt
Team

Hello Nancy, this sounds very exciting. I am sure you already thought about combining your idea with some of the anti-food waste models out there? I'm talking about partnerships with supermarkets, bakeries and so on in order to transform your truck into a combination of pro-recycling and anti-food waste mobile (could augment social impact in poor neighbourhoods). Some of these organizations will probably accept to give close-to-expiration-date food away for free if it's declared as "charity". Cheers, Simon

Photo of An Old Friend
Team

Great Idea.

Photo of Nancy Kelly
Team

Thanks to the entire team and community for all the contributions that moved this idea forward!!

Photo of Paul Reader
Team

Congratulations Nancy.
The concept was really imaginative and it was great fun imagining some directions it might take.

Photo of Guy Viner
Team

Congrats Nancy! Thrilled to see you and your team bring this idea into the impact phase. Please return to share your learnings and insights from realizing the concept!

Photo of Jes Simson
Team

Well done Nancy, such an engaging concept. I can really see this working really well at music festivals as well as in local communities.

Photo of Paul Reader
Team

Great practical additional application for the vehicle/setup Jes.
might move around between things like farmers markets too.

Photo of Jes Simson
Team

Hey Paul, I remember reading somewhere during the research phase that a lot of farmers markets in USA allow you to compost there (especially in places that don't have municipal composting). Could be a great tie up.

Photo of Prashant Rao
Team

Great Idea - can create some excitement and engage the community. Children will prove to be the catalyst to develop a change in attitudes

Photo of OpenIDEO
Team

Congratulations on making it to the winner’s list, Nancy. We loved your novel and wonderful idea of bringing the same excitement that ice-cream trucks do to communities – with a recycling twist! We like the direct reward and can see this working at festivals, for summer campaigns as a way to create unique neighbourhood experiences – plus we can imagine it working like a trading station not just for yummy treats but in exchange of creative recycled goods too. Make sure you share any impact updates with the community once the Impact phase goes live – we’d love to hear them.

Photo of Leigh Cullen
Team

Nancy, Congrats to you! Definitely a clever idea. Ice cream truck music is a cue to get excited, especially for kids. It's a great way to involve children in the recycling process as well. Well done! ...Leigh

Photo of Nancy Kelly
Team

Thank you Leigh! :-)

Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Exciting stuff, Nancy. We're wondering whether there could be a lightweight experiment you might try with a few kids in your neighbourhood (no need for the truck!) to see what you learn from putting potential end users in the picture of some part of your idea. It's amazing what can be learnt to refine ideas by engaging real people with an aspect of an idea. These guys went quite far – but gives you an idea of how iterations can be made from actually trying things out: http://www.openideo.com/open/creative-confidence/ideas/the-electronster/

Photo of Paul Reader
Team

Interesting link Meena.
Thinking about this as an exercise in rewarding actual recycling it could be trialled from the boot (trunk) of a car. The car could be suitably decorated (church, youth group activity) with 'jingle' provided by something like a boom-box and treats donated by local retailers or maybe vouchers to retrieve small treats.
If this was an established area with low take-up then there might be an opportunity for input from the existing recycling organisation.
For a new area it would still need something behind it as this would be the vanguard of the actual service.

At Christmas time here in the less well-off areas the local fire brigade does a free sweets run - its pure charity but I guess something similar at a different time could be tied to the recycling.

Another thought - maybe Coke could redecorate one of their delivery vans for trial purposes - give it temporary RecyCream livery instead of Coke and press it into running trials.

Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Indeed, Coke could do that – but keep in mind that we are looking for solutions that any organisation could take forward – so the important part at this stage seems to be testing assumptions behind ideas and refining them based on the learnings from those experiments. We can all *talk* about how an idea might be improved as much as well like – but we think that the Electronster example shows the benefits of involving potential end users in evolving an idea. That's the essence of human-centred design :^)

Great having you join us again on this challenge, Paul. We're loving your provocations and perspectives added to the mix!

Photo of Paul Reader
Team

Thanks Meena - as always I'm enjoying the discussions and interactions with the OpenIDEO community. I will take a good critical look at the Electronster examples to see what assumptions were tested and how they related to the concept.
I will also give some more thought to any assumptions in this concept that might be amenable to meaningful input from end users and stake-holders.

