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All grown people sooner or later come to the conclusion that life is a game. Depending on your mindset, you can consider this as a positive or a negative assumption. But let's try to see things from the bright side now. When you're playing a game – outdoors or on your computer, you don't take things too seriously. Thus, the importance of your activity is dramatically reduced and the chance to get the job done increases. This principle is the foundation of what experts today call 'gamification' or making a particular job more fun. See how recycling and waste management can be successfully gamified as well. Gamification: Theory & Practice First, let's examine the concept of gamification a little bit more in-depth. The trick is to achieve a game-like experience in a non-game, real-life environment or situation. Of course, this is done using techniques and ideas directly taken from the science of playing: be it electronic games or classic sports played outside. Gamification is proven to be a working yet not aggressive method to make people more engaged with a given activity and make them behave in a desired, predicted way. Turning tasks into game is quite useful in the fields of problem-solving and chores management. Jobs that are generally considered boring are transformed to something more enjoyable or even attractive – cleaning chores, rubbish disposal, filling out surveys and documents/forms and many others. Gamification is also used in teaching with impressive results and that's completely understandable as young people today not always have a high motivation to learn at schools. How Volkswagen's Fun Theory Treats Junk Now it's time to see an interesting experiment - a rubbish recycling gamification. It comes from the world-renowned automotive brand Volkswagen. Their project is called The Fun Theory and has its own dedicated website. There, visitors can see videos that show various practical implementations of real-life games. Also, an award is going to be given to one of the selected ten finalists. Voting has already ended but the entries are still available to view on the site. Back on the actual glass junk experiment. The concept behind this example of gamification is that people rarely recycle the glass bottles collected at their homes. To encourage street passengers to return them, the guys at Volkswagen mixed a regular rubbish container and an arcade machine into one device that they called The Bottle Bank Arcade. For added authenticity, the machine even featured chiptune sounds typical to the vintage game consoles. Weird flashing lights were present, too. So, was the experiment a success? Simply put, yes. The results were more than satisfying and the figures - probably better than what the creators expected. Rubbish removal workers from Sydney suggest that the wide use of such gamifications can be very useful for every highly urbanised city around the world. It's also worth mentioning that not only young people were attracted by the colourful bank. All of this was just the effect of making it fun to return empty old bottles. People earned points for every bottle they threw in, which made them come back and actually recycle more. Do you think that gamification can be also used to solve other 'green' issues? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
In a nutshell, a landfill or a dump is the most common method used for waste disposal. In this article, a group of junk removal specialists from Melbourne has decided to put a list of the top 5 largest landfills in the world. You might find number 1 quite surprising... 5. Olusosun Landfill, Lagos, Nigeria - This is the largest dump in Africa and among the largest in the world. The 100-acre landfill receives more than 10 000 tons of waste daily and a significant amount of e-waste dumped in over 500 containers around the site. Because of the chemicals used to extract precious metals in the e-waste, many toxic fumes are being produced. This puts the health of about 1 000 households that have settled in and around the landfill in serious danger. 4. Apex Regional Landfill, Las Vegas, Nevada - With 9 000 tons of trash coming every day the Apex landfill is the largest in the United States. It currently holds over 50 million tons of waste and the numbers are expected to increase to up to a billion tons by the time it closes. This definitely won't be soon, thought, because it is believed that this dump can collect Las Vegas' garbage for the next 200 years. 3. Sudokwon Landfill, South Korea - The landfill was open in 1992 and since then it has collected over 88 million tons of garbage. The daily intake is about 20 000 tons. The dump serves both Seoul and Incheon metropolitan areas. A curious fact about the place is the intention of the South Korean authorities to turn it into a tourist attraction. Moreover, the managers of the site collect the landfill gas and turn it into electricity. 2. Bordo Poniente Landfill, Mexico - By the time of its closure, Mexico City's biggest landfill used to receive 12 000 tones of waste per day and over 78 million tons since its opening in 1985. It was considered one of the largest dump in the world but it was closed at the end of 2011. Since then, the government has taken steps to build biogas plant which will turn methane into energy. 1. Great Pacific Waste Patch, Pacific Ocean - The indisputable winner is not even situated on land. Discovered in 1997, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is the final resting place to every plastic bottle and plastic bag that has found its way to the ocean one way or another. The size of the world's largest landfill is still disputable. Some claim is as large as Texas, whilst others go even further by stating it's as big as the whole of the USA. Because the most debris are small plastic particles which float just bellow the surface, it is impossible to detect and picture the pile of garbage from satellite or an aircraft and you can't really see it until you are in the centre of it. It is quite scary to know there are tons of plastic waste floating around the Pacific Ocean and we can't do nothing about it, isn't it?