Making fun out of rubbish

A couple of weeks ago, I brought to your notice – in the form of stairs being transformed into piano keys – a new theory called The Fun Theory, which investigates how making something more enjoyable can change behaviour for the better.

Take littering, for example. How many times have you seen someone just carelessly throwing away wrappers on the ground even when there is a litter bin nearby? Is it possible to make people actually want to pick up litter just because the bin makes a sound? Can it really be that simple?

Apparently – the answer is yes.

And although the novelty might wear off in a few weeks, perhaps this could be solved by having a number of random noises coming from the bin. And, in the long run, this might be enough to change our patterns of behaviour.

I hope so – because anything else would be… well … rubbish!

29 responses

  1. I can honestly say that my husband adn i would stand in front of that trash can and throw things in. We’d bring trash from home and play there. (We’re secretly 12 years old and are very, very easily amused.) LOL


    October 22, 2009 at 10:25

  2. heeeeeeeehehehe! I love how the people at the beginning even discuss it in sign language: it makes a sound!

    This would probably make me pick up someone else’s trash and throw it just for fun even though I’m sort of germophobic.


    October 22, 2009 at 11:40

  3. This is great! Can we put one in the White House?
    (-: Melyssa


    October 22, 2009 at 12:11

  4. I saw a similar video on “making it fun to walk the stairs instead of the escalator”. They made the stairs musical and it sounded like you were walking on piano keys. EVERYBODY took the stairs instead of the escalator! I think these experiments are so cool!


    October 22, 2009 at 13:46

    • You probably saw that on my blog post from a couple of weeks ago.


      October 22, 2009 at 13:49

  5. That is the coolest thing ever. The proof of effectiveness, was when people started looking around for trash to make the bin activate again. Very clever idea…and a sound theory; who doesn’t want to have fun? Nice find.

    Best Regards, Galen

    Imagineering Fiction Blog


    October 22, 2009 at 14:09

  6. these should be compulsory in every street in every town in every country – well England anyway, because I am always amazed by how dirty everywhere there seems


    October 22, 2009 at 14:50

  7. Sitting here imagining the noises we might hear from the bin……ROFL!


    October 22, 2009 at 14:55

  8. Jen

    It certainly is innovative. And the clips are so well done. I would love to see a bin like that going into more places.



    October 22, 2009 at 15:22

  9. Adele

    Definitely! People love funny gadgets. I bet if they put those cans in the NYC subway, they wouldn’t have a litter problem anymore.


    October 22, 2009 at 15:37

  10. Great idea! And the noises/voices could be changed regularly – for example, someone saying “Ouch, that landed on my head!” or the sound of someone chewing the rubbish and then burping or rock music or . . .


    October 22, 2009 at 16:10

  11. That’s fantastic! What a wonderful philosophy. We can all use a little more fun.


    October 22, 2009 at 16:42

  12. Po

    Hehe that makes me think of Alice down the rabbit hole, you might get people climbing in to see how deep it is!


    October 22, 2009 at 19:28

  13. Amy

    Laziness is a fundamental root in mankind, if a singing trash bin can change that- HALLELUJA! :-))


    October 22, 2009 at 20:54

  14. HPH

    It’s a nice idea but I think it could get old fast.


    October 22, 2009 at 23:04

  15. The little man would never want to move away – we would be standing there for ever – looking for more and more bits of rubbish to throw in! A brillant idea though!


    October 22, 2009 at 23:36

  16. I say … if it helps people throw stuff in the right place, do it!


    October 23, 2009 at 01:26

  17. I fear that my husband and I would be fighting typO as to who was going to get to put their rubbish in first!!

    C x


    October 23, 2009 at 16:16

  18. Popped in from Typo’s to say hi!


    October 23, 2009 at 19:22

  19. I think that is a very good idea, or we should all be 2 years old…my grandaughter is obsessed with putting anything and everything she finds on the ground into the trash.


    October 23, 2009 at 22:40

  20. Lovely idea..I only wish it were musical.. I found that sound Ok ..but it would get boring after a bit. 🙂


    October 24, 2009 at 03:12

  21. Perhaps if it spoke to you, saying different things at different times, people would continue to have fun with this idea.
    I’m back. See you.


    October 24, 2009 at 04:32

  22. Kata

    But if all bins made the same noise, howquick until novelty wore off?


    October 24, 2009 at 10:24

  23. Lady Fi!

    Isn’t this the greatest thing since cheese singles?! LOL

    I love that idea!


    October 24, 2009 at 17:34

  24. We are such children…..and isn’t that WONDERFUL?! 🙂 And Mrs. Blogalot’s comment made me laugh and say, AMEN!!


    October 25, 2009 at 00:13

  25. I LOVE THIS!!! My kid would pick up anything she could get her hands on. What a brilliant idea. What if it said, “You look so pretty today,” boy that would sure be a winner.


    October 25, 2009 at 01:22

  26. Kaboom! But I’m still trying to figure out how the deaf people in the first segment heard the noise. Hmm.


    October 25, 2009 at 04:41

  27. Okay, I’m confused…..the lady who is signing….who CAN’T hear in that bunch???


    October 30, 2009 at 22:42

  28. Aw, this was a very good post. Finding the time and actual effort to make a superb article… but
    what can I say… I hesitate a whole lot and don’t seem to get nearly anything done.


    July 9, 2013 at 13:44

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