Trash disposal games cleans up Dutch campus

Strategically placed trashcans were installed at the Dutch Koning Willem I College to prevent students from littering across the campus.

The students at Koning Willem I College in Den Bosch in The Netherlands collectively struggle with one aspect of campus life: throwing away trash in demarcated trashcans. Prior to the implementation of the so-called trash games, litter could be seen strewn all over this Dutch campus. To address this litter-bug scenario, communications agency, KesselsKramer launched a series of new trash-cans alongside a challenge, with the objective of the campaign to encourage its students to dispose of their trash in the proper way.

The trash cans

KesselsKramer didn’t opt for the conventional trashcan positioning but instead dug a bit deeper selecting positioning based on reverse psychology. The new series of trashcans were located in almost inaccessible places and created big obstacles for students wanting to dispose of their trash. Some of the trashcans are suspended above the students’ head level specifically mirroring a basketball hoop – giving users an opportunity to aim and shoot their trash into. One of the other examples is a trashcan that is perched on top of a stepladder forcibly encouraging the students to climb right to the top before disposing of their waste in a responsible manner. The trashcan that certainly takes centre stage for team effort and responsible trash disposal has to be the one that is attached with dumbbells (weighted) – it requires the combined strength of four students to open the trashcan. Now that’s a green group effort!

The challenge

The entire campaign, with the theme, “Throw away your trash, how hard can it be”, was translated into posters and videos as supplementary reminders of responsible disposal. This collateral was displayed across the campus with each of them challenging students to participate in a competition with their own personal video showing them using their skills to dispose of their trash.

The outcome

KesselsKramer co-founder, Erik Kessel, says that he cannot be sure whether the campaign completely solved the problem; however it definitely did prompt students to start thinking about the local (on campus) and wider (global) issue of recycling and responsible waste disposal. 

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