Solutions

Zero Hero

Reduction of landfill waste produced in office buildings

Incentivize better recycling practices through competition and education. The Zero Hero waste management system consists of 4 individual smart bins (Paper, Recycling, Organic, and Waste) and a companion app, in order to track waste production and incentivize better recycling practices.

Team
Zero Hero
Annika Frauendorfer, Eva Schilken, Ian Metz
Contact details
a.frauendorfer@gmx.de, eva@schilken.de, ian.metz13@gmail.com

Zero Waste in Office Buildings

What incentives and creative solutions can be offered to engage people and change their mind-set in terms of saving resources and changing their consumer behavior and lifestyle?

Read more about Zero Waste in Office Buildings

Reduction of landfill waste produced in office buildings

Incentivize better recycling practices through competition and education. The Zero Hero waste management system consists of 4 individual smart bins (Paper, Recycling, Organic, and Waste) and a companion app, in order to track waste production and incentivize better recycling practices.

Solution context

Solution: Incentivize better recycling practices through competition and education.

The Zero Hero waste management system consists of 4 individual smart bins (Paper, Recycling, Organic, and Waste) and a companion app, in order to track waste production and incentivize both better recycling practices, and overall waste reduction with gamification. Competitions between departments, companies, or entire floors can be organized using the app to motivate employees to recycle more effectively and to reduce their waste production. All ‘teams’ will be supplied with all four types of bins, and scores will be compiled in the app and displayed however the office management sees fit (ideally above each set of bins to maximize motivation). Rewards can also be offered company wide for reaching waste reduction goals, set weekly, monthly etc. 

The office manager can also access more specific data (e.g. trends) and compare it to what they pay for waste removal to measure effectiveness. This is where the financial benefit of the program will become apparent. 

Result: Cost reduction through better recycling and overall reduction of waste, and a cleaner planet for all. 

Solution description

Bin

The smart bin by Zero Hero has a transparent front which allows the user to see the trash as it collects. Having the trash visible at all times will help people develop a better connection to the waste they produce, and increase accountability. A scale is printed on the front window, indicating a score to be used in the gamification process. The scale is different for each material type, and makes it clear that landfill is the worst type of trash and should be avoided. Finally, the bins are fully colour coded, and have a graphic on the lid illustrating which items are accepted in each bin to comply with the german public waste management rules, educating users while removing as much margin of error as possible. This is especially important in very diverse or international offices, as recycling practices differ between countries. 

App

In order to maximize waste reduction the bins are paired with the Zero Hero app, which uses qr codes and image processing to track the waste collected in each bin. Using the app a photo is taken of the bin upon waste collection. The QR code on the front of the bin links it to a location, and the image is processed to give a score associated with the scale on the front of the bin. Scores are then compiled and used for the incentive programs.

Incentives

Incentivization of waste reduction can be done in two ways simultaneously: by offering rewards for competitions, and for overall waste reduction. 

Some possible rewards could include:

  • Sustainable items such as reusable food containers, and home compost bins
  • Food for the winning team or entire office (ideally environmentally friendly foods like vegan pizza)
  • Discounts or gift cards for sustainable stores (eg Original Unverpackt)
  • Memberships to clubs (eg Urban Sports)

Other incentives could also include teaching opportunities for the team with the worst record, for example:

  • Weekend cleanup of a local park or river
  • Give a short presentation to the office on a sustainability topic

 

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