Recycling habits gamified in Adur & Worthing

Recycling Badge

Adur & Worthing residents have started posting pictures of their Gold 'Star Recycler' recycling badge awards on Facebook.

Adur and Worthing councils have started checking the bins of thousands of residents to ensure they are recycling correctly. Whilst this may seem like another example of government and councils ‘snooping’ on residents, the financial and environmental gains are compelling. For this reason, this is another example of gamification being used for a higher social purpose. But wait, where is the gamification you ask? See if you can spot it.

According to the Herald, a scheme called Recycling Together will see 2,000 households in Adur and 2,000 in Worthing have their blue-lidded recycling bins checked by the authorities. If they are recycling material that is clean, dry and loose, and all items inside are fully recyclable – their recycling bin will be affixed with a gold star. The household will also qualify for a voucher for £10 that can be spent on a number of leisure activities across the area if they make the grade. Additionally, the household will be entered into a prize draw to win one of ten £100 high street shopping vouchers in each area.

Gamification. Gamification everywhere. Let’s list them off:

1) The gold star is a basic example of badges being used. Whilst there aren't any tiers or upgrades available to satisfy an achiever player type, it certainly appeals to the socialiser – a bragging stamp right outside your house for all your neighbours to see.

2) Atop this, there is the potential reward available, the £10, which will motivate the ‘player’ player type (from Andrzej Marczewski’s player types), who are in it simply for the reward.

3) Furthermore, the ten additional £100 rewards satisfies Yu-Kai Chou’s Octalysis core drive number 7 - our infatuation with experiences that are uncertain and involve chance.

4) Finally, this appeals to the ‘philanthropist’ player type because it has a greater social purpose.

How about that. Even councils are getting aboard the gamification hype, intentionally or not. What do you think about this project? Comment Below.

Shane Fumagall

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