Photo of Nancy Kelly
Team

The electronster is a really cool parallel concept to borrow from--thanks. A lightweight prototype in the neighborhood--sans truck--would be doable.

Photo of Nancy Kelly
Team

My window is closing on prototyping for this round. A recent 10 day vacation/family visit, plus inexperience in prototyping, interfered. I hope we get a chance to move forward into prototyping in the next phase--there are so many exciting ideas and synergies swirling around--I look forward to moving from dialogue to action one way or another!

Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

We're excited that many OpenIDEO collaborators on this challenge have been talking about prototyping their ideas going forward. Awesome! If you take things further once the challenge is over, be sure to let us know at key milestones on the Challenge Impact phase which will be opened around the time we announce our selection of the most promising ideas. We’d love to celebrate your progress and inspire others to transform ideas into action and social impact. Read more: http://ideo.pn/impact-oi

Photo of Paul Reader
Team

Hi Nancy,
I don't know if you are on Google+ but following Priyanka's lead on her Label concept I have set up a G+ Community for RecyCream ( https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/112324305673337694221 ). This would allow us to share a few more resources than are presently available on the OpenIDEO platform. I have added a graphic that, in collaboration with something like Mr Recycle gives some of the flexibility mentioned in our previous discussions. Unfortunately my CG and animation skills are severely limited, however I will continue to add what material I can both here and on G+.

Photo of Paul Reader
Team

Just added a photo (to the community page) of real ice cream van that turned up in my street today.

Photo of Indra Kumar Shrivastav
Team

I think this is a brilliant idea for the simple reason that it makes you want to do something without feeling that you're going the extra mile since the whole activity is supposed to be fun. Just have two concerns though:

1. Is there a financial feasibility that you have run since maintenance, setting up of the trucks, overhead expenses, etc. will be a major issue
2. I think the healthy snacks or ice-creams you give out as a reward need to be delicious since that is the motivation you are planning to use to attract the children. If they don't find it worthwhile everything else is secondary.

Photo of Nancy Kelly
Team

Two very good points! I would hope that private partners would be willing to handle some of the costs, and possibly that the sale of the recyclables might also cover costs. As for the snacks--I agree they should be delicious, but they should also be healthy, otherwise we are solving one problem and creating another. There are lots of healthy low-fat, low-sugar snacks that are also very delish!

Photo of Paul Reader
Team

i believe this could be built into an existing Recycling business model for education, reinvigoration and expansion.
Just uploading a bit more graphic material to the community.

Photo of Karoline K
Team

Hi Nancy - just wanted to let you know that Kenneth has made an awesome animation of your Recy'Cream truck over at his From This to This idea - really cool visual cross-pollination! https://openideo.com/challenge/recycle-challenge/refinement/from-this-to-this-an-app-that-reveals-possibilities

Photo of Paul Reader
Team

Absolutely Karoline!
I wanted to extend on that but limited animation experience and lack of computer capacity has meant too slow progress on this aspect.
Would love to see Duane Harrison's ( https://openideo.com/challenge/impact/applause/openideo-skills- ) teamed with Sina Mossayeb's ( https://openideo.com/challenge/impact/winning-concepts/openresources-empowering-the-community-to-share-more ) incorporated into the OpenIDEO platform to enhance the collaboration process.

Photo of Jeanine Cowan
Team

Hi Nancy, I find this idea to be particularly helpful for the areas I have encountered that do not recycle, mainly rural areas of Colorado and New Mexico. My experience in Colorado was one of not only do we not have any service to pick up the recycled materials, it also was one of recycling not being the norm. Literally I was told "rednecks do not recycle." So if we could get away from an us and them mentality (rednecks versus liberals) and provide a fun method of pick up, I think that a new norm could be set. In rural New Mexico it was simply no services. Would it be worth it though for the truck to come by if it is just a few people? that is my question, what is the bottom line for how much would need to be recycled to make it worth it. Maybe the truck becomes part of larger social gatherings at these rural events, such as church socials. This would also help remove the social stigma. More to think about.

