Analysis of Recycling Capabilities of Individuals and Crowds to Encourage and Educate People to Separate Their Garbage Playfully

Pascal Lessel; Maximilian Altmeyer; Antonio Krüger
In: Proceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. ACM International Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI-15), April 18-23, Seoul, Korea, Republic of, Pages 1095-1104, ISBN 978-1-4503-3145-6, ACM, 2015.


Sorting garbage is a relevant topic in many countries as it contributes to environmental protection. Empirical evidence suggests that not all people separate waste, potentially because they do not know how to do it correctly or are simply not motivated enough. We present the results of an online study (N=184) investigating people's capabilities for classifying waste, their capabilities to improve in this task over time and their current garbage separation behavior. The study confirms that the Wisdom of Crowds is applicable in this context as the crowd produces only half as many errors as the individual and feedback helps participants to improve. Based on this, we introduce the idea of a crowd classifying waste in a game, with their classification result then being used as feedback on gamified public trash cans to educate both the crowd playing the game and people using the trash can playfully.

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