'Cash for Cans' Recycling Contest - Chris

1. Action name

"Cash for Cans" Recycling Contest

1.1. What

What is your action about? Description of the action. This section is not about goals, but about what you have done indeed. So that if you initially wrote the goals of your action when you were planning to do something, you have to update that to reflect what you finally ended up doing.

I want to have a recycling contest between different IES Spanish classes. Having a competition between Spanish classes is the most ideal for this action because Spanish classes meet the most, three times a week, and usually have a similar amount of people. Glass would be collected after or before Friday Spanish classes and each class will receive a score based on total fluid ounces per student. The materials would then be weighed and the class with the most recyclable materials per student will win an organic fruit basket from the Sustainability Club.

According to a recent study Spain recycles or composts 35% of its waste, which ranks 8th in the European Union. Many of IES students may not be familiar with recycling practices in Spain and this contest will help make students more aware and will allow them to learn about recycling so they can bring it back to their own communities in their hometowns. Also glass is a very recyclable material unlike other materials such as cans and styrofoam.

1.2. Why this action makes things more sustainable?

Justification: Answer this question as clear as possible: "Why your action is improving the Sustainability of IES Abroad Barcelona?. Use as many concepts as possible from the ones you learned in this course. Like:

  • Resilience
  • Change in Attitudes
  • Reducing dependency on...
  • Ecological/Water footprints
  • Externalization of costs
  • Long term effects
  • Feedback loops (balancing / reinforcing, lagged or not)
  • SLEN vs. TINA
  • Copyleft (CC)...
  • Free Software
  • "Cradle to cradle" design (Waste = Food)
  • Eco-effectiveness (vs. Eco-efficiency)
  • ...

1.2.1. SWOT Analysis

• Students can easily participate
• Monthly updates can be made to encourage competition among classes
• A significant amount of knowledge regarding sustainability is not necessary for the success of this action
• There will be incentives to participate – organic fruit basket
• This action would require space to collect the items and record total fluid oz
• There would be some man hours required from students
• Carrying recyclable goods to IES could be inconvenient for some students

• IES has so many students a difference can be made
• Winning class will receive an organic fruit basket
• Can easily be marketed through posters and Facebook pages
• If “X” amount of materials are recycled it can support IES Barcelona’s commitment to the global green initiative
• Lack of student motivation
• Modes of transportation to school (bike, metro, walking) could threaten participation
• Commute distance from IES
• Space in IES – a room will be needed for about twenty minute before each Spanish class starts in order to record the recycling score from each class before the glass is recycled
(see free_SWOT_analysis_template.pdf)

1.2.2. Feedback loops

Identify potential loops produced by your action (reinforcing, balancing, lagged), and eventually, draw them in a systems analysis diagram if it makes the explanation clearer

Reinforcing Loop
Students will be motivated to recycle glass and therefore recycle more glass (which is more easily recycled than metals) which will foster competition thus motivating students to recycle even more and purchase more recyclable materials like glass. This is a reinforcing loop because students it gets back to the initial outcome.

1.2.3. Potential Benefits

Benefits of any type, in short, mid or long term

The long term effects of a recycling contest go further than simply increasing glass recycling amongst IES students and staff. A contest of this sort would make recycling habitual amongst IES students. Students, and staff, would be developing knowledge on how to recycle and they would be able to apply the gained knowledge regarding recycling to their everyday lives in the future.

Short term effects include the reduction of waste being disposed in students respective housing units. It will also immediately improve recycling for students abroad here in Barcelona.

1.2.4. Potential Costs

Costs of any type: money, time (from Students, from IES Abroad Staff, from external people), human resources, risks...

The two main costs for this action are time and space. A time commitment is necessary from the students in charge of the action as well as the students participating. The students running the contest will be required to supervise the recording of each classes recycling “points” (fluid ounces). Space is also a cost because there will need to be a room where materials can be collected.

1.3. How

Implementation/Methodology. Including a description of the work done so far by IES Abroad Barcelona (listed maybe in the document from previous semester - See links in the Home page), Steps or phases to implement this action in a perfect world and in a real world of the few weeks remaining before YOUR departure back to USA, details for the common Time sheet of all actions, ... Links to the documents you created to support your action (stickers, survey forms, advertisements, notices to hand on IES walls, etc.) should be added here also.