Photo of Nancy Kelly
Team

I love the idea of the trucks coming to social gatherings at churches and community events in sparsely populated areas. Frequency is an issue. Pick-ups need to happen often enough that people can keep the recycling at home in between without it being a burden or a hazard. Weekly at church might work!

I think overcoming stereotypes is a really salient point-we can hopefully nab young people with positive associations before those limiting ideas are cemented-thank you!

Photo of Paul Reader
Team

Hi Jeanine and Nancy,
I completely agree!
The challenge scope is actually much broader than it might at first appear.
It is at least as important to initiate recycling and develop habits where presently there is none as to develop ways to increase existing recycling.

Simply separating items that can be recycled, however habitual it becomes, is of no effect without the means to complete the process.
This concept adds novelty, engagement (particularly of children and families), education and action. It adds convenience too, which seems to be a good motivator.

One of my step-brothers developed a business in northern Queensland involving delivery of chilled fresh fish to inland areas. It was popular for its novel service and convenience.

While I can't presume to know the logistics of any particular area there is probably an opportunity to utilise inward delivery vehicles to transport collected recycling on outgoing journeys. It's not necessarily efficient but I'm sure that there are ways around possible problems.
Looking at Shimolee's Mr Recycle concept he mentions solar operated compacting - I found something similar here ( www.frgwaste.com )

Almost anywhere that communities congregate is suitable to pilot looking back again to the e-waste challenge there are other ideas (besides the 'monster') upon which to draw..
- ( https://openideo.com/challenge/e-waste/refinement/farmers-market-ewaste-not-booth )
- ( https://openideo.com/challenge/e-waste/refinement/e-cycle-truck )

I mention these two particularly as the focus in the present challenge has largely been on so-called 'household' recycling, but again the scope is broader. There is the possibility to shift focus between items that can be recycled to occasionally incorporate electronics, re-use (so-called upcycling) to maintain engagement.

There is often a great deal of ingenuity and creativity in smaller communities and (I believe) the time is fast approaching when small-scale, localised production will again be popular and economic. Here is a composting (recycling) example ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TP-Lc4mmgYo ). We need ideas for scaling downwards that can be as economic as large scaled processes.

Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Here's a friendly tip: update your OpenIDEO profile so folks can dig who they're collaborating with here. Think skills, experience, passions & wit!

Photo of An Old Friend
Team

I appreciate your wonderful idea! I like the fact that your idea not only helps to keep the environment clean but also educating kids, which solves the problem in a long run.

Photo of Nancy Kelly
Team

Thanks!!

Photo of Paul Reader
Team

Agree completely!
On the question of education I can see this as a "vehicle" for "delivering" the content of some other concepts. For example - Priyanka's "Simple Label Kit" ( https://openideo.com/challenge/recycle-challenge/refinement/could-a-simple-sticker-help-us-recycle-more ).
I just proposed a link between RecyCream, Priyanka's concept and Stephen's Recycling Champ here ( https://openideo.com/challenge/recycle-challenge/refinement/recycling-champ#c-d05a4137255b3dc094ec8b114453eeb9 ).
I'm also wondering if Priyanka's Community Champions ( https://openideo.com/challenge/recycle-challenge/refinement/community-recycling-champions ) might like to use RecyCream Trucks as their vehicles but I haven't read her concept completely yet.

Photo of Darren Yeo
Team

Hey Nancy, cool proposal! I like the fact that you are offloading icecream, while piling on more recycables up the truck, perhaps even balancing carbon emission? What's more, if vehicles are already collecting recycling points, your idea does the same, and yet even more by offering recyclers treats! Would love to see this truck roll down my neighbourhood

Photo of Paul Reader
Team

Great mental picture of this in action.

Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Fun stuff, Nancy – and builds on the notion of this initiative in Brazil in an exciting way: http://www.treehugger.com/culture/brazilian-city-trades-vegetables-recycling.html

Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

And we'd love it if you might update your post and fill out our submission form questions (like how you envisage a lightweight prototype for this idea, etc) Looking forward to seeing what you come up with!

Photo of Nancy Kelly
Team

Will do!

