Even adults like getting gold stars once in a while. With this in mind, the recycling council of Christchurch, New Zealand, launched an initiative to encourage households to do better at recycling.
Anyone who does an exceptionally good job at putting out the right items – and properly cleaned, too – gets a gold star added to their curbside recycling bin, visible for the whole neighborhood to see. Anyone who fails repeatedly to improve their recycling gets a warning letter before their bin is confiscated.
People love it. Recycling rates have improved significantly, with 80% of truck contents now being processed by sorters. This is a huge improvement over the past few months.
Ross Trotter, the city’s Resource Recovery manager, said: “We thought it was important that rather than being negative all the time and telling them what they can’t do let’s give them some positive reinforcement, and give them a gold sticker reward – something that other residents can see ‘hey, they’re a great recycler.’ And it’s amazing the number of people that come to us and say, 'How do I get one of those stickers?’”