How to get a town of 2700 residents to think and act “zero waste”, was the question the Icelandic change agents asked themselves during the training conducted by the Icelandic partner SASS on the 19th and 21st of October.
After an informative lecture from Elísabet Björney Lárusdóttir, waste management expert, on the quantity of waste produced by the town of Hveragerði, that had previously accepted our invitation to be our “pilot town” for this project, the agents decided to focus on “how to reduce unsorted household waste” and set an ambitious goal of reducing it by 10% or more by the end of 2021.
Next step was to find ways to connect to the residents through ways that take in consider COVID 19 as normal “get-to-gathers” are forbidden for now. The agents decided to start phase 1 by presenting the project to the residents of Hveragerði with articles published in local media and through word of mouth, as well as by recruiting a few local influencers to initiate a conversation among their followers on the issue of waste reduction. This part of phase 1 will last through out December. Come January 2021 until the end of February, the work will continue onto more articles and conversations with different groups that have been defined by age as different strategies will have to be used for each group. During this time, the agents will have gained a connection with locals from all age groups and started a dialog on “how to reduce unsorted household waste” just in time to invite them to a local living-lab where ideas and proposals can be discussed and planned. In what way this living-lab will be conducted, i.e. one big online lab, one big residence work meeting, many small online labs (for each age group f.ex.) or many small face-to-face labs, this will all have to be decided as the current COVID situation develops but the plan is to at least have some ideas on what actions to take at the end of phase 1 in April 2021.