Photo of Paul Reader
Team

Hi Nancy,
This idea is both novel and innovative. It has great potential
I see a few challenging issues in addition to your concern about capacity, especially given its other function (which I see as an essential component).
I like the idea of giving value to the recycling process but am unsure of the logistics.
Here in a small suburb of Australia's smallest state capital we have an annual collection for unwanted industrial items. The way this works is that over a couple of days towards Christmas the local municipal council sets up an area to aggregate items collected so it is possible to use small capacity vehicles for collecting from a small number of premises at one time. Logistically it would be possible to apply this to your RecyCream vehicles whereby with a limited capacity for both 'treats' and recycling which would utilise the aggregation point to both disgorge recycled materials and replenish treats. Essentially the same principal as transport networks but potentially more flexible.
Given the apparent popularity of food trucks in many places perhaps municipal authorities could provide a preference/incentive for perticipation in such recycling efforts.
Having come to this challenge very late I have not yet been able to review the connections between concepts as ?I often do.
Hope we can get some others on board to contribute to refinement here.

Photo of Nancy Kelly
Team

Thanks for the input Paul!

Photo of Paul Reader
Team

Thanks for adding me to the team!
I've been a bit verbose over on Shimolee Nahar's Mr Recycle concept ( https://openideo.com/challenge/recycle-challenge/ideas/mr-recycle-a-service-design-model-for-recycling ). Part of that was to propose a possible integration with your RecyCream Trucks. A scaled-down version of Mr Recycle could form the collection mechanism for your vehicles., which in turn become mobile collection pints. Larger Mr Recycle stations could become the hubs for off-loading and 'treat' replenishment points.
Although Shimolee's concept was initially based around WalMart involvement there could be advantages to broadening involvement to other vendors too. Such vendors could benefit by association as sponsors.

One aspect of such sponsorship that I did not include before was that these vendors could be the source of your 'treats'.
Additionally integration of some of the apps that propose establishing a database of recycled materials. would help provide the link to confirming the fact of recycling that I thought was missing in those app proposals.

I will see if I can document my suggestions a bit more precisely.
Keep up the great thinking around this concept!

Photo of Guy Viner
Team

Hi Nancy! I spent some time thinking about the logistics behind your concept- cracking that portion of the business model will go a long way to making Recy'Cream feasible!

Have you heard of washcycle? Their model has been quite popular in urban areas ( http://washcyclelaundry.com). I think that using bicycles with little trailers and bins could lower costs tremendously and be very helpful for the prototyping phase of Recy'Cream. Maybe they can work alongside trucks in urban areas if they are successful!

Photo of Guy Viner
Team

I agree with Paul that Recy'Cream has many synergies with Mr. Recycle. Glad to help you brainstorm ways to integrate your ideas with Shimolees' to add some momentum as you build out this exciting concept!

Photo of Nancy Kelly
Team

I would love that! I only hesitate at Walmart. Their labor practices are not up to par. Very much appreciate your input and assistance. I love the idea of expanding this to bicycles as well. That would allow penetration into areas that are not accessible by wide paved roads, and would certainly keep costs down as well. It would be very exciting if this could be a source of income for the cyclists and drivers.

Photo of Guy Viner
Team

Glad to hear! Also, I'm thrilled to be on board your team.

Regarding Walmart: I think Shimolee only used Walmart as a sample application to develop a theoretical case study. Mr. Recycle would be developed independently of any one retailer so it can be used across industries!

More on the cyclists: You hit this on the head! Washcycle's business follows a triple bottom line. The wages enable non-traditional employees to enter the, and since the workers are local, the money stays in the community where it cycles and supports local business. I agree that this could be a neat add-on or pilot idea for your concept. Glad to help develop this idea further!

See this link for more info on washcycle's human capital practices:
http://washcyclelaundry.com/impact.html

Photo of Guy Viner
Team

Also, see this link for more insights into how their business operates, such as how clothes are picked up / returned, appointments are made, and B2B is handled. Glad to try to facilitate a connection between you and their team if you're interested in learning more!

-Guy

http://washcyclelaundry.com/faq.html

Photo of Paul Reader
Team

Great thoughts Guy!

