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Recently I was invited by a non client to go and see first hand the positive impact Charopy is making. The invited came from a company doing the collection of container deposit scheme (CDS) material collected at various shopping centres run by different owners and centre managers. Whilst the collection company themselves were not yet a direct Charopy client, they definitely knew about our technology and wanted to show me the difference in the collection quality from a typical shopping centre using Charopy compared to a collection from a shopping centre still using traditional methods of source separation - mainly signage.

I got to see some high quality non contaminated bags of cans and bottles (no surprises they came from a food court with Charopy installed), but the photo above is a bag taken from a shopping centre not using Charopy. From what I was told it is not even worth sorting this and a bag like this one (and many more like it that I saw) will end up in landfill. Too bad for all the recyclable material inside - at a rough guess maybe 25% of it was CDS and thus should be recycled, but the contamination in that collection just makes sorting at this point unviable. A real pity, especially when people who do the right thing are obviously seeking a good recycling outcome by using a CDS bin in the shopping centre, not knowing there is very little chance of any of it actually being recycled.

Sham recycling bins are still way too prevalent in out-of-home location Australia. But with two new products being launched very soon by Charopy, we will continue to chip away at this problem.

Earlier this year I wrote a blog post about how various clients over the years had added instructions on the product they had purchased from Charopy and I called it Good Instruction, Great Results. So this post is a natural continuation of that theme, as from today clients purchasing a standard panel from Charopy (the most popular product) can take advantage of our years of experience in understanding user adoption by displaying a new sticker we have designed.

We wanted something that conveyed the key message of recycling along with instructions on usage, but using as few words as possible. When you are standing in front of a bin, the last thing you want to be doing is wasting time trying to understand how it works or what types of products it will accept.

You'll notice the scan arrow is actually based upon a bar code, just to make Step 1 even clearer for first time users. Step 2 also has a clear arrow pointing to where that action takes place. Even if you don't read the text in the upper right, the fun border of cans and bottles is hard to miss, further helping to communicate the types of items this bin is designed to accept.

Another service we've recently added is making it even easier for potential clients to order our technology by cutting and delivering border panels for existing bins. If your bin surrounds have a vertical opening then just give us the dimensions and we can arrange for a sheet to be cut from the beautiful recycled plastic shown below.

Taking this option you'll get a standard Charopy panel with no visible screws surrounded by a cut to size piece of material that really enhances the story around your sustainability initiatives. Whilst you could use any material to hold the Charopy panel in place, I think the imperfections in the recycled sheet actually enhance its beauty. But the choice is yours if you prefer a different material, especially if you want to place an even large sticker over the top of it.

Whilst we really like the sticker design above, many large clients design their own instructions to match their company's branding guidelines; so even if you don't use the sticker shown here, try to design your own instructions with a similar level of brevity and clarity and I'm sure your Charopy launch will be a huge success.

At Charopy, we always let the clients purchasing our technology decide how best to brand their bins to fit in with the overall look and feel at their site, but we are often asked for advice on this matter in relation to ensuring rapid adoption by consumers in adopting a new technology. One of the challenges with all bins is that people don't like reading instructions - once they have made their mind up to throw something away, they are typically not interested in spending even 5 or 10 seconds reading guidelines and working out which bin to use and this is just one reason we frequently see extremely high contamination rates in out-of-home bins.

One of the best ways to decide what is ideal for your site is to look at what past Charopy clients have done to solve this issue. From the early days of Charopy we went with a highly visual set of instructions when we had limited space - this was especially relevant when our panel was fitted into a 120L or 240L wheelie bin lid.

This early shopping centre example from AMP Capital was very effective as it addressed the issue of people not wanting to read instructions when they are standing in front of the bin as the 3 steps are visible from further away. They also used table talkers effectively at launch as people tend to be more receptive to receiving information when they are sitting down in a food court compared to once they have decided to leave; the earlier you can educate them about your recycling initiative with Charopy then the more receptive first time users will be to using the technology.