Since the semester is dying down this year’s contest will only have three weigh-ins and will last four weeks. There will be no collection the week of April 18th because most students will be traveling for Spring Break. The collection room with be the first floor study lounge in IES and collections/drop off will be Friday’s 10:30-10-45, 12:15-12:30, and 2:00. These times were chosen because they are in between Spanish classes, either before or after, so it will be convenient for students as well as the collection group. Once the winner is determined the winning class will receive an organic fruit basket on the day of their Spanish final.

1.3.1. "Cradle to Cradle" design

Is the design "Cradle to Cradle" ready? (= did you clearly state what waste will come out of this action, and who/how to handle such waste? paper from fliers wrapped with plastic, plastic containers to collect water from rainfall, ...). In which way the action is designed to have waste not only harmless but becoming food for other processes (technical nutrients)?

Recycling is very easy to do, but some students do not completely understand how to recycle in Barcelona. One of my peer’s actions is creating recycling information sheets, and this can go hand in hand with the recycling contest. Students would bring their glass to IES where they would be collected and the scores, or total fluid ounces, would be recorded. This makes things more sustainable because it follows Michael Braungart and William McDonough’s philosophy of waste Cradle to the Cradle. This concept is also known as waste = food. Once the recyclable goods become waste they are recycled back into the system and reused as “food” for other goods. Any posters used to market the contest will be reused paper, which is a recyclable material, or digital on Facebook.

1.3.2. Questions for the unified survey

Identify questions to be added to the survey for your action, so that you have objective data to support your expectations, hopes, ...

If there were a recycling contest at IES would you (students) bring recycleable materials to IES to partake in the contest if the reward for the winners was ECOcash?

Should the contest be done individually or based on weight/student within spanish classes?

1.3.3. Analysis of the results in the survey

Analyse the results obtained from the answers to the survey questions, and summarize the main conclusions that you took from it

Should the contest be done individually or based on weight/student within spanish classes?
60%- Based on weight/student within Spanish classes
30 %- Individually
10% - No Reponse

If there were a recycling contest at IES would you (students) bring recycleable materials to IES to partake in the contest if the reward for the winners was ECOcash?
60% - No
35 % - Yes
5% - No response

Students would want the contest to take place between Spanish classes but do not seem motivated enough by EcoEuros. Therefore in order to motivate students the winning class of the competition will receive an organic fruit basket rather than EcoEuros. Participation is crucial for this action so there must be some legitimate incentive for students and an organic fruit basket will be more motivating than EcoEuros based on the survey results.

1.3.4. Incentives

Which incentives do you plan to give in order to promote that people participate in your action? Why?

In order to get students to participate in the recycling contest a prize will be given to the Spanish class that recycles the most throughout the semester. This reward will be in an organic fruit basket to the first place class. In order to foster competition between classes there will be updates after each weigh-in so classes know who is winning and losing on a weekly basis.

1.3.5. Relationship with the "Sustainability Club" (SC)

What's the relationship of your action with the "Sustainability Club" (SC)? Why?

This action relates to the Sustainability Club because they have agreed to help fund an organic fruit basket to be awarded to the Spanish class that recycles the most glass.

1.3.6. How will this action be sustained when you are not here?

In order to have a sustainable action, you need to have designed some way or some person to keep doing whatever tasks are needed for the action to keep it working. Indicate here how is this going to work when you are not here...

The action can be sustained while I am not here as a continued action. The overall concept is not complicated and if it goes well this year it would be a great action to continue. I will give an update on this page of pros and cons regarding the overall process of how the contest worked out and ways to improve it.

1.3.7. Document format

If you produced some documents to support your action, did you choose some document format which can be edited with multiplatform FLOSS tools without loosing the layout? [Multiplatform = at least, the main three O.S.: GNU/Linux, Mac OSX & MS Windows]. For instance, for word documents, .odt or similar (odf) is better choice than MS Word .doc/.docx documents, since odt/odf are standards format for office documents recognized internationally by the ISO (ISO/IEC 26300:2006), and editable by OpenOffice, among others (or MS Office with a Plugin). Or for images: .svg for vectorial graphics (editable by Inkscape), or .xcf for bitmaps (editable by GIMP), etc.

The document will be in the .odt format so that it can be accessed and edited with a variety of operating systems.

Which copyright license do you choose for your report and why? See Session 19

Attribution, Non-Commercial Share-Alike.

1.4. Time-sheet / Chronogram

In rows, who does what; In columns, months of the year. In the cells, the codes for each subaction described in the report.