The greater accessibility of bicycles is a huge appeal - also for some reason evoked an image of Jonathon Swift's On Poetry. A Rhapsody (just the scalability aspect) and another of the ice-cream tricycles that were common at British beach resorts in my childhood.
Although my cycling days are long gone I can see it might also have a certain appeal as 'cycling with a purpose'.

Having said that I am still wedded to the idea of the motorised version as well, but now have a broader picture of how this can be scaled in both directions.

The WashCycle concept is great and I guess the business model is sound.
In the case of WashCycle there is a clear customer/service relationship.
With a recycling service there is a disconnect between the service and both its cost and value.

What distinguishes the RecyCream concept from what I currently experience is of course the novelty, reward and educational components. These are of enormous value to communities where recycling is rare, and especially so for children. We still have an ice-cream van operating in our municipality but its visits have dropped in frequency to perhaps 2 or 3 per year. Nevertheless it still attracts a following I am not a psychologist or sociologist so I am not aware of the optimum frequency to form a positive association

The other aspect of this concept is the convenience of the service (my current experience). This convenience probably is the difference in my household, between recycling and trashing.

Given the value of this concept as educational and promotional, as well as functional,I wonder if it might be possible to build a business model around utilising it as transitional between urban trash collection and trash/recycling collection.
So could these vehicles be hired out to municipalities wanting to introduce and promote ongoing recycling collection services. The challenge might then be how to sustain the model in the long term.

Photo of Paul Reader
Team

Further to the above discussion here are two links to a UK cycle manufacturer. I have taken the liberty of asked permission to use two of their images (with attribution) in the concept but not yet received a reply.
( http://www.pashley.co.uk/gallery/work-bikes/3/76.html )
( http://www.pashley.co.uk/gallery/work-bikes/2/214.html )
These are not the only suitable images but are two to which they appear to hold copyright.
Is the the ice-cream truck image in the concept yours or at least available to modify?

Photo of Paul Reader
Team

Looking at some of the other images for Pashley Cycles has made me realise that all of your RecyCream vehicles could be in part funded through paid promotion on the 'treats' end and funded support from recycling firms/centres, municipalities on the recycling end.
Looking at the University of Edinburgh recycling bicycle also makes me think that the concept could be launched on local campuses and shopping centres then migrate to residential areas. This perhaps could also be applied to Shimolee's Mr Recycle as the complementary first stage compression site. I'm sure there is a fit between these two concepts.

Photo of Guy Viner
Team

@Paul- thrilled to wake up this morning and see your contributions!

1- I think the contrast you pointed out between washcycle's business model and the one we are building for Mr. Recycle / RecyCream is a clever one. You're right that our focus should be shifted towards a) changing habits at home to improve convenience, and b) building a self-sustaining or profitable back end from either repurposing the recyclables or getting marketing dollars from sponsors (or both).

2- The treats / sponsorship idea is brilliant. Excellent way to integrate insights from RecyCream into the Mr. Recycle idea!

3- I agree that campuses and shopping sites are great places to pilot. It's worthy to note that these are two places where people are less likely to have recyclables on hand than when they're at home, so changing behavior will be a greater challenge in those spots.

4- You hit on a good point when you touched on 'optimum frequency' for collection. This is an important thing to think about. I'm from Long Island, NY, where we used to receive donation requests from organizations for veterans or AIDS organizations. They would drop off bags 2-3 times a year, and request that you fill them with certain items (clothes, electronics, etc), schedule a pick up time, and leave them outside. Wondering if this idea is complementary to the concepts we are refining. Have you seen Robert's idea for using red bags for the ScrAPP store? I'm wondering if his insights can be useful for Mr. Recycle as well.

https://openideo.com/challenge/recycle-challenge/refinement/the-scrapp-store-your-recyclables-turned-in-to-desirable-everyday-objects

Photo of Guy Viner
Team

@Paul- I also think that seasonality is an important factor to consider. For example, the veteran organizations typically do much of their collections during holiday weekends in the summertime, when they know people are cleaning out their closets and doing home improvements. Just some food for thought!