Another good example is this food court bin from Vicinity. The key instructions are visible well before you approach the bin giving first time users much more confidence when disposing their recyclable containers. It also clearly shows which container types are eligible leading to a much lower likelihood that a patron will ever see any red lights on the bin, only green.

The example below is a very elegant and custom Charopy implementation designed to be retrofitted into an existing bin whilst still fitting in with the overall look and feel of the shopping centre. The instructions on the face of the bin are minimalist, but further instructions were added above to bin to make it much clearer for first time users.

Below is the template designed by Container Exchange for the Queensland Containers for Change program. This adhesive vinyl print has cutouts for the Charopy scanner and bezel/chute. It fits in perfectly well with other branding used in that state, and the image of a small barcode next to the word SCAN makes it even more obvious to people using the bin for the first time.

The standard Charopy panel below was installed by Brookfield into a space formerly occupied by an ATM. Cutting a hole into a wall and placing a wheelie bin behind that wall is a surprisingly easy way to install Charopy, but even better, it gives you a large canvas to promote your new high profile sustainability initiative. This wall has a large whale tail and other messaging about saving the planet and keeping the oceans free from plastic waste. It definitely draws your attention from some distance away and the two step instructions are clearly visible and very simply laid out leaving no room for confusion.

Another nice Charopy installation is this office example from ANZ where we worked with their interior designers to have Charopy as a centrepiece within a custom designed bin station. In an office environment you have much more scope to educate staff, so this bin is focussed equally on instructions whilst also letting people know about the charity being supported with all the 10c deposits being collected.

Anything you can do to draw people's attention to your bin from a distance will help with adoption as they can be curious and learn more before they are committed to throwing away their rubbish; even better if you can explain to them how their correct recycling behaviour is creating a benefit for society. If you don't have a large wall surrounding your Charopy panel, another option (or do both) is to place an internet connected TV above the bin to show the charity you are supporting with the money raised increasing in real time every time a container is deposited into the bin. Because Charopy users are not personally motivated by a 10c deposit for themselves, they will typically be motivated by a better recycling outcome (if they understand the importance of non contamination) and/or money going to charity. A TV screen displaying dynamic content can really help in this regard.

The screen below is inspired by some work we did at Questacon in Canberra. It takes dynamic contextual digital screen content to the next level and also simplifies the bin usage instructions from the original 3 steps down to 2 steps, but then adds an optional new third step which is really just about building anticipation and letting people know that something special will happen on the screen when they use the bin. The red dot actually moves to highlight Step 2 immediately after the container is scanned, but the real benefit for increased adoption here is the way this screen content makes the whole experience much more fun, engaging and educational. If you insert a glass bottle then one of a series of animations and facts about glass recycling appears on the screen, but if you insert an aluminium can you will learn something about aluminium recycling - likewise for PET, HDPE or LPB. There is even an optional sound effect of that material type going into the bin. Apart from the consumer motivation for using Charopy being a better recycling outcome or money to charity, we have now added an experience they won't get using any other bin. The fact the people can see all of this happening on the screen from a distance further enhances the power this type of display has for driving increased adoption.

From the latest with Charopy to something a bit older, this technique works really well in schools but maybe in some other locations as well. I say older, because if you look at the lights on the bin you'll clearly be able to tell this is Version 1 of our technology. The video below was made a few years ago by some of the girls at a Sydney high school to educate other students at the school about their new recycling solution. A project like this is a great way to boost engagement within a core group, get the message out within an entire school community and to educate students exactly how the bin works, why the school has chosen this solution, and what benefits such a solution will bring.

All of the above are just a small sample of what some of our clients have done to ensure better adoption rates when implementing technology from Charopy. The team here are always available to review creative prior to printing if you would like feedback based upon our years of experience in eliminating contamination from out-of-home recycling bins.

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