A Research Project from Linnaeus University makes Recycling a Fun Experience through Gamification

01/13/2022 | by Linnaeus University | Linnaeus Environment Sustainability

EUniWell partner Linnaeus University is combining well-being and sustainability in a new, exciting research project: A recycling house that adds a gaming factor to recycling and thus combines fun and waste separation. Project manager Joacim Rosenlund hopes to change people's view of recycling and to highlight its beautiful aspects.

The photo shows a mirrored geometric structure, the recycling house, in the centre. There is a light dusting of snow all around. In the lower right corner of the picture are three people who are reflected in the recycling house. Blocks of houses in white and grey can be seen in the background.
Image source: Linnaeus University

The gamified recycling house is a new type of sorting waste that will make recycling a nice and fun experience. The house is the result of a research project at Linnaeus University, in collaboration with, among others, Kalmarhem and Kretslopp Sydost. The house, located outside the residential building Kajalen in Kalmar, was inauguratedOn Wednesday, 8 December 2021.

That the recycling house is “gamified” means that the users become engaged in the recycling with the help of inspiration from the gaming world. Via an app, they receive challenges, goals and quizzes that are to be carried out, which are then awarded with medals. During the next six months, fifteen households in the neighbourhood will participate in the project as test pilots.

Neat, smart and fun

The background of the project is to move away from dark and foul-smelling recycling rooms and instead turn recycling into something pleasant and fun.

“The objective is to make recycling an experience through a neat, smart and fun recycling house. Neat in the actual design of the house, which fits well in most environments with its mirror façade. Smart with the help of the “Internet of Things”, to see, for instance, how full the waste containers are. And fun with the help of gamification, where residents download an app with challenges linked to recycling,” explains Joacim Rosenlund, project manager at Linnaeus University.

Each month, the users receive a new challenge. This can be, for instance, to learn how to fold and cut their paper and cardboard packaging in a smart way, or to reduce their overall use of plastic packaging. In addition, they receive quizzes with the aim to learn more about recycling. Those who complete the challenges and quizzes are rewarded with medals and move on to the next stage, they “level up”.

A recycling house can be something beautiful

In the recycling house, the households will sort their newspapers and packaging from paper, plastic, metal, clear and green and brown glass. In addition to measuring the amount of waste, more smart features will be added to the recycling house over time. For example, the user is given feedback and thanked for the waste. a decision will be made whether to keep the house in place or move it to another permanent location. Rosenlund hopes that the gamified recycling house will change how we view recycling.

“My hope is that, through this project, we will be able to show that a recycling house can be something beautiful that we choose to exhibit instead of hiding it away. I also hope that more people will understand the importance of recycling and that we learn more about how we can encourage well-functioning waste separation,” Rosenlund concludes.

The project is funded by The Kamprad Family Foundation. The recycling house was designed by the architect Maria Rutensköld together with civil engineering students.



Joacim Rosenlund, project manager and researcher, +4672-594 96 83, joacim.rosenlund[at]lnu.se


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