Photo of Paul Reader
Team

Great insights Guy..
Before I forget Pashley Cycles can't give me permission for the bicycle images (i'm not sure they understand copyright) but I have told them we will honour that and only provide links to examples.
I was looking at Robert's concept last night and wanting to think of synergies with this (Nancy's) and Shimolee's ideas. Last night I was focused on his bins and scoring system but you are right the bags provide a great link. His insights would I'm sure be useful and I hope we can perhaps provide some input for him too.
I tend to look on the refinement phase in musical terms. It can be iether an arrangement of the original work or a total re-mix (including ideas from concepts that didn't make the short-list.
On this occasion I think it may be possible to integrate RecyCream and Mr Recycle but nevertheless retain their individual identities.

Photo of Paul Reader
Team

In regard to launching at campuses and shopping centres it is difficult for me know what is and isn't possible. Given that part of this concept is to involve kids primary and secondary campuses might be focal launch points - here such institutions often have canteens or nearby shops. Lunchtimes will generate quite a range of recyclable and non-recyclable items which may well already be separated under school policy. Would it be feasible give kids the opportunity to experience RecyCream/Mr Recycle with these items over a few days, with the expectation of "Coming to your street soon!". Again with shopping centres that might typically be visited on non-school days arrangements might be made with fast-food outlets for patrons to either put recyclables directly into the mobile Mr Recycle.or alternatively Roberts bags within the establishment (which would give them experience of what to expect at home in the near future. RecyCream would still provide treats (and information) for actual recycling through Mr Recycle. Although volume measurement and statistics are still important to both the concepts it need not be prominent in launch situations.

For schools a launch might be preceded or (preferably) followed by something like Timmy de Vos' E-Waste Race ( https://openideo.com/challenge/recycle-challenge/refinement/the-e-waste-race-a-race-between-schools-to-collect-as-much-e-waste-as-possible ), since this is the other huge but complementary recycling issue

I'm also looking at Priyanka's Label Kit concept ( https://openideo.com/challenge/recycle-challenge/refinement/could-a-simple-sticker-help-us-recycle-more ). This could provide useful labelling and other information to complement the 'in street' collection activity.

Returning to Robert's concept it is tempting to ask him if he is agreeable to putting Coke in the background rather foreground. Looking at his 'bags' as the starting point in the home these could be provided on the first run of RecyCream when little if any volume would be collected from any one household but with the expectation that a full bag would be emptied into Mr Recycle and returned (or occasionally replaced) Mr Recycle would provide measured feedback/confirmation of energy and other benefits of recycled material. This would not affect his reward program but provide the means of getting the recycled items to the centre (which would be associated with the balance of his program).

As volume grows the other aspects of Robert's proposal would come into play ultimately resulting in a bulk collection service based on bins rather than bags. Somewhere in this transition the RecyCream/Mobile Mr Recycle would move on to colonise new areas, paying occasional return promotional visits.

Photo of Ye Han
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Hi Nancy... sweet and awesome idea !!! You should upload a video covering this idea on "youtube" and spread your idea around the world to be more sustainable and clean... And again a wonderful idea . All people will love it !!

Photo of Paul Reader
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Good idea Ye Han.
Perhaps the challenge sponsors could contribute to this form of promotion with some professional resources.

Photo of Ye Han
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Thanks Paul.

Photo of Nancy Kelly
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Great idea Ye Han--thanks! My video skills aren't anything to brag about, so if anyone wants to jump on this, feel free!

Photo of Ye Han
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Thanks Nancy. I am just a supporter of your idea .

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Hi Nancy, congrats on your idea making it to the Top 25 shortlist. We’re really into your fun take on the ice cream truck – with a recycling twist, and we can see it becoming really popular by incentivising people with tasty healthy treats. Everyone loves snacks! During Refinement, think about how you might visualise the model behind Recy’Cream Truck and tell it’s story as a tool to engage potential partners and sponsors as well as community interest. What would the truck look like? How does it sound? Is there a learning opportunity for children and their parents at the point of which they interact with the truck, and what does that look like? For more tips for this Refinement phase, check out http://ideo.pn/re-refine-tips and catch our Lowdown on Refinement at http://bit.ly/oi_refine

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Thanks for the pointers for next steps--very helpful and much appreciated!

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Congrats on this post being today's Featured Contribution!

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Thank you--exciting!