Week of March 28th Contest Starts
Friday, April 8th Collection-1
Friday, April 15th Collection-2
Friday, April 29th Collection-Final Collection
Thursday, May 5th Update Pros and Cons of Contest

This is the equivalent to the "Bibliography" section of a paper, so you are expected to refer to your sources of information here, and not just to provide links for other sources of information that the reader might visit besides the information provided in your report. Books, Websites, Companies offering products, ... including action described by students in previous semesters in their Final paper documents. See links in the Home page

Crabtree, Vexen. "Which Countries Set the Best Examples?" Forcing Humanity Onwards. 2005. Web. 28 Apr. 2011. <http://www.vexen.co.uk/countries/best.html>.

Creative Commons. Creative Commons. Web. 28 Apr. 2011. <http://creativecommons.org/>.

De Pedro, Xavi. "Professors Suggestions." Sustainability: Challenges and Responses. 2011. Web. 28 Mar. 2011. <http://sustainability.seeds4c.org/userXavi>.

1.6. Students involved in this action

Write your names, and if you did not participate equally on this action, state briefly what each one of you did for this action; i.e.: identify which is the "official" leader of this action, who the other participants, indicating the role of each student in the team. Remember that the leader the person in charge that the team work together and all things get done in time; if some member of the team for this action does not do his/her duties, the "leader" is expected to do instead to warranty the success of the action in time

Chris Fahey and Billy Vydra came up with the idea to have a recycling contest between IES Spanish classes and I will be in charge of collecting the glass bottles and recording the recycling “score” (fluid oz/person)

Billy Vydra is in charge of the marketing aspect of the contest and will be making posters and creating a Facebook page. He is also transporting the recyclables to their respective recycling locations.

 Assignment 4: Peer review form

You do not have permission to insert an item

Items found: 10
Grade per actionReviewerComments
88 Brian McNevinThis is a great idea as a way to get students to participate and get them to recycle. One suggestion I would make is to give a better prize then Eco-Euros. I don't think that prize gives much incentive.
93 gnardii think this is a really creative idea and it is smart to have it between spanish classes because as you stated those classes meet the most once a week. although eco -euros are a good prize, I think maybe another prize could be added as a further incentive.
98 jschayeGreat plan Chris, I would definitely do this to make more money. Maybe at the end of the semester, whoever makes the most money should have their picture taken and advertise how much money they made back so that other students would be inclined to join in, in the future.
88 Julia NuttI think this is a really good idea but I think that time is running out and you should encourage this to be a continued action for one of the next group of students to do. I think that it is a really good way for students and teachers to learn about sustainability. I think that the prize should definitely be something besides eco-euros because either people don't know what this is or wouldn't be as encouraged to participate!
79 Kmacdonald4I like the idea of a competition because I thnk its a great motivator. How do you plan to weight the materials though? and will you be the one collecting and weighing all of the recyclables? I think this will be a great action for an incoming student to continue when they have more of the semester to work with
93 MbowermanDefinitely a great idea! Maybe do it as soon as possible so it happens before the semester is over you could even have some sort of prize or something for the class before school ends.
89 seantubridyI think students will want to participate if something more than eco euros is given as an incentive. This is a good way to get students to realize the importance of recycling.
95 SolomonBPI think this could work great, and would be a fun addition to each Spanish class. It's a great way to help promote the Sustainability Club, and I'm sure the SC could help provide/sponsor prizes/rewards for winning students and classes on a weekly and semesterly basis. If we can organize one of these before the end of the semester, the SC will provide prizes to the winning student and class.
56 vsienkieThis is a creative idea and I think that it is a great way to get students excited and competitive about recycline. I also agree with Brian in his idea to give a better prize than Eco-Euros. Maybe a basket of locally grown veggies donated by an organization? Or more IES re-usable bags that they can use to carry their groceries home.
96 vydraChris, this is a great idea. You are complementing me on this action perfectly, and I appreciate your help. I like how you will be giving an update on the pros and cons of this contest so that future students may continue your action, but with even more efficiency because they are learning from your past experience.

 Grades for this action report (From the PROFESSOR)

