Sustainable Nordost

Best practice by AB Gavlegårdarna, Sweden

AB Gavlegårdarna is in the process of renovating houses built at the time of the public housing programme “Miljonprogrammet” in the ‘70s, including outdoor environment and a new waste management system in the district Nordost.

Despite communicative efforts, residents do not change their behaviour. In order to achieve behavioural change, it is beneficial to work on behavioural analytical knowledge, insight and methods. As we work in an area of high ethnic diversity, it becomes an extra dimension to understand more of cultural differences, what are the obstacles to the desired behavior and what actions are successful. Knowledge, insight and proper behaviour when it comes to sorting different kinds of waste is an important step in entering Swedish society. These types of behavioural change projects can therefore also contribute to integration as it helps newcomers to enter society.

We obtained an inventory of what obstacles there are to the desired behaviour and therefoe asked the residents in the area. We did this both through workshops and visiting the tenants at home. Based on these obstacles, action proposals are suggested, to a certain extent about information, but also about completely other aspects such as:

  • Social control and attendance,
  • Consequences (positive but to some extent also negative)
  • Physical design of recycling rooms (bright, safe, clear),
  • Participation, relationships.

An important action is to employ two environmental educationalists in the area. We have seen that their presence (visibility, communication, feedback, social control, relationship building, etc.) has had a positive effect on the sorting behaviour.

Find out more

To find out more on this initiative, please do not hesitate to contact the organisation’s Coordinator through the Members Only Zone.

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