As Sustainability Consultants we often run into the attitude that setting up a recycling program is nothing but putting out some bins and ….voila….. all is well.
The reality is a far stretch from it. Changing behavior is a complex problem that takes much outside pushing and delicate prodding as well as proper set up of logistics and safe guards to avoid falling back into old behavioral patterns.
Its human nature.
Just look at systems such as wanting to loose weight. Every person that wants to loose weight KNOWS that it has to do with what they eat and how much/little they exercise. Some people then make valiant efforts to change and the weight loss industry is making billions in the process, but only very few sustain to the desired effect, unless they have prolonged support from an outside person.
The same problem exists in regards to changing to sustainable habits in institutions. Implementing a recycling program such as We Future Cycle offers looks so easy, so logical, surely the institutional director of facilities can do it all by himself?
How difficult can it possibly be?
Same as with weight loss, how difficult can it possibly be to eat less and to exercise more on a regular basis?
The truth is, unless there is a person or organization in place that constantly supports the program and keeps all players engaged over an extended period of time, no behavioral change takes place.
And the losers in the system are the children.
The children had just learned the value of recycling, they were excited and actively engaged in saving the world, but then they see the adults loosing interest…..
Why are we teaching our children that inconsistency is acceptable?
Setting up a successful recycling program with sustainability education is very difficult and it can only be accomplished with the understanding that it is a long term capital improvement project that takes active management and professional support.
It cannot be accomplished by just putting out some bins…..