Items found: 2
2.5 'Cash for Cans' Recycling Contest - Chris Fahey - Billy Vydra) Good ... Improvable "The materials would then be weighed and the class with the most recyclable materials per student (kg/student) will win EcoEuros" Risky design, because as a side effect, you might be promoting that students waste more resources, because they would be winning more ecoeuros if they prove that they brought more things to recycle for the contest, instead of recycling them themselves (it should be considered as a threat, in your swot analysis). Example: better to print just on one side of the paper and bring them later to the recycling contest, instead of keeping them at home to use later, or use paper double sided. Or people storing one-sided scrap paper for their participation in the contest, and therefore, reducing the amount of that kind of paper that can be found in paper bins. why not just concentrating on a single product, like paper: this would reduce a lot the weaknesses and threats in your swot analysis. And then design the conditions to have a fair and positive contest on paper use efficiency, or paper recycling. Like only paper from that student is allowed, and some "formula" which included the amount of paper consumed (the less the better), the amount of paper per assignment or paper submitted (the less the better), and a declaration of how many sheets of paper where used per week in other tasks. For that, maybe the system of a fixed amount of free paper per student would be adequate, if IES Abroad Barcelona administration agrees. I mean, no free paper on printers and photocopiers, but a block of 500 sheets of paper given for free to each student (and students can buy more with ecoeuros or euros), but no extra free paper around. This way, we would implicitly increase the awareness that paper is a limited and valuable resource. So the extra paper would be counted from the number of blocks of 500 sheets of paper bought by the student (on a signed declaration). What do you think of my feedback to your idea? If you want to consider it seriously, talk to IES Abroad Barcelona administration (Betsey Tufano?) to see whether they would be willing to implement this system of control of blank paper for next semester as a test. They have to keep records of paper used every semesters (at least frmo invoices to their providers), and this could be divided by the number of students in each semester. Therefore, it would be an easy was to test in just one semester whether this simple system combined with your contest would help reduce the paper consumption and missuse in the center. 1.2.2. "Students will be motivated to recycle and therefore recycle more which will foster competition thus motivating students to recycle even more." Well, this sounds nice, but how do your monitor and quantify this recycling, in general? Balancing loop: (empty). ? 1.3.1. "Any posters used to market the contest will be paper, which is a recyclable material, or digital on Facebook. " Where are they? Moreover, you can also use scrap paper for your poster! (waste = food also for your raw materials!) "Students would want the contest to take place between Spanish classes but do not seem motivated enough by EcoEuros. Students are revising the EcoEuro this semester so hopefully the revised EcoEuro will provide enough incentive for students to participate. " In my proposal of redesign, the incentive would be either some free blocks of paper (for printing the papers at the end of the semester, without needing to pay in euros for them), or one good water-thermo with the logo of SC (so that they can keep it and use it back in the states), or some T-Shirts, or similar. Whatever you consider that is a better incentive for this action, and which might be feasible (talk to the director, Cesar Alegre, about it?). 1.3.3. Revise it based on 2011a General comments 1.3.4. "In order to foster competition between classes there will be weekly updates after each weigh-in so classes know who is winning and losing on a weekly basis. " Who will count all that? How will they coordinate, from the different classes? 1.3.6. "I will give an update on this page of pros and cons regarding the overall process of how the contest worked out and ways to improve it. " How? When? Add that to the Time sheet... (it was not there), also for future semesters, as a recommendation for future students to do the same when they follow this action up 1.3.7. Empty section, fill it in. 1.3.8. Revise it based on 2011a General comments 1.4. Revise it based on 2011a General comments 1.5. Empty section, fill it in. Cite similar actions (recycling bins?) from previous semesters, etc. Where did you take the idea from (if it was from the professor suggestions, etc). Comply with the CC license of the website, by the way (if you copied ideas/information from some other page, like "professors suggestions", you should consider complying with the cc license of the source information... see at the bottom of the course website). 1.6. "I will be in charge of weighing in materials as well as compiling the cumulative amount (kg/person) of recycleable material. " Describe in more details how will you store and weigh those materials for each Spanish course! Explain in more detail, for instance, at the section "1.3. How". Moreover, indicate clearly whether you have approval from IES Abroad Administration to implement this action as you wrote it (any type of waste, all Spanish course, rooms needed to store and weight it, etc). Presentation: Revise it based on 2011a General comments
I still see this design and report as unfinished/very improvable: what happens to the glass after it has been seized? grey text (Comments from the template to be removed) feedback loop: I still imagine that this action could easily promote students to get more bottles for the contest (even if they hadn't recycled them, but just somebody else used the bottles and placed them in glass recycling containers), and not just reduce consumption and increase recycling. This could enhance people to consume more single drinks in glass bottles, than just use the refillable metal thermo/bottle with water or their favourite drink from home (in containers of 2L, etc, instead of many 33cl bottles). Students would want the contest to take place between Spanish classes but do not seem motivated enough by EcoEuros. Or not motivated enough for the action of bringing glass bottles to class/IES? Where is the "Thursday, May 5th Update Pros and Cons of Contest "? 2nd

Page last modified on Monday 03 of November, 2014 19:15:36