Rubbish Clearance Proposal: Putting Public Shaming To Work


Three of the worst rubbish clearance problems we currently face are the following:

1. People Not Recycling Items They Should Be Recycling
2. Fly Tipping In All Forms
3. Littering In All Forms

So, now that we’ve identified the worst rubbish clearance problems, how do we solve these problems to a degree that is really going to make a difference going forward?

In medieval times, public shaming and public humiliation were common forms of punishment and deterrence. Just think of the wooden pillory with holes for the head and hands to put someone on public display. It was highly effective, albeit considered too demeaning by today’s standards. However, various forms of public shaming still exists today, both executed as a form of formal punishment and in the way society deals with people who do shameful deeds.

The following are some ideas on how to use public shaming, or perhaps we can call it social pressure, as a way to reduce our primary rubbish clearance problems.

Switch To Clear Rubbish Clearance Bags and Transparent Waste Removal Bins

Black rubbish clearance bags and opaquely colored waste removal bins may make the neighborhood look more spiffy on “trash day,” but they hide what’s inside. This allows people to bin items that really should go into the recycle bins without anyone noticing. For example, a person could blatantly toss a cardboard egg carton that could easily be recycled, knowing full well that his or her neighbors won’t see it. If, on the other hand, rubbish clearance bags were clear and waste removal bins were transparent, it would be easier for neighbors to notice when someone is binning recyclables in their rubbish clearance! Assuming this would be frowned on in the neighborhood, and assuming people care about what their neighbors think (most do), clear rubbish clearance bags and transparent waste removal bins could be a strong deterrent to not mix recyclables with rubbish clearance.

Time Lapse Cameras In All the Right Places

Installing hidden time lapse cameras in public areas where people litter and or fly tip could capture images of people who do so. These images could then be placed on social media and public websites to shame the offenders. Facebook posts could be shared widely and Twitter posts of these rubbish clearance offenders could include hash tags like #WeAreWatching and #ShameOnYou. Of course, there would need to be funding for these hidden time lapse cameras and a dedicated group of volunteers to go through the footage and make the postings. Sounds like a good project for a motivated group of teens!

The Rubbish Razzies

Have you heard of the Golden Raspberry Awards for American films that stink royally? They are sometimes called the razzies, presumably because makers of these terrible films are publicly “razzed” about the poor quality of their films. Why not start the Rubbish Razzies (good alliteration!) where businesses would be called out for flagrant rubbish clearance abuses. Pictures of their rubbish clearance showing no attempt or little attempt to recycle could be captured digitally and then displayed on a public website and in a local publication. This would not be a list a business would be proud to be on, especially since it might cut into their profits, and this may make them more receptive to suggestions on how to get off this list.

Let Teens Take Over a Segment At a Local TV Station or Radio Station

As the student survivors at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida are showing the world in the aftermath of the terrible shooting where 14 students and 3 teachers died, teenagers can have a huge and effective voice in social change. Why not let those teenagers who are passionate about rubbish clearance problems tackle it through the media. Of course, they already have the ability to show disgraceful incidents of littering and fly tipping on social media, why not allow them to amplify these efforts on local television and radio stations? Teenagers are particularly skilled at calling out people who are doing bad deeds and getting others to rally behind them for social change. Let them take pictures and video with their mobile phones and use these to publicly shame the perpetrators on television, radio, and social media platforms.

Beyond Public Shaming There Is Huge Value In Setting a Good Example

One UK company goes far and away beyond others in setting a good example for rubbish clearance habits. This company is Clearabee and it has only been in business for about eight years. However, in this very short time, Clearabee has already set an all time record for recycling and reusing more of the rubbish they collect than any other man and van service in the UK and any other waste removal service in the UK hired by the councils. In fact, Clearabee is now up to a whopping ninety percent recycle and reuse rate which rivals what’s found in other European nations like Germany and Sweden who are considered among the best in the world at recycling and reusing rubbish clearance! If you want to be part of this shining example, call Clearabee to set up appointments to pick up your rubbish clearance and tell all your neighbors about it. If you see a neighbor who is not recycling as much as they should, you can specifically pull that neighbor aside and encourage them to use Clearabee’s services too.